3 Things you need to know before starting the Business Of Fashion

3 Things you need to know before starting the Business Of Fashion

An overwhelming number of startup fashion businesses fail after they get started simply because they failed to figure out some basic things required to run the business successfully.⠀

In the last few years, South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria have become the hubs of startup establishment. According to the Venture Capital Report of 2019 by WeeTracker, Nigeria has the maximum score of Venture Capital followed by Kenya and South Africa.

However, in terms of trends, Nigeria has experienced more startup business shutdowns at 61.05%, Kenya at 58.73%, and South Africa at 54.39%.

According to the data from the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, 20% of small businesses fail in the first year, 30% in the second year, 50% in the fifth year while 70% fail within the first ten years. These statistics show that there is an increase in the failure rate hence it is a global concern.

Your business does not have to be on the list of the failed business.

Here are 3 things you need to know before you start the Business of Fashion;


⠀1. Know Your Niche Well

Firstly, you need to determine the niche you want to focus on in the Business of Fashion and avoid pivoting frequently. This will help you establish your brand and be known as an authority in that area. For instance, if you’re launching a plus-sized women’s wear brand or Corporate Clothing Retail, focus on selling those items only.


2. Identify Your Target Audience

Many fashion brand startups fail because they do not know their target market.  This article on How to define your target market explains what you need to do before starting.⠀

A successful fashion business requires an understanding of one's target market.

Avoid making this mistake. Research your target customers’ social, financial, educational, and other backgrounds. This will help you deliver the choice and needs of your customers. For example, if you identify pregnant women as your target consumers, then you should create fashion items as per their choice of colors, trends, comfort, etc.


 3. Know What It’ll Cost

Lack of funding is surely one of the reasons many businesses fail without realizing their full potential. In order to avoid such a situation when starting out, have a realistic budget of how much money you need to set up and run your business. After you have your budget ready, work on getting a significant portion of it ready.⠀This article on important costs to plan for will surely help you.

Starting a Fashion business

Starting any kind of business requires tenacity, endurance, and dedication. Setting up the business of fashion is all the more challenging because this is a hyper-competitive industry and a very complex one as well even at the smallest of scales that’s why you need to be prepared from day one.⠀

What are your thoughts?…. Let’s discuss …⠀


Do you know we offer Online Courses in Sewing and Patternmaking, Pattern-making only, Sewing Techniques for Perfect Finishing, Origami Patternmaking and so much more?  And you can register anywhere in the world! ⠀⠀

Check out our Online Courses Here: https://martwayne.com/online-fashion-courses/

Recommended Resources

Fashion Business Idea: Corporate Clothing Retail

How to Start a Clothing Factory

5 Ways to Build Buzz for Your Fashion Business



The most popular brands we know today did not suddenly rise to fame. I dare say they didn’t even become the most popular brands because they had the best quality product. A brand’s reputation is built through carefully thought-out, intentional steps and actions that can take years to build, but only a few hours to lose if damaged! Brands know this, which is why they are forever careful with their branding and who handles it.

Branding requires a mix of analytical skills, an inquisitive nature, and a keen grasp of what makes people tick. Do you have all these? Then you are already on your way to becoming a great fashion brand strategist. Your work will usually be in collaboration with the brand managers and the marketing team to make sure a consistent and effective brand message passes with every communication the brand makes with customers.



As a result, you will need to be at the top of your game, being proactive and anticipating future trends and the success of a product or service your brand is offering. You will provide positioning recommendations, guide market research analysis, and define brand elements and tone.

You will also need to gain industry experience specific to the brand you are working with, familiarize yourself with digital marketing, and hone your copywriting skills.

Unlike other career paths, there’s no specific training involved in becoming a strategist. But, a degree in business or marketing will be a good advantage.

What is the brand about; Why does the brand do what it does? To what end? All of these are questions you will help your clients get answers to. As a fashion brand strategist, you can either apply for jobs or work as an independent brand consultant for businesses to gain more experience.

In branding, you get to explore ideas and channel your creative juices! Does that sound exciting to you? Do you have what it takes? Let’ us know in the comments.

Fashion Business Ideas – Fabric Shopping

Fashion Business Ideas – Fabric Shopping

Do you enjoy shopping? Are you knowledgeable and passionate about fabrics? If yes, then fabric shopping might just be perfect for you. ⠀

You might probably ask yourself if there is a market for it in Nigeria. Yes there is. We had a client in Canada who placed an order with us last year @garmentproductionhouse . We don’t so sourcing so recommended #martwaynestudent @kqj00 of @kqj.apparel , not just to create the illustrations for her but also to source her fabrics. She took on the task, meticulously worked with the client, bought the fabrics, delivered them to us and got paid for it. She also sent the clothes to her in Canada when we were done. So there is a market for it.

While shopping nonstop isn’t good for most people’s bottom lines, it’s possible to actually make money shopping by becoming a fabric shopper.

A fabric shopper helps clients who don’t have the time, interest or ability to shop themselves by doing it for them. The main task of a fabric shopper is to source, purchase and deliver required fabrics to clients. For the client who does a proper analysis of the opportunity costs, paying someone to do the work might be way better and cheaper than spending productive hours in traffic or haggling with a vendor.

While it might sound straightforward, fabric shopping can be quite complex with multiple variables including vendors, shipping, timelines, and more. Before you get started, ensure you learn as much as you can. Create great relationships, benefit from discounts and offer a great service to your client.

Can you think of any more fabulous fashion business ideas? We’d love to hear about them.⠀

Don’t forget to visit www.martwayne.com for other great fashion business ideas.

Recommended Resources

How to Start a Clothing Factory PDF

Fashion Business: How to Find Your Best Ideas

Fashion Business Ideas: Visual Merchandising

Fabulous Ideas to Market Your Clothing Brand Online

Fabulous Ideas to Market Your Clothing Brand Online

The online clothing market is undoubtedly saturated. With so many clothing brands launching every day, it can be difficult to stand out from the pack and be noticed by consumers. But one of the best ways to make your mark is through online marketing, as it can help increase brand awareness, and you can easily track if your efforts are working or not.

As mentioned in our ‘How to Define Your Target Market’ post, it imperative that you tailor your marketing and sales efforts specifically to your target market in order to generate sales. Here are some tactics you can try out:

Highlight inclusivity

Inclusivity is not something to be seen as a trend—but a movement. It’s something that all brands must try to embrace and celebrate. Fashion brands, especially those that sell clothing, should have a wide range of sizes to accommodate most, if not all customers. And of course, your marketing should also reflect that with your choice of models.

If you’re selling dresses for small-framed women, your marketing materials should have “real” models in them instead of mimicking stereotypical ads that only feature models of one size. Pretty Me’s guide to the best dresses for petites notes that petite girls have a very beautiful and unique body structure, and it’s only right that they are represented. Tailor-fit some designs for the petite body structure to really make the match stand out. On the flip side, if you offer plus-sized clothing, the models you hire should not make your market feel alienated. At the very least, the clothing pieces you have should be worn on at least three types of models so customers can have a realistic idea of how the product will look on them.

Collaborate with an influencer

If you’re trying to target or cater to a niche market, it’s better to work with influencers like fashion bloggers and vloggers who have a considerable following. These people have a large following for a reason—their audience looks up to them and they respect their views and opinions. Influencers can do wonders in increasing your sales by recommending or even just reviewing your items.

When looking for influencers to collaborate with, A Small Business Trends article notes that you must first check their relevancy so you can be heard by the right audience. Have a look at the topics they write or talk about, the content they share, the brands they have worked with, and if their followers are in your target audience in terms of demographics and location. It’s an extra step, but choosing the right influencer is crucial so you can ensure that they can help you drive engagement and conversations.

Host a giveaway

Conducting giveaways, especially when properly done, can result in a lot of exposure for your clothing brand during the first weeks of launch. The initial period is critical because it’s all about gaining brand exposure, so you have to make sure that you come up with unique ideas for giveaways. It can be your own slate of products, or it could be other prizes. The only thing to keep in mind is that you should be promoting the giveaway as hard as you can on your website, social media channels, and other PR.

It would also best if you made it unique so more people would be compelled to join. For instance, a brand called Ringly that sells fitness trackers modified their giveaway by raffling off two products to the winner and their BFF. The giveaway became more fun because it was a shared prize, thereby increasing the number of winners and doubling engagement, too.


This article was written exclusively for martwayne.com

by Abi Cooker

Recommended Resources

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How to Price Your Work & Make a Profit

Factors to consider before changing your fashion business model

Factors to consider before changing your fashion business model

To run a fashion business that hits target goals, you will need to do more than make beautiful clothes. Running a fashion business, just like any business, requires a business model along with other factors.

It may sound unprecedented for a fashion business to change its business model but think about it: just last year, the pandemic brought some major fashion stores to their knees, with many stores losing patronage due to lockdowns. Business Insider wrote last year, that multiple industry leaders declared the death of the fashion industry as we know it. These show that the industry is changing rapidly, and if your business will survive, your model has to evolve, it must.

Your business model dictates your profit-making. It is how you adapt to trends and challenges that your business will face. It should be updated regularly, or the fashion business will fail to move forward. Fashion business models are the same too.

If your business has been running on a model for a long and you have noticed diminishing returns: then you need to rethink your model. So how what factors to consider before changing your fashion business model?

1. The target audience

If your target audience is not responding to your marketing efforts, it’s rapidly changing, too small, too large or has no buying power. Your model should change to accommodate the new audience you are targeting.

2. Expansion

If you are expanding, what worked for you before might not work again. It might be time to evaluate the market once more and check your plan to see if you are ready to meet the demands.

3. Profitability

A model only works if it is bringing in the expected profit. When you start getting recurring losses, it is time to change your model.

4. A change in trend

The pandemic, for example, is a change in the lives of people. It has drastically changed how much they get clothes as well as other aspects of their fashion life.

Is your model currently working for your business? Do you need to change it or make slight adjustments? Let’s discuss

Starting a fashion business? Here’s what to plan for

Starting a fashion business? Here’s what to plan for

When starting a fashion business, it is easy to focus on just the branding and products, neglecting other crucial aspects of the fashion business. However, you need to evaluate all the necessary costs to come up with an ideal financial plan.

Generally, your startup cost depends on the type of fashion business you plan to launch. If you want to open a physical store, you will most likely have more upfront costs compared to a brand that operates solely online.

Notwithstanding, we will cover areas we consider essential, especially when you’re just starting on a lean budget.⠀


1. Daily operational cost

Your daily operational cost includes all types of expenses, including one-off, monthly or annual payments. These payments are for your workspace, electricity, phone bill, transport, accounting, internet, and phone bill.

They don’t seem trivial, but if not considered and planned for carefully, you might find yourself running the business at a loss.


2. Samples & Product costs⠀

Think of all the expenses that will contribute to your final clothing cost, and no, stop calculating just the fabric cost. There are other costs for you to consider, such as your technical drawings, patterns, tech packs, trims, labels, packaging, labor, and storage.


3. Training & Consulting Costs

Why make expensive mistakes when you can learn from an industry expert? Invest in a session or get training to avoid making mistakes that will cost you a lot more.


4. Sales & Marketing Cost

Marketing is an aspect a lot of fashion entrepreneurs forget to plan. But it is crucial to the success of the business. Marketing can gulp a whole lot of your reserves if not carefully planned. The costs that fall under this category include; branding, photography, PR, models, make-up, hair, fashion shows, web design, and ad spend.


The important thing to note though is all these costs must be factored into the price of your products if you want the business to survive.  If you have no idea how to do so, the Built2Bill Price Calculator does the costing and pricing for you automatically.

If you need in-depth knowledge of how to start and grow a viable fashion business, we have detailed ebooks and online fashion courses you should enroll in. ⠀

Recommended Resources

Tips for Developing a Fashion Business

Tips for Starting Your Fashion Business on a Low Budget

Fashion Business Growth Tip: Develop Your Unique Selling Proportion

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