Want to run a successful fashion business? Have a sales strategy

Want to run a successful fashion business? Have a sales strategy

Whether you’re a fashion designer or retailer, you must have a sales strategy if you want to stay in business. Making sales is just as important as creating the product so neglecting sales in favour of the perfect product is a recipe for disaster.

Selling your fashion product can be a daunting task. There are so many things that you need to think about, from how you're going to price your product to what kind of photos you will use.

Then you have to think about how to get the message about your product out to your target audience where exactly they'll see it and in the language they will easily identify with.

That is why having a sales strategy and testing out these strategies is vital so you don't run out of business.


Why you need a sales strategy

A sales strategy is a plan that helps you identify your target market, create a product or service that will appeal to them, and determine how to get your product or service into their hands.

Sales translate into revenue, which means that if you have a sales strategy, then you can use it to predict how much money your company will make.



The Link between Marketing and Sales

People tend to use the term marketing and sales interchangeably but they have differences.

Marketing plans are designed to generate awareness of your brand and its products or services, while sales plans focus on closing deals—not just generating leads.

A good sales strategy requires a good marketing strategy. Without a clear understanding of what you're trying to accomplish with your marketing efforts, it's impossible to know what kinds of tactics are necessary for success—and even if you do manage to come up with some great ideas for campaigns and promotions, they won't be very effective if they're not targeted at the right audience.

Your marketing strategy should also be informed by your sales strategy, since both are intimately connected to each other. By knowing who your customer base is and how they think about buying things, you can create more effective advertisements that resonate with them and make them want to buy from you more often than not—which means more money in the bank!


How to Create an Effective Sales Strategy


1. Create a product that people want
2. Plan your marketing strategy
3. Use the right tools

1. Create a product that people want:

The most important thing you can do is make sure that the product you're selling actually has value in the eyes of consumers. If people don't see the value in what you're selling, they aren't going to buy it—and they won't be likely to come back and buy anything else from you in the future either!

2. Plan your marketing strategy:

Once your product is ready for sale, it's time to start thinking about how you're going to market it to customers (and why). Are there certain audiences or demographics who would be more likely to buy this product than others? Do any competitors have similar products that might affect sales for yours? What are some ways we could reach them?

These are all questions worth asking yourself before investing too much into marketing efforts—because once you start spending money on ads or campaigns, it can get expensive fast!

3. Use the right tools:

Not that we know why having a sales strategy is important, There are so many tools out there you can use, not only to spread the word about your products, but also to close your sales.

Let's discuss 3 tools that you can use for your sales strategy.


Tools for an Effective Sales Strategy


1. Social Media

If you want to make sales with social media, it's all about the content. And if you're not using social media to its fullest potential, then you're missing out on a huge opportunity.

First, you need to know where your audience is. This can be tricky for businesses that don't have a big budget for advertising—but it's possible! You just have to be creative.

For example, if you sell shoes online, figure out what hashtags people use when they search for shoes—and then use those same hashtags in your posts. That way when someone searches for those keywords, they'll see your content and hopefully buy from you!

Next up: videos are better than pictures because they're more interactive and engaging. So next time you're posting something on Instagram or Facebook or wherever else, try making a short video instead of just posting a picture.

Finally: carousels are great if you want to attract more views than normal photos or videos do because people tend to scroll through them without clicking anything else—so if there's something interesting in the middle of your carousel (like an offer or discount code), people will see it and click on it.


2. Online Advertising

Facebook and Google adverts are a great way to reach new customers and get them interested in your products. The problem is that many people think they're too expensive! But there are actually a ton of ways to use these platforms for a fraction of the cost. Here's how:

a) If you want more visitors from Google, focus on keywords! People search for things all the time, and if they search for something and find your ad at the top of their results pages, they'll click through. You'll have a new customer!

Try using a service like Keywords Everywhere or Answer the Public to know what people are searching for so you can tailor your sales pages to and insert these keywords into the text. That might be more likely to get people clicking on your ad.

b) Don't underestimate how powerful Facebook ads can be. They're cheap—really cheap—and they can drive huge amounts of traffic to your site. You just have to know what your audience looks like and where they're likely to be found on Facebook. 

Target your audience as narrowly as possible. You can narrow your target audience down to your business location, what age group they fall into, or even their gender. This will allow you to save money while still reaching a specific group of people who might be interested in what you have to offer—which means less wasted money.

But here's the thing: all of this only works if your website is optimized. If you don't have an optimized site, then no one will see your ads or visit your site when they do click through!

That's why I recommend using a free service like Wix or Google My Business (GMB) to build an optimized website.


3. Word of Mouth

Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to make sales for your business. It's one of the reasons that so many businesses rely on referrals from their customers and clients to grow their business.

Word-of-mouth marketing is when you ask your customers to tell others about their experience with your product or service. You can do this by asking customers to share on social media, leave reviews, or refer friends and family members.

Word-of-mouth marketing works because it's authentic and real. When someone has a good experience with your product or service, they're going to want to tell others about it! They'll want everyone else to know how much they enjoyed the product or service—and why they think other people should try it too!

So how do you use word of mouth as a sales strategy? It's simple. Ask for reviews from current customers. If they enjoyed your product, they will be happy to give you one. Make sure you ask for their pictures and their social handles as well to lend more authenticity. It works for me every time!


Conclusion

The internet is a great place to find new customers for your business. You can use social media, Google Ads, and other forms of advertising to reach people who are interested in what you're selling. Good old word of mouth advertising also works tremendously well.

But how do you make sure that people who see your ad actually buy from you?

Put a lot of thought into your sales strategy while you are building the product or service. In fact, a lot of your sales content can be obtained while creating the product such as behind the scenes videos and photoshoots.

The best way is to start by creating a strategy that lets you do more than just sell products—it lets you build relationships with customers so that they keep coming back for more!

Which strategy do you use? We would love to hear from you. Drop a comment in the section below.








Why Businesses Fail

Why Businesses Fail

Why do businesses fail? They run out of cash! It's just that simple! 

Of course there are other reasons like bad management, not researching the competition, not having a plan, not pricing properly, etc. but really, it all culminates into one major result.

  • If you have bad management, chances are there will be an improper use or channelling of funds or losing good people which can turn into huge hiring costs on training new staff.
  • Not researching the competition will probably result in your business losing customers to the competition - so no inflow of funds.
  • Not having a plan - massive recipe for disaster because without a plan or a budget, you will have nothing to guide you.
  • Not pricing properly, - goodness, that is another story for another day!

The summary of all this is when you have negative cash flow because you are spending more than you are earning, you will run out of cash and the business will fail!

If you're at the point where your business is on life support, well first - take a deep breath! We've all been there and you will get out of it! You just have to know what to do so you can retrace your steps! 

So let's start from the very beginning to understand the real reasons for cash flow problems and what you can do about it.

No matter how good your business plan is or how talented your team is, things can always go wrong. No business is immune to failure, but by understanding the most common reasons why businesses fail, you can take steps to protect your small business.

One of the most common reasons businesses fail, like we said earlier, is due to cash flow problems. Not having enough money to cover your expenses is a sure-fire way to go under, and it can happen to even the most well-run companies.

Cash flow problems can stem from a number of different issues, such as not bringing in enough revenue to cover expenses, not being able to get paid on time by customers, or having to make large capital investments upfront or spending money on the wrong things! 

In my free book, 7 Mistakes to Avoid as an Entrepreneur this was my Mistake No 4!  Classic reason on why businesses fail. So let's focus on 'spending money on the wrong things for a bit!  I wish I really understood years ago when I started my business - watch your costs like a hawk!

While it's obviously hard to build something new without the resources to do so, spending money to make money only works if you are spending on the right things. Whatever you do, do not fall victim of unnecessary spending! 

Getting a space when you don't need to or can't even afford it , buying expensive machines without knowing where business will come from or premature hiring will all leave you crying premium tears. Save as much as you can in the early days till your businesses is strong enough to get to the next level.

So ask yourself these questions:


Getting an Office Space:

Do you really need that office?  You do know it won't end with just the space right? You need to renovate, furnish and do some nice interior decor. And then add the extra electricity, utility and maintenance bills and it does rack up pretty quickly. 

At this point, how exactly will this new office generate income? You might feel you need a professional space to meet with your clients but how about using a virtual office in the early days? Or go out to meet the customer? Or work from a hub?

If you are a fashion designer who needs a production space, there are sewing hubs you can use in the early days to save yourself the huge expense of renting a place. Or you can work from home and meet your client in their space. It probably is financially wise to start with that.

Of course, if you are financially capable of getting a space, please go for it.


Getting expensive tools:

Do you really need those machines? Or that printer? Far too many small business owners buy things they don’t necessarily need.  They either buy tools they don’t need, or buy tools that are bloated with features they don’t use and may never use.

Better to purchase something that would suit a business of your size as long as it saves you a fair amount of money while being equally as effective.

Which brings me to another point. Try purchasing things that give the reasonable amount of benefit at that point in time with minimal cost - and which are directly related to revenue generation.

For example, you might want to use the free version of things and only upgrade when you have the stream of revenue to justify your upgrade or if you need some additional features that are important to your business.


Premature Hiring: 

Mistake No 3 that I highlighted in my free ebook, 7 Mistakes to Avoid as an Entrepreneur.  Like I said - been there, done that! It might seem tempting but don't hire until you absolutely have to. And the person you hire must either be able to increase revenue or reduce costs. 

Do you really need that PA to run those personal errands? I remember when I first started, I felt I needed that driver because I could not cope with the traffic. Well, turned out, I didn't really need him after all. I didn't move around often. After he left, I didn't get another driver. Turns out I just wasted all that money in the early days. 

If you don’t need it, then don’t do it. Hiring people too quickly makes you burn cash faster than you need to. In fact, staff costs tend to be the highest expense of a company.  Yes the temptation to get a sales and marketing team to boost revenue might be high, but if you can outsource it or get someone part-time, better for you.

Put into consideration which is more cost effective for you before you make a full-time hire. Don’t hire a full-time staff when you don’t have a full-time job for them. 


Premature Scaling: 

Lastly, do not scale prematurely. Let's put it simply using the earlier example. Do not go paying for office space before you have employees to fill it. Start small and grow gradually. It can't be perfect from Day 1 so take your time and enjoy your growth process.

And these are just a few. So now, let's talk about some other solutions that can help you tackle your cash flow problems!


Know your real costs

Costs can be categorized as either fixed costs or variable costs. Fixed costs are those that do not change with the level of production, for example rent. Variable costs are those that vary directly with the level of production, for instance raw materials. Knowing true costs is critical to business success and will help you better understand your break-even point and where you need to cut back to make a profit.


'Get personal'

Get personal. How much money do you need to live on? Are you taking more out of the business than it can afford? One easy way to check is to compare your business with others in your industry. You can use the ATO benchmarking tool, which compares businesses of similar size and industry. It can help you identify whether your costs are higher or lower than other businesses. If you're paying yourself too much, consider cutting back and investing those savings into marketing or a new product line. Also consider that your lifestyle may need to change as a start-up founder in order for your business to succeed.


Work with others

When you're running a business, it's important to keep tabs on your money. You should know where it's coming from and where it's going. The easiest way to do this, first things first, is by hiring a bookkeeper or accountant to help you out. This person can keep track of all your transactions and advise you when things look skewed.

You may think you can handle the accounting all on your own, but the truth is that others are often better at noticing patterns than we are; an outsider who isn't as close to the flow of money in and out will be helpful in spotting missteps before they become disasters.

Plus, doing this work yourself takes away from more productive tasks that only you can do (like running a meeting). By outsourcing some of these time-consuming jobs to a trusted partner, you'll be able to focus better and achieve more...Next up: be strong with decision making


Understand your cash flow

Cash flow is the money that flows in and out of your business. It's different from profit, which is the difference between what you spend and what you earn. Cash flow can be positive (there's more cash coming in than going out), or negative (more cash going out than coming in).

To stay on top of your cash flow, understand how much cash you need to run your business, how much cash is coming into your business and what will affect this amount. Having an understanding of these three things will help you forecast the state of your finances at any given time during the year.

This is important because it allows you to make adjustments before there are problems with paying bills. For example: if sales are down for a particular month, this may mean less money being collected from customers for products sold that month. If there isn't enough money coming into the business to cover expenses like rent or payroll, this could cause serious financial issues for your business. Understanding when sales are expected to go up and down can help avoid these issues by allowing you time to plan ahead accordingly.


Lean on your suppliers

Don't be afraid to ask for price breaks when you first start out. Most suppliers are willing to help new businesses get off the ground by offering discounts or payment options, and they understand that strong relationships lead to long-term growth for everyone involved.  Never be shy when it comes to money matters. All you need to do is ask! The worst response you can get is a No. BUT you can also get a Yes so why not ask anyway?


Have a plan B (... and C)

No matter how much you've planned ahead, there's always a chance that something might go wrong with your project. A natural disaster could come through, and knock out power to your business. Or maybe you arrive at work one morning to find that someone has broken into your store, stolen all of your cash registers and set the place on fire. Yes, these are extreme examples, but they actually happened to real businesses in the past year.

The point is: it's smart to plan for the unexpected. Make sure that everyone involved in your business has a backup plan for when things don't go according to plan – and make sure that if you haven't already done so, you have a backup plan for your personal finances as well. After all: if you're going down with the ship, make sure it goes down as comfortably as possible!


In summary:

Understanding your cost structure is vital to your success as a small business owner as it is essential in determining the price at which you sell your product or service. It can also help ensure that you earn a profit and don't inadvertently price yourself out of the market.

Understanding your cost structure is also important when making decisions about the future, such as whether to expand your business. For example, if you decide to open a second location, having information about how much rent costs will allow you to estimate potential rental costs for this second location. Knowing how many employees and what type of equipment is needed per location will help determine employee and equipment costs for the new location. By understanding all these factors, you will be able to make an informed decision regarding whether expansion is a good idea.

In addition, knowing your cost structure enables you to negotiate with suppliers more effectively. For example, if there are several suppliers that offer similar products or services at different prices and all other things are equal (e.g., quality), then cost becomes an important factor when choosing who to buy from. If one supplier's prices are consistently lower than another's but each has offered essentially the same quality products or services for years, it makes sense for you to choose the less expensive option over time because it keeps more money in your pocket so that it could be reinvested into growing or maintaining your business as opposed to being spent on expenses!


Above all, remember that mistakes are not failures! They are teachers, information, guide posts and opportunities. It is best to avoid cash flow problems but when mistakes do happen, don't beat yourself off over it. If your business does shut down, at least now you know what not to do in your next business venture. Dust yourself off, learn from your mistakes and trust me, you will do better next time. 

If you have hit roadblocks, you should get this free ebook. It highlights 3 specific and common mistakes that lead to business cash flow problems and what you specifically need to do to fix it!

You can download your free copy here.  


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Want to run a successful fashion business? Create a proper structure

Want to run a successful fashion business? Create a proper structure

It is important to create a proper structure in your fashion business if you want it to succeed. We've all heard it: "organization is the key to success." It might sound like a cliche but it is true. I've been in the fashion business for a long time and I have coached several fashion entrepreneurs. One of the biggest mistakes I have observed people make when starting out is not creating a proper structure in their business.

You need to know what you want to achieve, and then create a clear path to achieving it. Otherwise, it's just going to be a mess! 
If you can't get your team on the same page, if you don't know what's going on, or if you're just winging it, then you will run into problems.

But here's the thing. Being organized doesn't have to be hard. All it takes is creating a proper structure for your business and following through on it.

But what exactly is a structure? And why is it so important? Let's dive in.



The word "structure" comes from the Latin word struktura, which means "to build or arrange in an orderly manner." And a structure is exactly that. A process or system of organizing things in an ordered way, so that they can be easily understood or accessed. 

Creating a proper structure means putting all of your efforts into making sure that everything is in place for a successful business. This means having a plan for success, hiring the right people to help you out, and making sure those people have everything they need to succeed.

The benefits of creating a proper structure are numerous and include:

- Being able to better manage your team and their workloads

- Being able to make better decisions about where to spend money and how much time should be spent on each project

- Eliminating confusion about what tasks need to be done and when they should be done by

When you make a structure for your business, you're creating an organizational system that helps clarify how things work and how people should interact with each other and the company.

It means having a plan for everything—from how you're going to manage your finances to how you'll handle customer complaints. For example, if you had a structure for sales commissions, you might make it clear who gets paid what, when and why—and how often—as well as what kinds of sales are eligible for commission.

Being organized doesn't have to be that hard. It's about knowing what you want to achieve and then stating the clear paths to achieving them. It can be as simple as documenting the steps involved in handling an order for your product. Or creating a procedural manual for creating a garment so any of your staff can follow the laid-out steps. 



Benefits of having a proper structure

So what are some benefits of having a proper structure? Well…

- It is a clear guide for you and your staff (if any) to follow.

- It reduces confusion by making sure everyone understands how things work and what their role is.

- It saves time by making it easier to find information about processes or policies.

- It increases efficiency by ensuring that all employees are operating on the same page.

-You'll be able to delegate tasks more easily and effectively because everyone will know what their responsibilities are and how they fit into the big picture of your work flow.

-Your team will feel empowered and motivated because they'll have clear direction on what's expected from them and how they can help contribute toward reaching company goals.


How to Create a Proper Structure

You may be wondering how to create a proper structure in your fashion business and I hear you. If you are stuck on where or how to begin, do this quick exercise.

- First write down your goals. I wrote extensively about these in my last 2 posts: Start with why and Write down your goals.

- Then create an overall plan for how your business will grow over time. This will help you figure out how much money you need to raise and how many resources you'll need in order to reach your goals.

- Next, break down that overall plan into smaller steps—like which products or services you'll be offering at different stages of your business's growth—and develop timelines so that each step happens at the right time.

Once you've created this list and action plan, write down everything that needs to happen in order for each item on your list to get done successfully (i.e., who needs to do what by when). Then track their progress.

- If you're a brand new company, once your business has been established for a while (say about two years), consider hiring someone else who, either has the experience running similar businesses or who you can train so they can take over some of those tasks while still allowing some flexibility around where things go next over time.

PS.

If you are completely clueless on how to even begin, then you need to do some research.

- Think about your previous place of work or maybe a big corporation you have visited - say a bank.

- What did you notice? Probably a guard at the door to welcome you and usher you to the right place. A customer services personnel to attend to your enquiry. A form you are meant to complete.

- Ask yourself these questions. Why were all these put in place? The write the steps you went through from getting through the door to leaving. All these are structures you can adopt in your business no matter how tiny your company is.

- Now think carefully... how can you adopt these things you have observed in your business.


Conclusion

A proper structure for your business can mean the difference between success and failure.

When you're starting a new business, it's tempting to just start doing stuff—but you have to think about the long term. You might not be able to see how much time and effort you'll need up front, but you need to be prepared for anything.

How can you create a structure that will help your business succeed? Here are some tips:

1) Get organized. Start by creating a list of all the different things your business needs to do every day. Make sure they're prioritized so that those things that are most important get done first.

2) Create timelines for each task on your list and stick with them! Don't let anything slip through the cracks because then it'll take longer than expected and everything else on your schedule will suffer as well.

3) Don't forget about yourself! Make sure there's time built into this schedule for breaks so that everyone involved stays healthy and happy throughout the day/week/month/year (or however long this project lasts).

If you have any tips, please share them in the comments below. We would love to hear them.


Want to run a successful fashion business? Write down your goals

Want to run a successful fashion business? Write down your goals

When you're running a fashion business, it can be hard to keep track of everything that's going on if you don't write down your goals. It's not just about having great products — you have to find ways to get them in front of potential buyers.

Your fashion business is just like any other business. The only thing that separates you from the rest of the pack is your passion for what you do. You have to have a plan in place if you want to succeed in this industry. You need goals, strategies, and tactics to help increase your sales and grow your business.

Goal setting is a crucial part of running a business. It helps you set and meet your sales targets, and it can also help you improve the way you run your business. If you don't know where you're headed, how will anyone else know?

If you know what your business can do and what you need it to do, then you can make sure it's working toward those goals instead of just wandering around aimlessly. And to do this, you need to write down your goals.


For example, let's say that you want to increase sales by 20% this year. You could set goals for how often you post new products on social media so that there's always something fresh and exciting for followers to see—and hopefully buy!

You could also set a goal for yourself to find new customers each month or week, and make sure that your social media marketing campaign includes links for people who might be interested in buying from your store. Setting goals like these will help keep your business moving forward and help you reach important milestones along the way.


The Preliminaries

First, let's talk about having the end in mind!

If you've never set goals before, or if you're not sure how to go about it, don't worry! I'm here to help and that is this post is about. 

I won't really go down the route of SMART goals. You probably have read them a million times before. Specific, Measurable, Actionable (or Achievable), Reasonable (or Realistic) & Time-bound. If you haven't heard of SMART goals, this article will really help. 

I'm going down a different route and will try and make it as practical as I can.


Start with Why

Let's assume you started your fashion business to make enough sales so you don't run into huge debts. You work full time but your salary isn't enough to pay off your huge loans and as a result decided to set up your fashion business as a side hustle to pay them off.

Or maybe you already even have a fashion business but you are neck deep inn debt. Or all you do is work hard just to pay bills and your debts. 

Now we have an end goal in mind. The reason we set up the business is to pay off our debts, live a better life and get out of the rat race by, say, the end of 2022.


Write down your goals

You may have heard the saying, "You can't hit a target you can't see." It is spot on! If you're in business, then you must set goals and track your progress toward those goals. But how do you do that? And what should your goals be?

It all starts when you write down your goals! Identify what success looks like.

What do you want to achieve? Do you want to increase sales by 10%? Do you want to be able to pay yourself a salary every month? Or do you want to grow your customer base beyond the local area? Whatever it is, write down what success will look like for your business.

Using the example above, the goal is to pay off your debts.

So the next step will be to determine: How much are those debts? 

Once you know the amount, then you know how much you need to make by the end of the year to make enough to pay off the debt. 

If your debt is 100,000, then your goal or target should be to make, maybe 2x that amount in sales so you can make enough money for certain business expenses and to pay off that debt. 

To do that, ask yourself:

- What steps are necessary for making that happen? 

- Which products do you have to create to meet those sales?

- How much money, if any, do you need to invest?

- What kind of marketing campaigns will you use?

These are all questions that need answers before moving forward with any plan of action.


Setting your targets

Running a business is like being in a maze. You could make so many wrong turns along the way that prevent you from reaching the end. But with a clear picture of where you are headed, you can carefully plan how to get there. Like I said in last week's post, if you don't know where you are headed, how will you get there?

Now that you have identified those and determined the products you want to sell to help you achieve those, then the next step is to break down those goals into smaller pieces. This helps make them more manageable and quantifiable—and easier to track over time.

For example: "Increase sales by 10%" could be broken down into "increase sales by 5%" every quarter for three consecutive quarters—and then "increase sales by 5% again" at the end of six months. That way, when someone asks how things are going, all you need to do is to calculate how far you have come and how far it will take to reach the next milestone.

Establishing goals helps you to define your business, and it helps keep you on track. It's no wonder why your goals have to be: 

Specific: i.e clear and easy to understand.

For example, "I will increase my sales by 20%" is specific but not measurable because it doesn't specify what you need to do or how much money you'll be earning.

"I will increase my sales by 200% next year" is specific but not achievable because it's likely too far off in the future (you probably won't have time to think about that big of an increase right now).

When writing down goals for your business plan, try to be as concrete as possible so that everyone can easily understand them later on.

Measurable: Make sure that every metric used in your plan can be measured with numbers—it's up to each person running their own business exactly how they want this part done!

For example: if you want more customers per day then you can measure things like how many visitors came into your store during one day vs another. 

If you want better marketing strategies then maybe look at your total revenue over two quarters compared against last year's numbers; etc.

Make sure at every stage you write down your goals so you can track them.

After writing down your goals and it becomes clearer, then it's time to take action.

  • List the steps you need to take to reach your goals.
  • Make sure your goals are realistic and measurable.
  • Keep track of your progress, and revisit them regularly.

Involve Others

You can take this a step further and get others involved. The more people who are connected to your goal, the more likely they’ll help you meet it. Think about who could help you reach your dream and then make an effort to build those relationships. Ask for help from family and friends, find a mentor or coach, or join a group that supports your goals (like online fashion communities).

You don’t have to go it alone! Connecting with other people who share similar interests or goals will give you strength when times get tough—and they will get tough! It may seem as though all the good things in life happen to other people until something happens that makes us realize: no one is immune from struggle. Don't isolate yourself by keeping all of your dreams close-to-the-vest; instead turn to others for support because they want what's best for you too!


Visualize Your Goals

Next, visualize your goals and the steps you need to take to get there. This is a very powerful way of creating a positive mindset that will help you achieve your goals. Visualize achieving your goals daily, as well as the rewards, benefits and impact they will have on your life.

To do this, close your eyes and picture yourself reaching those milestones in vivid detail. What does it look like? What are you wearing? Who else is with you? Feel how good it feels when this happens—what emotions are coming up for you? When I do this, I feel motivated and excited! 



Celebrate Small Victories

In order to keep yourself motivated, it's important to celebrate small victories. Don't be afraid to reward yourself for the little things and don't let others tell you that your goals aren't realistic or attainable.

For example: If one of your goals was to make 5,000 a month in sales by the end of the year, but instead you made 4,500 this month (which is still great!), then celebrate that achievement! 

You're on track for your goal and can build off of this momentum.


Conclusion

And this pretty much is how you set goals for yourself that keeps you excited about your fashion business. You have to set yourself up for success by setting goals. And more importantly, you have to write down your goals. 

Setting realistic and specific goals will help ensure that they won’t be too easy or too hard to achieve—you don't want them so easy that there's no challenge in completing them, but also not so difficult that they're unattainable!

The best way to do this is by creating measurable objectives with a time frame attached (i.e., "I will have X amount of sales within three months"). This allows us another opportunity at success if we come up short on our first attempt at meeting our target goal.

Instead of giving up hope entirely because things didn't work out exactly as planned, we can revisit our plan after taking some time off from working toward it so we can try again with renewed focus!

Goals are the foundation of any successful business, and running a fashion business is no exception. When you set goals for yourself, you’re making a commitment to achieving something and giving yourself a direction in which to move. You can use this process to help guide your decisions and give yourself an idea of where you want the company or brand to go.

If you haven't written down your goals yet, it's never too late. Start with ONE and let's take it from there. You can share them in the comments below.

Want to run a successful fashion business? Start with Why

Want to run a successful fashion business? Start with Why

If you want to run a successful fashion business, it is important to start with why. 

Over the weekend, I had a coaching session with a bridal designer in Nairobi, Kenya. She was doing well, had no issues with sales and in fact exceeded her target. So why did she book a coaching session with me? She needed help with her operations. She had followed me for years and I'm guessing she knew about my book How to Start a Clothing Factory.

We started the 2-hour session and after taking a few notes, the first question I asked her was 'Why did you start this business?' She was a bit lost so I followed up with the questions 'What did you hope to achieve?' and 'What did you want from this business?'

Still a bit lost, I gave her some examples using myself to help her out.


The 2 WHYs

Most times as business owners, especially creative entrepreneurs, we get caught up in the nitty gritty of creating the perfect product that we lose sight of why exactly we are doing what we are doing. 

Why are you adding that extra bead on that garment? Why are you going for that fashion show? Why do you have to do this yourself? Can you outsource this instead?

Every decision you make has to align with the overall goals you have for your business and YOU! You decided to start this business for a reason. WHY?

Let's assume you started a business because your primary WHY was to spend more time with your family. And then you were faced with a decision of adding an extra bead to a dress you had to deliver to your client. As creative people we just want to do it because it will be perfect in our eyes - and it probably will be. However, in most situations will that decision affect your WHY? 

Ask yourself - will that extra bead really make that much of a difference to your customer? Will they notice? If the answer is No, how much time will it take you to put that extra bead on? Will that prevent you from spending more time with your family?

If it will take you 1 extra hour to do so, then that could mean 1 less hour to spend with your family - which was why you started this business in the first place. So in the grand scheme of things, how important really is that extra bead you want to put on that dress if it makes no difference to the customer but will cost your time? Time that be spent more productively with your family.

The reason the WHY is so important is because it forces us all to think about why we do things. You should not be a slave to your business if that was why you quit your job in the first place.

You can't just start a business and hope that it works out. You need to know what makes sense and what doesn't and have a plan in place that will lead you down the path of success. If you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?

Determining Your WHY

Your WHY is fundamental to the success of your business and for you as a person as well.

For the sake of simplicity, I'll split the WHY into 2 - External & Internal / Personal.  If you focus too much on one, the other suffers so both have to be balanced in the long run. 

Both WHYs should answer the following questions:

- Why did you start the business?

- What was your goal?

- What do you want to achieve?

- What do you want for yourself?

Once you have the answers to both WHYs, then you can structure your business to help you achieve the WHYs. 


The External WHY

 

This is the WHY that talks about your mission. It is the reason that your business exists. It's what drives you every day and motivates you toward success. It's where the roots of your passion lay, and it's crucial for creating a successful brand because it will help keep you going when things get tough. It's what people typically call passion.

The external WHY will help you develop the products and services you need to reach your target audience.

In my case, my External WHY is to give fashion lovers a fast track to fashion business success by helping them navigate the frustrating and lonely world of fashion entrepreneurship and helping them turn their love for fashion into a viable and profitable business.

How do I do this?

By providing affordable and accessible fashion education, coaching and mentoring to enable them live their dreams and the lifestyle they want.

Everything I do is centered around this. By running a digital learning platform, I can reach them where they are just by the click of a button on their phone.

It was pretty for my client to articulate this clearly so we moved on to the other WHY - which directly affected her operations and why she booked the session.


The Internal WHY


This is the part where many of us shortchange ourselves. We do all that work and give up so much without realizing that the reason we set up the business was to help us satisfy our personal objectives. Your Internal WHY has to work hand in hand with your External WHY.

What is the point of running a thriving business without any peace of mind? Where all the money you make is spent on medication. Where you work so hard yet cannot pay yourself a salary now or in the foreseeable future? Where you become a slave to your business because if you dare take a break, everything grounds to a halt and comes crashing down.

To determine her external WHY, my client had to dig deep and answer the following questions:

- WHY was she running the business? 

What were her personal goals when she wanted to start the business? 

- How did she want her present and future to look like? 

- How would her business help her achieve that? 

HOW would this business help her achieve her personal goals.  

ONLY when I knew what her personal WHY and her goals were could we begin to structure her operations to help her achieve it. 

In my situation, I structured Martwayne around my lifestyle. I value my time above anything else and I love to travel. So my goal was to run a business that would allow me the flexibility to work from wherever I was in the world.

Once I knew what I wanted to achieve, I set out to create a structure that would enable my business run on autopilot. I structured the business to ensure:

- customers would get the services they wanted without me being physically present;

- the business could run without me being physically present in a specific location.

I moved my Courses online and outsourced a lot of my work to experts. I just coordinated their efforts. It increased my expenses and I made less money but doing that freed up more of my time. 

For the Clothing Factory, I broke down my production process and outsourced where I could, giving my staff full ownership of their respective areas and I ensured a lot of the initial processes were done virtually. I wrote it all in my ebook How to Start a Clothing Factory.

The result? Clients didn't need to see me, the core of the work such as the pattern making was done by an expert so the fit was always near-perfect with minor alterations to the sample, the machinists did their work because there was a process, students didn't even know who I was but their feedback on their learning was excellent - which meant the instructors were doing a great job. I was able to travel for 3 months and the business continued in my absence. And after that, a whole year and business still continued in my absence.

Needless to say because I had created a digital learning platform before Covid hit, moving entirely online was an easy transition. Of course I hadn't planned on Covid but it all worked out. 


With this example, she had a light bulb moment and was able to clearly articulated her internal WHY. Once we both knew what the end goal was, we developed a clear blue print for her factory which she will start implementing today.


What about YOU? What is your WHY?

I speak to lots of fashion entrepreneurs who are frustrated in their businesses. I've been there so I know how tough it can be. Like many others, I focused on the External WHY and totally neglected the Internal WHY. I found myself working so hard with nothing to show for it. Everyone else was happy but I was miserable. Until I decided enough was enough and went back to the drawing board. 

Maybe you started your business because you wanted to do what you loved. But it goes just beyond what you love. When the realities of running a business, such as constant bills and salaries with no matching revenue, hit you in the face you begin to reconsider why you are doing what you are doing. 

Or maybe your business is very profitable like many of my clients but you cannot take a break. Eventually you also begin to get miserable because you have missed the mark. You must know what the end goal is right from the very beginning so you can plan your entire structure to achieve that goal.

Think about what matters most to you. Think about the WHY. If your business doesn’t help you achieve your WHYs and your goals, then it might be time to reevaluate things or at least figure out how to change its structure.

If your goal is to travel and take as many vacations as you wish like me, then structure your business around that goal. That will be your driving force.

If your goal is to make enough money so you can take care of your aged parents who gave up everything to give you a great life, then structure your business in such a way that ensures you pay yourself a salary so you can do just that.

If you want more money and freedom, then focus on charging more for your work and working less, which means you can decide to have fewer clients but charge more money. 

Simon Sinek put this perfectly in his book 'Start with Why'. In a story comparing how the Japanese and the Americans built cars in an assembly line , he wrote that the Japanese:

'engineered the outcome they wanted from the beginning. If they didn't achieve their desired outcome, they understood it was because of a decision they made at the start'.


If you know what your WHY is, I'd love to hear them. Do share them in the comment section below. 

If you're not sure yet, don't worry! That's what this post is all about: helping you figure it out using my examples. I'm here to help you find real success.

If you need more in-depth guidance on how to structure your business to make more revenue and live the life and have the freedom you have always dreamed, click on the Whatsapp button to book a coaching session with me.

You are not alone in this journey and you don't have to be. So let's get started!



My passion is to make the whole fashion business simple and inexpensive for designers by sharing knowledge, tools and resources to help designers and fashion entrepreneurs discover their true potential so they can live the lives of their dreams.

Temi Williams ‧ Founder, Martwayne

 

HOW TO CREATE YOUR BUYER PERSONA

HOW TO CREATE YOUR BUYER PERSONA

4 Important Sources You Need To Create

Your Buyer Persona

 

Now that you know what a customer persona is, what you need to include, now let’s talk about how you can get the information you need.

 Fashion is very dynamic and consumers are definitely using more clothes for a less period of time, Why you may ask?

Simply because they have more options!!! And are more informed, so if they don’t feel a brand connects with them, they just find another! So you want to start your research from your customers.

You could consider;

  •  Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Digital Channel Analytics
  • Sales Data
  • Customer Reviews/ Feedbacks

Now let’s discuss 4 of these sources  

 

#1 Surveys

If for instance, you are trying to introduce a new service or modify your branding, policies, etc sending a survey to people in your database will help you know the opinion of your audience even before you embark on the project.

These could give you insights into how to go about the project when to launch the new concept or even place it on hold. 

Gap Inc. for instance introduced a new logo in 2010, only to receive some backlash from the consumers and within one week, the logo was pulled down.

Perhaps if Gap Inc. had conducted a survey, the money spent on re-branding could have been invested into something more profitable.

 

#2 Interviews:

Conduct an interview with people who will be willing to give you insights into the questions discussed in (this article). Such people may include; Your existing customers, old customers, as well as people you suspect might be your customer.

Doing this will be accurate and help you to truly know your audience.

 

#3 Digital Channel Analytics:

Virtually all digital channels have analytics in them, which can enable you to study what is happening on your website. Google Analytics, for instance, can show your the following details:

  • Demographics Overview
  • Age range to target
  • Gender with the most and least conversion
  • Age/ Gender and Interests
  • Device /network
  • Location
  • New / Regular users
  • Keywords and pages the user interacts with
  • Source of the user

In some cases, you can get real-time data such as the actions performed by the user while online. Eg scrolls, clicks, etc.

Hence, studying your analytics can help you know who you are targeting. Is it different from the audience in your sales data? Or perhaps your survey forms say otherwise. Then you can reposition your brand appropriately.

 

#4 Customer Reviews/ Feedback:

Here is another inexpensive way to get information from your audience. From your reviews, you can get the following information.

  • Who they are
  • Their interests
  • Expectations
  • Frustrations
  • The reason they have decided to be loyal to you.

On a final note, remember the purpose of this is to know who your ideal customers are, where to find them, and the appropriate content to provide for them at each stage of the Buyer’s journey. This, therefore, implies that you need to avoid making decisions based on guesses as much as possible.

Enjoyed reading this article? Check out more articles from our blog.

Join Our Business Webinars every Thursday, @ 8 pm WAT, live on Instagram where Professionals share fantastic tips and tricks to help your business grow.

 

Recommended Resources

 How To Increase Sales Online

How To Create Your Ideal Customer Avatar

Adopting Technology In Your Fashion Business

 

 

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