So, you have creative ideas for your fashion brand and are looking to start a fashion business soon or might have already launched. If yes, that’s wonderful but that stage you’re in is a delicate one.
An overwhelming number of fashion businesses fail during the first two years of operation, and roughly half of all of them don’t survive past the fifth year. These brands launch with so much enthusiasm and fire, but when you check back in a year or two, they seem like they’re barely surviving.
How do you successfully launch and grow your fashion business? By avoiding these five rookie mistakes;
1. Launching without learning, research & proper planning
I know you might be tempted to ‘wing it’ and start with whatever you think will be fast-selling, but that’s not the way to go about it. If you’re going to succeed in business, you need to do proper research and planning. Start by educating yourself about the fashion industry, learn about the creative, technical, and business side of fashion. Study other fashion businesses, find out where they excel, where they are lacking, and then you can now come up with a solid plan.
2. Trying to be for everyone
When it comes to business, you can’t please everyone, don’t even try to. Find out the gaps that exist in the market and select a niche. When you’ve decided on what your niche and target market is, make sure you stick to it. A large target market doesn’t necessarily translate to more customers, you might just spread yourself thin and under-deliver, so don’t be tempted to change your target market every 3 months because you think a different one is better.
3. Start out too big
You don’t have to start with 30 styles, a professional photoshoot, or a big fancy store in Victoria Island, especially if all your money will be going into it. You need money to run and scale the business; if you expend all the money at the start, the business might crash and burn.
4. Underpricing or overpricing your products
Pricing is a powerful yet overlooked pillar of every fashion business. Alot of new fashion business owners make the mistake of pricing their products too low, hoping to increase it after they get alot of customers. However, this plan usually backfires. You need to find the right price point, either by calculating or using a pricing tool. We have an affordable pricing calculator that does the job effectively.
It not only helps you know exactly how much to charge your customer but also enables you to analyze discounts, track expenses, and set targets for yourself. Awesome right?!
5.Failing to invest in marketing
The business world today isn’t what it was five years ago, there are thousands of fashion brands coming up with products just like you are. To reach your customers, you need to invest in marketing and brand awareness. They can’t find you where you are, that’s why you need to go to them. There are a variety of marketing strategies you can implement such as influencer, affiliate, email, referral, and social media marketing. Pick anyone you think will be the right for your brand and get started. What other mistakes do you see new fashion business owners making? Let us know in the comments.
If you want to learn how to build and grow a successful fashion business, we have online fashion courses you should enroll in.
Image from http://scoopak.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Salary-of-the-Month-Funny-HD-Wallpapers.jpg
I thought this picture was hilarious when I saw it. But the reality for many of us business owners is not that funny. Many of us are struggling to keep the business afloat that the last thing on our minds is getting paid at the end of the month!
I personally dread month-ends – and I am sure every business owner does to. In fact this is the only time I wish I was still working for obvious reasons. That is when your bank account that you have struggled to build up during the month takes the hardest hit! Can be pretty destabilizing. And the worst thing is, it has to happen every month! ;-(
And like there is nothing even more worse than the worst thing, YOU – the person who does most of the work does not get paid! 🙁 🙁 🙁
And even more worse than what is worse than the worst thing – you get accused by so-called business-people of dipping into the business funds to try and maintain your basic needs. Yes can be quite frustrating right?!
NOW! Don’t get me wrong…
Image from http://www.careerealism.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Negotiate-Salary-Without-Pricing-Yourself-Out-Of-The-Job.jpg
Many small business owners are guilty of that because many lack discipline. Many fail to distinguish between personal funds and business funds. Heck! In fact many do not even have corporate bank accounts and those who do are not disciplined enough to ensure every inflow goes straight to the bank account. No wonder at the end of the month, you have have no idea where all the money you made went to.
Anywayz… the time to pay salaries is coming up soon enough and yet again business owners will shortchange ourselves yet again. Many have asked me this question and I have posted it in a Facebook group once so I thought I should post something on how to pay yourself a salary without feeling guilty at the end of the month.
I have literally copied and pasted it (with of course some edits). This worked for me in the early days and hopefully it will work for you as well.
Image from http://www.centonomy.com/salary-does-it-work-for-you/
“On the personal / business finances, this is my take on it.
Many accuse business owners of dipping into the company’s purse but I can safely tell you it is the business that actually takes from you. I put every dime I had into my business. If I wanted to be strict, I would say other sources should go to me directly not into my business. It does not work that way. Those who say they never touched a dime probably had people footing other bills for them.
This is what I tell people and my students who ask me for advice.
1. Every business income must go straight into the account. For that reason, I hardly take cash and ask people to pay directly into the account.
2. The truth is, you can never really pay yourself salary until you get to a point because you will only end up using it for a business expense.
3. Determine how much salary you think you deserve and then also give yourself a realistic nominal value based on what your business can afford. Eg. You are a CEO so maybe your salary should be n750k per month BUT your business can only afford N50k. That extra 700k should be recorded in the books as what your company is owing you which will help give a basis for the valuation of your business should you want to go limited and sell some shares.
4. With that 50k, you will probably still use some of it for the business so it is a tall order so this is what I do.
I don’t spend much on myself so it is easy for me to track my finances. I have a book I record it in.
If I ask my assistant to get some petty cash for the office and say I ask him to buy me something to eat on the way back, I will record that expense as a personal one in my book.
At the end of the month, I will compute all personal expenses and if it exceeds that 50k, I know next month, I must take out that extra. Simply put, if I have overspent by say 20k the previous month, this means I can only do say 30k personal expense this month and vice versa. If I have not spent up to 50k, it means the office owes me but rather than take it as cash, I add to that 700k.
It takes a lot of discipline but it does work. That way you do not feel guilty when your salary pays for a sausage roll or a movie ticket. After all, why am I working if the business cannot meet my needs.
I am not talking about 250k Gucci bag needs o. I used to be a Jewellery person before but I don’t do much Jewellery anymore because I am running a lean means approach to everything.
If I need something that I cannot afford, I ask for it. I will pray about it and put it on social media and funny enough, a friend obliges. That’s how I got my iPad mini as a wedding gift and so many other things I use in my business – things I would not have bought for myself. I am never shy to ask if I need something. Worst case scenario, I will get a NO.
But I am allowed to enjoy the fruits of my hard labour. I feel if your business cannot meet your basic personal needs, then you are not running a business!”
That is what works for me! Remember, DISCIPLINE is key! You MUST go around with a pen and paper ALL THE TIME and do not say, oh I will update it later. When you withdraw from the ATM, write it down in the book and state what exactly you use it for real time. Whilst buying petrol, write it in. Whilst on the bus, write it in. You will be better off for it.
You can get something this small that costs N300 or so. It needs to be small enough so it does not weigh down your bag.
And each page must have: Date / Description / Amount. If yours is big enough, you can add vendor (i.e. who you gave the money to). NOTE that this does not replace your company’s expense register. You should reconcile this with the company’s. I include both corporate and personal expenses in this one and do a reconciliation when I can.
Okay! I think I am done with this! Please feel free to ask questions if you have any and I will be happy to help you out – preferably in the comments section below. It would be great if you help others out with your questions so everyone learns from it. I often find people asking me questions privately and I wish they could post it on the site instead.
Before I leave… I think you should read this piece I stumbled upon when looking for a picture…
I thought it made a lot of sense.
Enjoy the rest of the month and wish me a HAPPY BIRTHDAY in advance! 😀
The fashion industry is crowded and very competitive, it can be difficult to distinguish your brand from others and attain a certain level of success. ⠀
Here are five ways to build buzz for your fashion brand, so you can thrive in the competitive pack.⠀
1. Run a creative giveaway ⠀
Giveaways have proven to be one of the most successful methods to create buzz for businesses. It will help you increase the awareness and reach for your brand, leading to rapid growth.⠀
2. Pitch and connect with influencers ⠀
You can team up with a group of influencers & bloggers. This will help with great organic content, build buzz for your business and it will also help boost sales.⠀
3. Be Social ⠀
It’s not enough to just post on social media and forget about it. Social media is active all the time, so make sure you’re consistently engaging with your audience & potential customers.⠀
4. Partner ⠀
Don’t go about it alone, partner with other brands (not direct competitors) to help expose your business to new audiences.⠀
5. Run a promotion ⠀
People love sales & promotions you don’t necessarily have to give away your products for free. Think about a creative promo your customers will find interesting or relevant and implement it.⠀
Can you think of more creative ways to build buzz for your fashion brand? Share with us in the comments.⠀
P.S. Do you know we offer Online Courses in Sewing and Patternmaking courses, Fashion Entrepreneurship Courses, Sewing Techniques for Perfect Finishing and Creative Patternmaking Courses? And you can register anywhere in the world! ⠀
Visit our website at www.martwayne.com or WhatsApp 08143402567 to learn more.⠀