Running a fashion business can be hard. In day-to-day management, you may get so accustomed to the norm that you overlook what you need to actively watch out for.
Whether you are an established designer, or just setting up your fashion store, you need to watch out for these 5 issues that have the potential to negatively affect your fashion business.
- Your business cannot run in your absence
To successfully run a fashion business in Nigeria, your business must be able to survive independently of yourself.
When your fashion business is centred around you, it limits its ability to grow. When you function as the cutter, pattern drafter, tailor and social media manager, you would begin to get fatigued and this will impact negatively your business.
To successfully run your fashion business, you must first recognise that you need help, then go ahead to hire the right people to make your business operations function more efficiently.
You also need to be intentional about training your staff and grooming them in the day-to-day activities. This way, they will develop a sense of responsibility towards the business and will be able to keep it running even in your absence.
- You are Not Solving a Problem
If your brand is not solving a problem, it will soon cease to exist. A common denominator of every successful fashion business is their consistency in creating outfits that meet specific needs.
As a fashion business owner, you must understand that people buy solutions and not just fancy dresses or trendy pieces. People buy solutions to their problems. So, you need to ask yourself what solution your brand is delivering.
Are you solving the problem of a corporate worker who is looking for affordable office clothes? Are you solving the problem of a pregnant woman who is looking for comfortable clothes?
Whatever it is, identify a problem, solve it, and let people know what you are solving, and they will buy from you.
- You are underestimating the power of Customer Service
As a business owner, one foundational thing you must always remember is that people are not only spending money on a product or service. They are equally buying the experience. Customer service is the one thing that separates mediocre businesses from excellent ones.
If your fashion business is consistently ignoring customer service, soon you won’t have any customers to sell to. In the same vein, you should also understand that a balance is necessary here. Great customer service with substandard products also puts your business at risk.
Every day you show up to work, do it with the goal of being the best both in product and in service delivery.
- You are Overselling
If the only communication that your business is sending out is centred around buying clothes, then your business will struggle.
The biggest consumer brands in the world understand the power of storytelling. If you want to build your fashion business beyond where it currently is, you must know how to tell stories too.
Generally, customers are more loyal to brands that they identify with. If your customers identify with your brand and are well aware of all that it stands for, then you have won a place in their hearts.
To do your fashion business better, you must improve your storytelling strategies. You can do that by:
- Letting them in on why you started in the first place
- Share your creative process with them
- Involve them in certain decision-making processes
- You are not consistent
Success is not for those who are comfortable with being a one-hit-wonder. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Two of the most important qualities required to build a successful fashion brand are patience and consistency.
Instead of getting complacent, your business wins should push you to raise the bar higher. In your product quality, this can look like staying committed to sourcing for high-quality fabrics, or finishing your outfits well. In your service quality, it can look like implementing better ways to serve your customers daily, or finding reliable delivery partners and sticking with them.
On a final note, having these five issues sorted is the first step in building a sustainable fashion business in Nigeria. The most popular and successful Nigerian fashion brands today are those that have been able to think about and solve these issues effectively.
As a bonus tip, having your finances properly managed is a major key to business growth. At Dukka, we understand that hiring a professional to handle accounting for your small business will come at a huge cost to you, so we created a free software to do it for you instead.
To help your bookkeeping journey, we created the Dukka app to help you manage all your business records in one place. Get started here