How to set up, manage fashion design business. For those with cash, there is no business you cannot invest your money-irrespective of technical requirements.
One of the thriving businesses is fashion design. There is huge opportunity for well thought fashion house.
Now, investing in fashion design business is in top gear, the rave of the moment among women folks in particular.
Due to increasing use of mobile phones to taking pictures, everybody is striving harder to look good. To entrepreneurial designed minds, that is a business.
What is new is this: both men and women have for the first time embraced the competition as per who does it better.
That is money spinning business if you could package and target your niche with very beautiful design concept.
Here is the gist, fashion design business is a good side hustle and a beautiful source of income. If you are in this business, you have to be agile, creative and unpredictable.
More so, investing is at the heart of wealth creation. Unlike in the Dark Age, you don’t necessarily need to be skilled in a particular business before you put your money to work.
Then, look around, you would probably observe that those rich dudes, the industrialists have well diversified business. Were they trained in all endeavours? Guess the answer!
Where are Nigerians making their money from? Take home takes nobody home again.
In a strategy session with people looking at developing interest as vocational entrepreneurs, Ogochukwu Ndubuisi, Head, Marketing Research and Strategy at LSintelligence Associates reeled out some dos and don’ts to be successful.
She said: “Fashion industry is growing, fast. It is important to note that the sector has various sub-sectors that make the whole.
Fashion designing and garment construction in particular is big. Makeup, shoes and bags accessories are part of where you can look into.
“We must wear clothes as human, for example. So, there will always be demand, Ogochukwu stated
In reaction to how to set up, manage a fashion design business, Ogochukwu said, “Fashion design and garment construction is a good business for those that have interest.
However, this is not really for docile person as it involves constant thinking, updating and high level of creativity to be successful.
As you know, from our immediate environment, you can easily distinguish tailors from fashion designers”.
According to her; “designing take you an extra step higher. It also demands some cash outlay compare with tailoring”.
In her advice to “wannabe” fashion entrepreneurs, she said; “As usual, starting any venture comes with certain problems or challenges as you may call it.
Solving problems is a business that many consultants live on. They just love to solve problems. If you want to start a fashion business, what are the things that you really need to put into consideration or know?
Gather Knowledge, gain requires skills
Just have an idea. You may also hire people. Like any other trades or venture, your understanding of the business is important. Fashion design is an art, a craft that goes beyond some high level automation.
Even if you want to use some sort of artificial intelligence to design and sow clothes for your customers or sell at the open market, you must have been properly trained.
Like a medical practice, you cannot carry out surgery except you are certified surgeon.
The same goes here. First, go and learn fashion design. Your understanding of the processes that leads to construction of well design clothing is the first thing the market will respect. Make sure you are good at it.
It won’t really matter if you are good at clothing design, and construction if you don’t have equipment to use.
You need cash to buy machines and tools. Where would the money come from? You have to know the amount that is needed first.
That means, all the equipment that you will need must be listed and price attached. You cannot afford to work into market without adequate plan in place.
Where would the money come from? Normally, the best way to begin a business is to use ones savings over time.
It is therefore advisable that you start saving while you are in fashion institute. If you are an investor, funding issue is key to taking decision.
As a trainee, there is possibility that you will have access to make small amounts from time to time.
Keep saving it. By the time you graduate, you will have something to use in addition to other support you might get.
Put everything in plan. You can also get loans. Though, this is not advisable for a business that is just starting.
Interest rate obligation could be burdensome, and erode your profitability then stress will set in. However, you can try to share equipment.
Finding funding from the Bank of Industry and other related sources have become much easier, that would be sorted out in the next article.
Using others machineries
One thing about staying among people is that; it helps you connect with people.
If you know one or two people in the industry, get close to them to use their machines and tools base on mutual agreement.
In fact, offer to serve them in return for an opportunity to use their machines and tools for jobs you collect from people that want you to sow clothes for them.
Get Quality Tools, equipment
Your tools and machineries determine to a greater extent quality of clothing that you will be churning out.
You must be willing to buy good machine with latest technologies.
Other tools for knitting and sowing that will make your design work neat and eye-catching is important to your success.
Design qualities you present to potential customers as your handiwork determine acceptability and trial.
First time impression, they say it last longer. It is important be quality oriented, and then sustaining it is a lifetime assignment.
Identify your market, and communicate
If you don’t tell people that you are here, some decades after, they might not really know.
After you identify those people that are potential customers, communicate with them. Show them your catalogue. Those clothes you design and personally worked on.
This is very much easier now with social media. Make sure it is something appealing, interesting and something that meet your audience needs.
You have only one moment, that moment that they give you attention to make an impression. Ensure you do it right. You may not have another chance for that mini-exhibition.
Right cost, good pricing
Except you know how much it will cost you to sow, you may either over or under charge your potential customers.
If you are trying to impress someone, you may be tempted to set a low price.
But let the target customers know your charge is lower for a chance to proof what you can do. What about existing customers?
The thing is, customers want the best quality goods or service at lowest possible price.
Do not allow customers to pay for your inefficiency, they always know eventually, and you may lose them forever.
Especially when they find another designer that can sow quality design at cheaper rate. Charge right.
You can’t charge right unless…
You know your customers. It is that simple, you cannot charge the right amount for your work unless you understand customers’ ability to pay.
It is called know your customers or customers profiling. There are customers that are price sensitive.
Some are not. Good quality design and clothing construction at acceptable price. Therefore, try to get to know your target market and their buying behaviour.
Build your brand
Market is a no respecter of any brand. Nokia was pushed out, just as Black Berry even with all the work over.
Market doesn’t tolerate lateness. It is either you are in the market just in time, or you sell at night.
There are people that can design better than Gucci, TM and the like in Nigeria. It is not exaggeration. Boom! They don’t have brand identity.
If you want to sell like top brands, and set the class of people that patronise your fashion house, you must be willing to build your brand to that level. It starts with brand collateral.
Do your logo, have your colour set aside, flood your design on social media page, and build up gallery on your website with pictures and designs.
Hype, talk and communicate with people daily about your products and services.
By Ogochi Ndubuisi