When a fashion entrepreneur decides to start a fashion business but starts for the wrong reasons, the business has already been positioned for failure from the onset. Statistics show that 60% of new businesses die within their first 3 years of operation. From working with fashion businesses at Mauvelli, we have identified 5 wrong reasons that are prevalent among entrepreneurs that want to start a fashion brand.
Why we have categorized these launch reasons as wrong is because they fail to help the founder think about business profitability and sustainability in the short and long term.
Launching the fashion brand with any of the 5 reasons listed below as the major motivator will set the business up for failure.
So, whether you are about to launch your fashion business or you already are in business, read on to make sure you are not running your brand for the wrong reasons. Even if you started with the wrong motivation, there is hope for your fashion business. Read on to find how to reposition your fashion business for sustainability, growth and make more profits.
1. You started your fashion business to be your own boss
Wanting to be your own boss and be free from having to answer to anyone is one of the wrong reasons to start a fashion business. Even if you hate your job and you think your boss is unreasonable, the solution is not to launch a business. As enticing as starting a business can be just to gain that extra freedom is, don’t do it.
As a fashion entrepreneur, you have to realise that even when you are your own boss, you will still have to answer to people. It could be your investors, business partners, or customers. They now become a form of boss or accountability partner to you. You will also have to deal with suppliers that might be as difficult to handle as your boss is.
Also, have you ever considered the fact that your boss might be the way he/she is because of all the responsibilities they have? They have to meet company targets, handle staff, generate revenue, and so on. As a fashion entrepreneur, you will have to handle all of these and more when you become a boss. All of this can eventually lead you to become like that boss you hate.
Instead of wanting to start a business to be your own boss, you can try learning empathy, compassion, and emotional intelligence. Without them, you would not be able to effectively work under a boss or be your own boss. Even if you still do choose to leave your job and become a fashion entrepreneur, you would know how better to deal with people.
2. You Want to Work Fewer Hours
Many people have the misconception that becoming an entrepreneur means working for fewer hours. The idea of escaping the rat race and determining your own work hours can seem very appealing. This idea proves even more tempting when you feel like you need a vacation and a lot of time away from your job.
However, while it is true that as a fashion entrepreneur, you get to set your work hours, you do not get to work fewer hours. This is especially the case in the beginning months or years of your fashion business. You are a new business trying to make headway in the fashion industry so you need to put in the work.
As a startup fashion entrepreneur, you will most likely have to handle most of your business operations by yourself. You will be your own salesperson, customer service agent, marketer, production team, and so on. If you care more about resting than satisfying your customers’ needs and putting your fashion business out there, it will die an early death. Starting and growing a successful fashion business is time-consuming.
You must realise that growing a successful business takes a lot of focus, patience, and hard work. Even though you might eventually get to start working fewer hours as your business grows, it will take a while. So, if your only reason for wanting to launch a fashion business is to work fewer hours daily, take a break. Get some time off work, relax, and have some rest. You need it.
3. You want to make more money so you start a fashion brand
Wanting to make more money and be rich is not bad. Making money is a legitimate reason for starting a business. However, if this is your sole purpose for launching a fashion business, then think again. It makes up the pool of wrong reasons for starting a fashion business. No business has ever become successful by having a mission and vision that is focused solely on making money.
As a fashion entrepreneur, you need to be ready to work hard knowing that your business might pick up slowly. If your only motivation is money, you might get discouraged when things start out slow and quiet. Also, lots of challenges will come at you on your entrepreneurial journey that only passion and resilience can push through.
If your focus is mainly on money, you may find that you will begin to make decisions that will not favour your business in the long run. You will also be highly dissatisfied and stressed when you don’t meet your target numbers. All of these may eventually lead to the downfall of that business.
Always check and ensure that you have a solid mission and vision for starting your business. If you can only think of money, then don’t do it. Also, look inwards, and see if you have good money management skills and are ready to stay without a steady inflow of cash for a while. If these are missing then don’t do it.
4. You Want to Jump on the Entrepreneurial Bandwagon
We live in a world where being an entrepreneur is encouraged and many entrepreneurs do make it big. This alone can spur anyone to want to take that entrepreneurial journey. But, you should never launch your fashion business because others are doing it and succeeding at it. It is a bad idea.
You might have heard that fashion entrepreneurship is a lucrative venture and people are succeeding at it, but that is not enough reason to jump into it. For this reason, you will most likely run into mistakes that you could have avoided had you sat to think it through properly.
Also, wanting to create jobs with your fashion business is not enough reason to start. That is a noble cause but not good enough. If this is your motivation, you will be highly unlikely to make good business judgements. You will want to shy away from firing staff and might tend to look over certain incompetencies your employees have. Don’t do it.
Before you take that leap, think through everything and see if you have a valid reason for wanting to launch a fashion business. This requires you to do lots of market research and background work in the business of fashion. If you find that it is too much for you then don’t do it.
5. You Don’t Like How Your Tailor Sews
This is a very common reason with many fashion entrepreneurs. While it can be frustrating to constantly have your tailor ruin your outfits, it shouldn’t be your main reason for launching out on your own. Fashion entrepreneurship is hard work and one that requires dedication and lots of skill.
It might be true that you might know how to sew amazingly well and always get compliments for your work, but do you know all the other aspects of entrepreneurship. Do you know how to manage a business properly? What about how to set goals for your business? Have you ever thought about the main problem your fashion brand will be solving beyond yours? Are you ready to make sacrifices for your business?
All of these are very valid questions to consider before launching a fashion business. There are so many aspects to entrepreneurship and you don’t want to start and find yourself sinking. So, before deciding to start your fashion business because your tailor does his/her job badly, think again.
As you think over it, educate yourself on different aspects of running a business. Learn about money and time management and how to keep customers happy and loyal to your business. If you find that all of these don’t interest you then you might need to hold on with your entrepreneurship plans. You can also just get a new tailor to make your outfits for you.
If any of these reasons are your main reason for wanting to launch your fashion business then you must think again. They are wrong reasons and your business will not stand the test of time with them. Instead, sit and think of better reasons to launch that fashion brand. Remember, that in these seas of wrong reasons for starting a fashion business, right reasons still exist.
So, why should you start a fashion business?
One of the prime reasons to start a fashion business must be to make a steady profit from the brand. Yes, we know it is noble to say “I am not in this for the money”, but that mindset will kill your business faster than lightning.
To quote, Esther Bankyu, the Founder of Preggy Fashion, “It is better to start an NGO or a Social Enterprise if making money is not one of your uppermost reasons for starting a fashion business.
Look at it this way, you will need money to buy materials, rent an office space, buy fashion equipment, pay staff, pay yourself, continually learn new skills and do a lot of other things that your business needs. Your business has to make money in order to do all of these things well and grow.
If you want to reposition your fashion brand and increase its chances of success, then you need to be strategic with your fashion business development. Reach out to us now at Mauvelli and book a Fashion Business Development service for your business.