Moving from paid employment to entrepreneurship can be both scary and exciting at the same time. The idea that you are going to be your own boss and not work under anyone again is exciting, but the fear of what is ahead can be quite scary. This is why preparing properly for the transition is crucial.
Actions like drawing up a business plan and carrying out market research must be done before starting your fashion business. Apart from these, there are certain other things you must pay attention to to better prepare for the road ahead. Here they are;
Tips for Transitioning From Employee to Entrepreneur
1. Save up
Money is the fuel that drives any business. You might have the passion, skills, and ideas to make your fashion business thrive, but if you have no money, it will fail.
Before leaving your 9-5 job and jumping on the uncertain bandwagon of entrepreneurship, make sure you have saved up enough money to start. Don’t leave your job and start searching for funds to live off and use to sustain your business.
You should have saved up about 6 months worth of living expenses for yourself so you are not forced to go back to the corporate world because you can’t survive. Since most startup fashion businesses take a while to make a profit, you should have some funds to fall back on.
2. Start Your Fashion Business as a Side Hustle First
Sometimes, starting your fashion business as a side hustle first might be the best option for you. Depending on the type of fashion business you went to venture into, for example, an online fashion retailing business, you might want to consider being more established in the business first before leaving your 9-5 job.
Starting your fashion business as a side hustle first also gives you the space to plan properly, learn from your mistakes, and carry out projects, like building a fashion website, that will require money without much stress.
3. Build Your Reputation
In this age of online shopping, many fashion customers are wary of falling into the hands of scammers that might take their money and never deliver their order. This is why building a reputation first before launching head-on into business is important.
From the network of family, friends, mentors, and colleagues that you have, you can start to build a reputation for yourself. Getting testimonials from them about your fashion business and posting it on your social media platforms and website can make people trust you more.
Also, committing to excellence and always delivering what you say you’ll deliver when you say you’ll deliver it, can go a long way in helping you build a great reputation in the fashion industry.
4. Get ready to Handle Multiple Roles
Except you have a truckload of money somewhere, when starting your fashion business, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to hire an assistant to work with you. You need to learn to do everything by yourself, from marketing the business to shipping out orders, everything falls at your feet.
You will need to learn certain skills that you never thought you’d learn and you need to learn from other entrepreneurs as well. As you grow in business and become more experienced, you can begin to hire and train others to work under you.
5. Set up Work Structures
Not working in an organisation that is run by someone does not mean that you would throw basic work structures out of the window. You need to find ways to discipline yourself and stick to work structures that will profit your business and make you sit up.
You must set working hours and days for yourself so you know when you should be working and when you should take a break from work. Also, have a schedule you work with and do not ever take on more work than you can handle.
Another thing to note if you are running your fashion brand from home is that you need a dedicated workspace. Allocate a quiet workspace for yourself, away from distractions so you can focus on building your brand.
6. Learn What to do With Your Money
As an entrepreneur, there are months when you will make a lot of money and months when you will make no money at all. So, you need to learn what to do with your money.
From bookkeeping to filing tax returns, you need to become literate about managing finances in your fashion business.
7. Be Prepared for Stress
Working as a fashion entrepreneur means you have to handle many things to ensure the success of your business. You’re going to be in charge of sales, customer service, finance, social media management, marketing, and so on.
As your business grows, all of these are sure to amplify and you have to handle it all head-on. You’ll most likely find yourself working longer hours than when you were in paid employment and you will try to work harder to increase profits.
While these are good, they can lead to a breakdown. To reduce the stress on you, try to schedule your tasks, work with preset objectives and address tasks one at a time. This can prove to greatly help you start organised, less stressed and eliminate procrastination.
8. Embrace Mistakes and Failures as Part of the Process
Every business owner makes mistakes and sometimes experiences failures, they are inevitable in business. As a new fashion entrepreneur, many obstacles will arise in your way.
It could be that a competitor stole your idea, one of your products failed to sell, your supplier delivered the wrong product or you messed up a client’s order. Whatever it is, you need to remember to embrace these challenges and learn from them because they make you a stronger, wiser, and more capable fashion entrepreneur.
Do not let any of this sway you, however, just remember that there is no perfect time to leave paid employment and you need to think things through properly before launching into entrepreneurship. In all of this, remember to move at a pace you’re comfortable with, learn through the journey and enjoy the ride.