Starting a fashion business in Nigeria can sometimes seem like a very daunting task especially because there are so many fashion entrepreneurs everywhere. Even though it might seem that way, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Many fashion entrepreneurs have started their fashion businesses with no money and most of these people started from home.
Last week, we reviewed a video by Ada-Uju of Stitchadress on how to avoid underpayment as a tailor/fashion designer, and, this week, we reviewed a video by Kemi Omorogbe of Kemafrik on ‘How to Start a Fashion Business from Home’. In it, she shared practical tips on how she started her fashion business from home.
The video aims to teach fashion entrepreneurs steps to take in starting and running a successful fashion business from home.
This video review will cover;
- useful points fashion entrepreneurs can learn from,
- important points missed out,
- the relevance of the information provided to fashion entrepreneurs.
How to Run a Fashion Business from Home.
To start a fashion business, the first thing you need is not a shop space. Waiting to get a shop space first before you start can limit you and hold you back.
You can start the business from any space you have at home and with the basic fashion design tools you have. The most challenging season of any business is the first 6 to 12 months because that is the incubation period of the business.
In this period, you might not have enough clients or funds to run the business and getting a shop space will increase your overhead cost. With starting from home, also, you will get clients that will stay with you when you can finally afford a space.
Steps to Take in Starting a Fashion Business from Home.
1. Be Skilled and Ready.
As a freelance fashion designer, you must have the necessary skills to start your business. Get all the training and skills you need. Your first set of clients will be the ones to refer you to others so you need to make a good impression on them.
Apart from the craft side of fashion design, you need business and digital skills. You can enrol for online classes and get these skills without having to travel about.
You need these skills to manage your business and social media presence properly so that when you need them you can apply them.
2. Approach Your Business with Seriousness.
The fact that you are working from home does not take away the seriousness of the work you do. You need to handle it like you are at a shop.
You should have a resumption, closing, and break time. Never leave the running of your business to how you feel and apply structure to it.
3. Have Your Basic Tools Ready.
You need a sewing machine, a cutting table, pattern curves, and fabric you can work with on your own, amongst others. Start with all the basic essential tools you need.
At this point, you do not need big machines like industrial weaving machines, and so on. You can start from where you are and grow with time, acquiring more tools as you begin to earn more.
4. Register Your Business.
In approaching your business with seriousness, you need to register it. It is quite affordable to register a business in Nigeria and you can take advantage of the opportunities the government offers business owners.
The manner you approach your business is the same way others will treat it.
Register your business and open a bank account for the business to establish it as a legitimate and serious entity.
5. Get a Business Page.
You must also get a business page, business card, and flyers to advertise your business. Having a business card tells people that you mean business. This will help to reach more people and share your work with a wide audience.
Get a website and open business pages for your fashion brand. Your Instagram page, for instance, can serve as a portfolio for you where people can go to see your work. It allows you to reach more people.
If you do not advertise no one will know you are as great as you are so you need to do it.
Run paid adverts and word-of-mouth adverts for your business so people around you know what you do. Also, make unique outfits and wear them to occasions to showcase your work to others.
6. Pay Yourself a Salary.
Depending on the income you make, be realistic and pay yourself a salary you can afford. Every other fund that comes into the business is to grow your business.
If you do not pay yourself it will seem like you are wasting time and energy.
After you have paid yourself, you should know that whatever remains is not for you. This is why you should separate your personal funds from the company funds.
While applying all of these steps to your business, you need to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Never get comfortable where you are and continually invest in yourself.
Important Points Missed Out.
1. Identify a Need in the Market.
Before you start a fashion business, you need to have identified a need in the market and planned ways to fill it. Your brand cannot have everyone as its target audience, you need to have a specific niche that you are focused on.
2. Develop a Business Plan.
Every fashion business needs a business plan. Regardless of whether or not you start from home, you need to have a business plan. This plan will guide the way your business goes and make it more attractive to investors.
The Usefulness of the Information to Fashion Entrepreneurs.
The information provided in this video is very practical and proves to be useful for fashion designers that have no shop space for their business. Some points listed out are also applicable to more established fashion entrepreneurs.