Starting a fashion business in Nigeria involves a lot of planning, learning, unlearning and relearning. It takes patience and resilience because most fashion businesses do not start and begin to blossom in the first few years.
Learning from the mistakes of others helps you reduce the wait time you have for your business to truly flourish. This way, you will know what mistakes to avoid to take your business to the next level.
Here are 8 mistakes to avoid when starting your fashion business.
Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Fashion Business
1. Not Doing Market Research.
Yes, you are excited about the idea you have and the products you are about to bring to the market. This is great, but first, you need to stop and think. Is there sufficient demand for your products?
You need to conduct market research for your startup before you go all in. You need to know if people really need the products you want to bring to the market and if they will be relevant for long enough.
You can consider making a prototype and try to sell it to someone you are not familiar with just to know what the demand for it is like. Invest in market research as much as you can.
2. Not Defining Your Target Market.
As a fashion entrepreneur, you cannot be for everybody. You need to define who your target market is and learn to know and understand them. By understanding who your ideal buyer persona is, you can then create the right products for them.
In the fashion industry, you need a very specific niche to succeed in business. Never give in to the temptation to attract as many customers as possible by doing too many things.
It is so much better to create a product that is loved by a few than a product that no one is too particular about because it is all over the place.
3. Not Investing in Brand Awareness.
Brand awareness is everything in the fashion industry. Since the industry is a saturated one, it can prove to be rather hard to stand out and get noticed in it.
So, even if you cannot create a truly unique product, you can create a compelling brand story that will draw people in. Once people can identify with you and your brand, they are likely to stay with you and not bother with cheaper alternatives.
4. Not Pricing Products Properly.
Many new fashion entrepreneurs have not quite gotten the concept of pricing right. While it might be tempting to set low prices for your fashion products, this might hurt your business in the long run.
You need to make sure that your pricing accommodates everything you need to run your business effectively. It must accommodate the cost of production, marketing costs, store rent, and every other thing your business needs.
Research what your competitors are doing and find out their retail prices, then from there, you can fix yours.
To find out more about pricing right, click here.
5. Not Promoting Your Products Immediately.
Marketing is everything when it comes to building a successful fashion brand. No matter how amazing your products are, if no one knows they are available, no one will buy them.
Many fashion entrepreneurs fail to see this and this slows their progress down. Marketing efforts take time to produce results so it is a mistake to not start marketing your fashion products immediately.
Never overlook the power of marketing in your fashion business.
6. Not Outsourcing or Delegating Tasks.
No man is an island. Every fashion entrepreneur needs someone to help them out with certain aspects of their business. It could be with social media marketing, pattern drafting, embroidery, and so on.
It is important as a fashion entrepreneur to know when to hire your first employee and when to give out jobs to others to do for you. Learning to delegate faster will help you succeed earlier.
However, in delegating, always remember to calculate the return on investment and make sure it will be worth it.
7. Not Following a Business Plan.
No matter how talented you are, you need a plan to succeed at business. If you do not have a clear plan, you will surely make mistakes that will cost your business a lot.
8. Mixing Personal and Business Finances.
Your fashion brand is a separate entity from your personal brand. This is why you need to separate company and personal finances for your business to grow.
Separating your company and personal finances helps you know what the true financial state of your fashion brand. It also helps you track your business growth and ensure neither your nor your company suffers.