Are you thinking of a new side business to start this year?
Is fashion or sewing on your list?
If yes, this post has some information and guides for you.
If I ask why you’re choosing sewing or fashion, your answer could be –
– You’re looking for means of generating side income. Either from home or you eventually plan making it bigger. This is a good enough reason to consider starting a side business. We are in the era of multiple streams of income.
Why sewing? Maybe you have deep interests in fashion. Or you just don’t know why, you just like it. Sewing is a trending business – Always trending.
To start a sewing business, you do not need too much capital. You can start with a small budget and work your way up to the top.
Start with the essential tools and equipment. Don’t Invest in every fancy equipment, buy the ones you need urgently. Some equipment will only result in tying down your capital.
Get a good sewing machine. How do you know one? We should have an old post that talks about it on this blog. There will be a revised edition soon.
Set it up and start working from your small space.
Before this, triple check your finishing skills. Customers may come easily, little issues can turn them off especially in this sewing and fashion business.
Make your jobs speak for you.
Start by designing clothes that will attract more customers to you for yourself. You are first contact person, they will look up to you.
Keep practicing all the styles you can think of now. Use yourself as the experiment, it’s safer than using customer’s clothes for experiment.
Get the essential sewing materials. While learning or training, you would have noticed some supplies you’re always using eg bias, threads, multiple needle sizes, different Scissors, trimmings, fusibles- stay (different ttpes), zippers etc
Starting your business won’t be difficult if you start by working with your budget.
Make a list and sort in order of priority.
Start with that one client and give it all it takes .
welcome back to ,my blog and i am Aderonke Olubanjo, the Principal instructor of a leading Fashion College in Nigeria, an EDI (Entrepreneurship Development Institute) for the Central Bank of Nigeria under the AGSMEIS scheme, i am also a Unisex Fashion Designer – cap with many feathers right? well, it all started one day and with just one step too.
I get asked a lot of times about how i started, well, i started with just 1 step. when people say they started from zero, i pause to think, really? nah… we just call zero like that, its not really zero, everyone of us started with one step, it could look like nothing to you, but you bet it, its 1.
it could be as small as a decision, an interest, a thought, a plan, a wish or even something you like about someone. That’s your step 1. I started with that step 1 too. if i did, you can too.
If you are thinking about starting your own business now, no matter what field it is, let me just drop some few tips for today.
What practical steps have you taken to analyze the problems in your field? the problems are there, and you will need to look at them critically. How can you solve them? if you only look at the juicy parts of the business, when the cloudy days come, they will shake your stand.
Have you also sat to ask yourself how much exactly you will need to start the business?
if you have a mapped out vision board, this is where it comes to play.
what does your dream business look like? I strongly believe in the “Big Picture” If you don’t have it, your focus might be shifting here and there.
The Big Picture guides your steps as you build the business from day one, it makes the navigation easier.
WHERE SHOULD I LOCATE MY BUSINESS?
let me just say – Where you are wanted / needed.
don’t put your business where the competition is too tight or choky and unhealthy.
You need a good plan that is practicable. not some adopted resources that works for someone abroad, can it work in our own business environment?
Don’t rely on resources alone, can it work where you are?
Are you ready to give it all it takes. the ride has not been smooth and jolly for me, nor any other business owner you know. It takes a lot to start and a lot more to run it.
Your customers are the currents driving the business. Without them, nothing is happening.
This is why you should take them as important as you take the business itself. Having them seems easier than maintaining them, in my years of experience.
They come with their differences, thus, you need to find a way around handling their differences, and not giving your business or yourself more problems. “As much as you try, you cannot keep or satisfy them all – just keep doing your best daily”
Let’s start with this question, if you can answer it, we’re good to go.
Do you know who your clients or customers are?
If you don’t, take a pause and define them first. You don’t want to be shooting at no targets.
Knowing who they are and where they are is one of the steps to growing a successful business.
Let’s assume you now know them, how do you retain them, maintain them and attract more? Let’s dig in….
1. Do you know what they want or need?
What are they looking for?
Don’t sell what you want to sell, sell what they want to buy.
Many business owners are concerned about their plans alone, any plan you make towards making profits without considering your customers, will ne a hectic task. Your business centers around them, rememeber.
In your line of service or products, look around at what others are offering- which your customers have already seen, then look for what might be missing that you can add and attract them with.
If your business isn’t solving real problems for them, they will only keep looking, checking you out without results.
2. VALUE YOURSELF AND YOUR BUSINESS
Making your knowledge look cheap won’t attract customers that will help you add value to it. They will approach you and deal with you the way they see you.
If you dont value yourself, how do you expect them to?
Your confidence should speak with each step you take . Shaky confidence is what makes many good business owners hide their faces and the confident ones with lesser skills will keep showing up and cashing out.
Work on yourself!
3. INCREASE YOUR VISIBILITY
Get your business visible, clearly noticed and seen.
you can have great strategies, great products, not getting it out is like hiding under a canopy or an underground store.
Marketing is not an instant yeast. It grows with continuity and constant development.
Get your business noticed an many platforms – radio, social media, billboards, all search engines you can come by, networking etc.
Your brand identity plays a major role in your business growth. Many things add up to this.
Your name, colours, logo, office space, business card, so many. It depends on how you start it, just start somewhere.
Create some uniqueness for your brand that will get you noticed quickly when you appear.
And remember you are a walking billboard for that business. What messages or information are you passing on when you leave for work, meet people, when they walk into your office, when you post online, etc.
5. QUALITY CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
In business, customer experience ranks your business. Word of mouth advertisement is one of the most effective ways of getting known, and this can only come as a result of quality customer experience.
It births good referral without you paying a dime.
How can they have that experience they want to share with the world with you?
It could also come in many forms. –
Reception- the way and manner you receive them and make them feel welcome.
Prices, Discounts, Pro Bonos, Extras, Gifts and a whole lot more.
Good customer experience is a win one win more strategy.
With these few tips, you can get some immediate results in few weeks. Give it a shot.
Ibadancity Fashion College is a leading fashion and Entrepreneurship college in Nigeria.
A CBN/NIRSAL certified Entrepreneurship Development Institute.
We offer all fashion related courses and Business development classes specially designed to suit each business. Either in group sessions or one on one consultancy sessions.
I was having a chat with a client a while ago, and the same conversation played out, I am used to hearing this, just like you are too (if you are a business owner) – “ah that’s too high “; for me, it’s either I don’t respond anymore or I just smile it over or better still find a polite way to handle it.
It could sound offensive when they say this, just because of the notions and ideas they have of the industry they assume your charges should be on a particular level with the other business owners.
How do they judge and weigh prices ?
Price is weighed by value. Your clients believe value should be higher than the price, therefore when it goes or appears to be the other way round in their eyes they conclude it is too expensive. But remember, the way people attach value to things are different and unique to them.
A good advice is that if you are charging a price, let the value of the product or service match it considerably. Part of what your clients will look at before weighing the value and price are – the look or appearance of your office and you personally. If these things look good, great and levels up with the amount you are charging, they may consider or find a way to subtly opt out to look for cheaper option.
What about when you don’t have an office, they base their judgements on certain physical things get can attach to you like, your social media handles, business cards, phone etiquette, website, other customers’ review or experience.
Making profit doesn’t mean you should hike up prices. Remember your client or potential client has lots of options to check and compare. All the same. This does not mean you should play yourself down. We all offer similar services but not in the same way. I know the worth of what I am offering, so when I am charging I can defend it will be different from my competitors or other people.
If your clients have never complained you are charging too high, take it- your charges are low. And naturally, they will keep negotiating to drop the prices down. This is one of the reasons you should not drop prices anyhow, the customer you reduce price for will most likely get other customers who will keep dropping your prices.
If your customers are comparing you with A or B or C – simply explain why you charge higher than them. If they are not convinced, they can move on and you can too. You will find clients that will pay, and they will attract their kind too.
Avoid Them And Move On – when you don’t have an answer, move past it fast. You should not waste time explaining when you do not want to. Not every case needs explanation. Your no is no and yes is yes sometimes in business.
Knowing their budget could help – I personally do this a lot. To avoid misunderstandings between clients and I. Asking them what they can afford gives me a perfect picture of how to play around the prices. And this helps me clear the air on how their budget relates with what is needed to finish their works.
Some clients feel you are too expensive because they do not want to pay. Be careful in spotting people like this.. they are the ones that will cause trouble after their job is delivered. All because they do not want to pay.
Clients who insist on cheap will be cheap. – instead of wasting time to convince them, look for the ones that will appreciate you. And stay your line
It’s the season of uncertainty and many business owners are feeling the pinch. Of course you have been thinking of ways out this season. You have considered dropping prices, doing sales or discounts, a million thoughts are crossing your mind daily on how to get a way forward.
It may be about Covid 19 or before and after it, you will come to that crossroad at a point in your business. But before deciding, sit back and consider these few points.
Lowering the prices and how it affects your business
Before you fixed a price, you have done the calculations of your time, materials used and profit before arriving at a price. If you lower the price, will you be eating into your profit or not? If you are not making enough profit, you are eating the business up gradually.
What if customers get worried about the quality of what you offer?
One of the dangers of too much or too often discount or sales is that your customers may think twice about your original prices and the quality of your products or services. If you personally see a very beautiful product and the quality looks really good but thebproce appears low, do you know you will think twice about the quality?.
You don’t want your customers thinking twice before purchasing from you or thinking your products are made from low quality materials.
The impression they get first,stays with them longer
Don’t leave first customers with the thought of ever doubting the quality of what you are selling or doing. They may never come back.
Your workspace should look attractive enough to worth the price you are charging. When the office environment doesn’t match the price, it affects your business. People generally attach value to what they can see.
Not having enough sales doesn’t always have to do with economy, if it does, then nobody is making money. But if you look around, in the midst of economic distress many businesses are making their profits still. This is one of the reasons you can not take your business front desk for granted.
Front desk is relative, could be your receptionists, secretary, showroom, reception area, the person who picks the phone calls or replies messages on emails and social media handles. They must not be the reason your sales are dropping.
Make your business attractive enough to keep customers coming back. Then you won’t need to be doing unnecessary price drops in the name of attracting more customers.
Your business development strategy is unique to your business. Research, consult, do your part and watch stress reduce while sakes grow.
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IBADANCITY FASHION COLLEGE is a leading Fashion and Entrepreneurship Development COLLEGE in Oyo State Nigeria. A Central Bank of Nigeria CBN certified and accredited Enterprise Development Institute assisting business owners access funding from CBN /NIRSAL.
For more information and enquiries call +2348081067070
Having a personal business and not having a compulsory 9-5 was a dream, I loved it, and for anyone who likes independence, I believe we are on the same page. Then after a while I realized that the path of Entrepreneurship and business is not as juicy as it looks from afar – Says Teetee a rising entrepreneur in the food and confectionery industry.
Those who hate their jobs quickly find comfort in deciding to start a business. And if I must say, It is quite risky to step into an unwalked path without a guide. When people say they want to start a new busines for the first time, the first thought in my head is, why not juggle it alongside that job until you find a balance point. It is quite easier for people who had been in the business of small businesses to keep starting and working on new startups until they find a Gold spot, than a complete newbie who believe he or she can base their decisions on the results of the business owners they are seeing.
A tree should not be judged by its leaves and trunk size, you didnt see it when it was digging the roots in.
WHY DO PEOPLE CHOOSE TO BE ENTREPRENEURS?
One major reason is because they admire other entrepreneurs around them. You want to be like they lady or guy who looks like he or she is making so much money from that simple job they are doing. Simply put, Successful people inspire others to be successful; but they works lie with the inspired people- are they seeing beyond the surface?
They have so much hope and faith and just somehow believe all they need is a huge capital and the Boom starts. They even believe they have more business sense than other business owners around them, and they see more prospects in their own success more than what they are seeing in the people inspiring them. “If A could do it l, I was more brilliant than her in school, I can definitely do better”
Until you get into the water. Never think you are a good swimmer.
NOT WANTING TO BE BOSSED – Is another reason many chose Entrepreneurship and this is one of the bad reasons. When you don’t want to be controlled, how do you plan controlling others? Being bossed around can be annoying and ego-hurting, but you can work your way around this and learn instead of resenting the boss. Entrepreneurship makes you a boss to others too, you don’t know the type of boss you will turn out to be in a heated situation. If you want to be the one with the final say always, then leaving your job for the business field may give you loads of hiccups.
If you are choosing to start an Enterprise, know you are choosing to take so many risks and uncertain routes. Evryone is a good dancer on the seat until they hit the dancefloor. Look beyond the surface, look beyond the ‘sold out’, look beyond the Instagram swags, look beyond the status they are showing you they have. Look deeper beyond the facade, if you jump into a water too deep, and you can’t swim good enough, you know the results.
To know more about our Entrepreneurship classes, visit the college or contact us on +2348081067070
IBADANCITY FASHION COLLEGE . Unisex Fashion and Entrepreneurship College. We are a CBN/NIRSAL ACCREDITED EDI assisting business owners in getting msme loans to fund and grow their businesses.
AGSMEIS Is meant for all business owners. Start up or existing. You can loan up to 10 million naira, with 6 to 18 months Moratorium and a 9%interest for 5 to 7 years. To apply. Contact us for more detials. Many business owners can testify to it now, join them too.