By David Aliyu Bello
The number one key to building a fashion business that can compete with other businesses in the line of oil, yes oil! and retail, is understanding that, though it is fashion and probably only something that started as a hobby, it too is an entrepreneurial venture and not solely a creative one. Once that is established, the individual must also understand that since no industry is easy to break into, he/she must be ready to make a one time statement to bring them to limelight. There is no doubt that one of the reasons for high rate of failure in business is competition. And in the case of fashion, new designs abound. Today’s dope style might be tomorrow’s forgotten look. So there’s also the need to create new unique styles every now and then
On another level, people who want to sustain a successful fashion line must also consider some start up steps such as understanding commitment. That means that they must as a matter of necessity, understand the time and money commitment necessary to make the fashion line succeed. Have a workable plan which must include your customers. Every successful business person knows that a company without a business plan is like fish trying to live outside water. There should also be an operational overview, i.e. the individual should know at the bare minimum, how the company will operate.
Another key ingredient to building and sustaining a successful fashion business line that future generation of designers in the country must memorise and adopt is sourcing investors. Once there is the understanding that it’s a business, chances are that there’s an extra motivation pushing the individual to start evaluating the kind of business they want to be in and how they can build it to meet standard. If need be, secure specialist business partners who are willing to invest not just money but their knowledge in the business. Don’t be afraid to train people with your ideas either. In the long run, such individuals will carry on the good work and and even invent their own style to popularise your business.
Remember to register your business. Most fashion lines in Nigeria are not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. The entrepreneur must work to establish the company’s loyalty.
Marketing the clothing line is also essential. The entrepreneur should develop a strategy for the product to hit its intended target market. This will further build the identity of the line and promote the brand.
Here is how I have sumarised these systems and modules which I constantly use and which has helped build my business line, Eljargo Couture to a fashion line frequently sort after by local and international celebrities:
- You must run it as a business.
- Recognise the importance of product development.
- Develop a brand’s identity and support it with marketing and communication plan.
- Secure specialist business partners.
These modules will help you organise your business and if you choose today to work with them, I assure you that you’re on your way to entrepreneurial success.