Saturday, 15 August 2015

FASHION ENTREPREUSHIP SERIES: 3 WAYS EMERGING DESIGNERS CAN SAVE MONEY




One of many challenges faced by new fashion business is lack of enough capital to set up and effectively run their business.
Most entrepreneurs will definitely look for ways to cut down or do away without marketing budget. But the truth is, the more you invest in marketing, the better chances you stand to grow and survive your business.
Most entrepreneurs sees marketing budget as just expense and not investment. that's why 8 out of 10 businesses fail within the first 18 months and 80% crashed and never made it to the fifth year.
Today on fashion entrepreneurship series with Bashiru Olu Wasiu-Ayinde. I will give you some tips on how you can save money by spending less on marketing. 
1. Be Knowledgeable - Do Your Homework
Having vast knowledge of what you are going into will go a long way in helping you to spend less while starting or trying to survive your new fashion business. Do your research, know the terminology and get someone to mentor you. There are lots of resources out there you can get information from; books, magazine, seminar, blogs, etc including FashionManiagh.com blog that focus on promoting Africa fashion and publishing useful fashion entrepreneurship information to help beginners understand the industry.    
The more knowledgeable you are about the industry and your target clients, the lesser mistakes you make in taking decision on which platform to use in growing your business. 
Ask yourself the following questions;
- Which fashion week is good for me to participate?
- Are my target audience reading the magazine or newspaper I want to place my ads?
- What are the target audience of the sales exhibition am about to participate? are they the same as my market target?
- Which of my products can I give out to editors, bloggers, etc for review?
  
2. Be Flexible - Simplify your Designs
Every creative person want to make a different by producing unique and glamorous dresses but don’t forget,  the more complex your design is, the longer it will take to develop and manufacture. The longer it takes to manufacture, the more hours you waste in trying to perfect it.
It’s a familiar saying that nobody understands better than entrepreneurs. Young entrepreneurs might get caught up in chasing their original vision, because original visions are almost invariably “perfect.” But perfection isn’t necessary to run a successful, profitable business.
Perfection is the enemy of progress; In fact, perfection is often what stalls progress. The time you spend trying to hammer down those last few details is likely going to end up as time wasted. Instead, spend your efforts on the big picture, and make sure it’s solid.
Look at your design to see if there are things that you can do to simplify the piece without losing your individuality. You could try using heat seals instead of embroidery; try to make your design as symmetrical as you can to save on patterns, etc.
Don’t just assume, review. Talk with your sample maker and patternmaker and see if they have suggestions to simplify your design, and be flexible.

Be a Shameless Marketer
To every small business owner, every pesewas count. But as start up, you don’t have much to invest in marketing.
Nobody knows your products than you do, so ready to be a shameless marketer by using every platform you get to introduce your products to people, at event, church, social gathering, etc. After that, the little tiny budget you have set aside to market your products, you first need to figure out whom to target. Who is your ideal buyer? What are their needs and wants? Having done your research and gathered necessary knowledge about your industry and your target group. You will be able to make your marketing efforts with laser-like precision and craft your marketing messages to attract and engage likely buyers.
In my next post on fashion entrepreneurship series, I will give details on how to identify your ideal buyers based on
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Products they have bought before
  • Previous purchase price


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