MISTAKES TO AVOID BEFORE YOU LAUNCH YOUR FASHION BUSINESS.

When I was younger, the term ” self employed” sounded so fascinating, i really couldn’t wait to start and own my own businesses, yes the plural because I wanted to do a whole lot more than whatever I am doing now.

Being self employed is not as smooth as it sounds, especially when it means you work almost round the clock. It’s juicy parts also comes with its own perks and advantages, so on the days you feel low, those thoughts keep the ball rolling.

Let us leave the business life talk for a minute and talk about the real reason this post attracted you here. I guess, you are about to start a fashion business or you have just started one. With my experience so far, what can I say you should and should not do as a startup fashion business owner.

You want to own a fancy store, have amazing clients or customers, make a lot of money, all the pictures are vividly painted in your mind.

Now as you start setting up, all the pictures will start dropping a ‘buy me’ ‘buy me’ chorus in your head. The most logical thing to do before you ‘waste’ all your startup fund ( -by waste- I mean spend it on what you like but not what is presently needed by the business), is to have a list of all the things you would love to buy, list it all out.

After making this list, start by looking critically at each one and strike out the ones you will not be using daily. your business will grow and you will have time to buy more, don’t use all the start up funds to buy what you will need later.

Another thing to note is – if you cannot afford a store / shop, start from home. what will be the point of you renting a space you cannot pay for with the proceeds from the business.

Not everyone you see making millions in business shows you what they are doing.

You are not in business to show off, you are here to make profits not just money. if you will start from home, ensure you make it comfortable as possible so it doesn’t bore you out.

Our next point is – Know that every customer that walks in is not your lifelong customer, do not fight to please them at the detriment of the business. People will ask for ridiculous discounts, emergency deliveries and more…., if it works for you, do it, if it stresses you, be kind enough to yourself to leave it out.

if you are planning to go into ready-to-wear, think about having loads of clothes on the rack with no one buying them before you start. Spend more time building your client base, with adverts, videos and things that will attract them to you first.

last point for today will be, Never stop developing yourself, your skills and your knowldege base. i have been in this industry more than 20 years and i never go a day without trying to learn something new, not just for myself but also to teach my students at Ibadancity Fashion College. it keeps you fresh, it keeps you updated and knowledgeable when talking to others about what you know.

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and the handle of the fashion college @ibcityfashioncollege

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How to Say No To Free Jobs as a Business owner

You will encounter people who ask fro free jobs in the name of publicity and promotions, no doubt. But, the question is – is it okay to keep accepting and giving in to it?

In my early years of starting my fashion business, I met a lot, I mean a whole lot of these people and I will share my personal take on this with you. Take the part that works for you and leave out the ones you don’t want .

There are influencers and celebrities, they do a lot in helping your business grow. As a new business owner, enter this kind of engagement with caution. Except you have a lot of financial reserve and can afford running the business for a while without expecting detailed profit.

Free Jobs mean zero profit, don’t forget. Free Jobs can help you but not at the detriment of the main goal of the business.

Don’t use too many of them in the name of getting famous. You are not the only one they are asking for the same privileges.

The part that baffles me is, the same people wear and flaunt ,they even advertise for foreign brand names all in the name of “I Belong and I wear luxury” – these brands don’t pay them but they’re happy to do free advert why?

These brands took time to grow their products, their brands and they became a name everyone wants to reckon with.

Have you done the same for your business for just 12 months?

What new thing have you added to your business in the past 6 months?

What improvements are you looking at in the next 3 months?

If you don’t have a good product everyone wants to have, the fame will only make your name ring in their ears, give you likes and followers but not paying customers.

In my business early years, I worked with a lot of celebrities and I realised if care is not taken you may keep attracting the wrong audience.

The willing ones assume your brand is for rich people alone. Or they feel they just can’t afford you.

Some assume you must be too busy for ordinary people like them.

On and on.

Learn to say no, if you want your business to grow.

The video below has some tips for you.

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HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BUSINESS FOR YOU

We all get to that crossroad point of not really having a clear idea of what to do, or we have too many ideas and we are there juggling all the pot pourri of options ,looking for the best to pick and settle with.

do not stay too long on the fence, choose a side.

when you have a number of options. what do you do?

lets take a few tips on this today-

know your strength – no matter what you are doing right now, or what you plan to do, you know your own strength. dont let anyone lead you wrongly. even when your friends think you are strong in one aspect, many of us know the real areas of our strengths. this is no time to follow the crowd and ‘wannabelong’. The route to success requires you speaking the real truth to your own self.

in you industry or field, you know the areas you work comfortably at. Stressing yourself by trying to belong, will only kill your zeal. it will make you keep cutting a tree with a dull axe. find your strength zones.

the best key i will drop for you today is – what you want to do vs what the environment needs?

weigh it well.

are you set out to do what you love or what your environment needs.

align your passion to meet up with what is needed where you are, thats your top secret to sales and profits.

Being faced with different options is normal, now sit and decide which one is really needed where you are. Pick on that business first. its those small ideas that sum up to make big millions one day.

and if your dream is to do all, start with one. just make that move or share your ideas with someone that can give you a honest opinion and help you grow.

ADERONKE OLUBANJO IS THE PRINCIPAL INSTRUCTOR AND CEO OF IBADANCITY FASHION COLLEGE. THE LEADING FASHION COLLEGE IN OYO STATE, NIGERIA.

SHE HAS HELPED HUNDREDS OF ENTREPRENEURS FIND THEIR FEET IN DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES OF THEIR CHOICE. SHE IS A TEACHER, SPEAKER AND TRAINER.

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email – aderonkeolubanjo@dgvstyles.com

” I REALLY NEED TO START MY OWN BUSINESS”

This is you?

if yes? lets talk…

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.

MY NAME IS ADERONKE

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.

to be continued………

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HOW TO RESPOND WHEN YOUR CLIENT THINKS YOUR CHARGES ARE TOO HIGH.

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

IBADANCITY FASHION COLLEGE

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@DGVSTYLES

TIPS THAT HELPED ME BECOME ME (part 1)

Life is beautiful, Good people are all around us, Goals are not so difficult to achieve. But why is it that some of us see the negatives more sometimes. If you choose to see the beautiful sides of life, it becomes your reality. If you choose otherwise, you know the result already.

These tips are really helpful, believe me. Follow them, restructure your life and begin to see life in a new way. It’s worked for me, and the results are obvious.

Many of us would have moved faster, but for the excess baggage we carry on ourselves. These weights slow you down, clog your wheels and either keeps you static or regressing.

1. Stand Up Straight With Your Shoulders Back.

I simply call it – Don’t Slouch. Walk head held high, shoulders straight up. When you walk head down, do you know it’s not really a good posture? Confident people walk straight. When you scold a child, they bend their head and shoulders sometimes when walking away. That posture depicts defeat. Many of us walk through life daily as if the weight of the whole world is on our shoulder. Walk with confidence! Let your walk do the talk. I had an Aunt who will never allow you bend, she will scream “Ladies don’t Slouch”. Walk like A winner! Don’t wait till you have it all in place, act like it is. Remember the Law of Attraction.

2. Treat Yourself Like Someone You Are Responsible For Helping

We can dwell on this all day long. It beats me when I meet people complaining about other people not helping them. Especially when I take a closer look at them and I am not so convinced to help too. Before you ask for help, what have you done to help yourself? If you appear as a pest, your “helper” might be discouraged. You cannot put all your life’s burden on someone just because they are in a position to help. Believe this, everyone needs help, our needs are just different. If you were the one in the high position, would you Have helped You? Quit appearing like an opportunity sucker.

Start working on yourself. So that when you seek help, the people/person will see a million reasons to assist. I have this illustration I use – you can’t stay inside a building and complain of not being soaked in the rain. If you want to feel the drench, step out into the rain.

I will rather focus on getting my goals achieved than waste time running around looking for raises here and there. Sometimes, you need to get the work started, help will find you there.

To be cont’d

Aderonke Olubanjo – Principal Instructor of IBADANCITY FASHION COLLEGE

Instagram @dgvstyles @ibcityfashioncollege