4 TIPS TO GROW YOUR FASHION BUSINESS

When you start a business, the main goal is to grow it to some level you have dreamt of or according to your business plan. Now, growing this business is easier to imagine than achieved especially as a small business owner.

Different situations and circumstances will give you hiccups on the path to growing the business. Today i will be sharing with you 4 tips that will help if you use them well.

I have used this tip for years in my businesses and I can say, they are indeed magically helpful if you are truthful to yourself in analysing them alongside your business goals and plans.

We will be using the same word GROW to break down the steps .

G – GOAL

R – REALITY

O – OPTIONS

W – WILL

Let’s break this down.

GOAL- ask yourself this question- What Do You Want To Do?

It sounds simple, but have you realised that when you ask people what they want, a high percentage of them reply with what they do not want. The natural mind is tuned somehow.

We know what you don’t want. You don’t want to fail, you don’t want the business to be slow, you don’t want customers who don’t pay but the main question is – What do you want specifically?

You want the business to grow? How big? What are the numbers you want to be recording? It is so easy to dream it, put it down in facts and figures. Don’t carry imaginary dreams in your head. Analysing them in details gives you clarity.

2. REALITY- This point is so KEY in the present day economy. What you want vs reality. What is happening now vs what you want. You will need to find a balance point with this.

Apart from economic factors, other surrounding factors apply.

What is happening in your business environment? Study and analyse to make your business growth easier.

I have had reasons to drop prices when I needed more money to break even in My business.

– dgvstyles

You need money but the economy is tight and sales are slow. To move sales up, you might want to drop some prices to attract more customers at the end of the day you will make sales and have some break even points.

Another part of reality is to sell what they need and want to buy not just what you want to sell.

3. OPTIONS – ask yourself- What can I do? What are the available options? There is no hard fast rule for success. Different routes lead to your destination.

Have options. Plan A ,B ,C and D. If this blocks, I will take another route and keep moving.

Lack of options is what causes stagnation when you experience the first roadblock in business. And really there are lots of roadblocks on the way.

4. WILL. – What will you do? What can you do?

If I will be fair I sharing a secret with you, this question has helped me a lot in my career growth. I ask myself before a problem happens- “What if this and this happens, what will I do?.”

In all sincerity, it has helped me prepare for some bad situations, of course the unexpected will always pop its head but you always having an idea of what to do , will help you cushion a lot of things.

If you can take few minutes today, analyse these 4 points and you will see how you can plan your business differently.

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Aderonke Olubanjo is the Principal Instructor of the leading fashion college in Oyo State. The college has trained thousands of students in the fashion and Entrepreneurship Development sectors over 2 decades.

NEW! WEEKEND & PRIVATE SEWING CLASSES

You asked! We have listened. And with a beautiful twist

Private classes now available both at the college and Online.

This gives you the freedom of doing your main job while you develop side skills.

The class allows you choose topics you are comfortable with alongside developing the business skills.

To know more, send a direct message or email dgvstyles@gmail.com  or ibcityfashioncollege@gmail.com

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How I got my business name?

This is one area I enjoy discussing with startup business owners. It interests me and catches my fancy almost anytime. Maybe because I’ve had to deal with so many business names during my Entrepreneurship Development trainings for business owners

There are names and there are names. Let me say.

I’ve heard names that made me check ten times if my eyes were still working well lol 😆.

Have you heard a business name that didn’t sound like what you thought it should? Or let me say you heard the name and had another business in mind? It’s like naming a child with another culture’s name. Or like in my yoruba culture in Nigeria. Only twins can be called “Taye & Kehinde”, now imagine you meeting someone who says his or her name Is Taye. And the person isn’t a twin?

Now you get it. I suppose.

Watch this short video in the link below to hear my tips on choosing business names.

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The 4 types of measuring tape you need in your sewing room

As a tailor, fashion designer, seamstress or seamster, you need to consider having this measuring tools to make your projects easier to handle at any given time.

I’m already certain you have an idea of what a measuring tape should be like. Also remember we have different textures and brands of these tapes.

Buy the ones that will last longer. And buy different types that will come in handy whenever you need them.

1. The regular 60 inches with cm on reverse side for easy conversions


2. 80 inches, don’t limit yourself to 60. Save yourself the stress off adding up measurements


3. 120 inches is a plus. Especially if you will be sewing beddings/ curtains.


4. Retractable taperule- your easy Carry on tool everywhere you go

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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Choosing The Right Business Name

Let me start by asking how is your business going. For those planning to start, what are the steps you have taken?

How far have you gone with your business plan? Your growth plans? And startup plans? Note I have an economy coming up that will help you get this done in simple ways, as simple as ABC. I’ve penned down how I started and I am sharing it all with you in the books. Watch out.

Today, we’re talking about choosing a name for the business. For existing business owners, you may want to take a second look at your business name.

Does it need adjustment? Is it just okay the way it is for now? Don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure if you are not yet sure. Take your time.

It’s a common thing to see business owners combine their names into acronyms to make a business name, or put the names in the family together to form another name. This is a good idea as long as it sounds good and not too long, difficult to spell and pronounce.

The name you will choose for your business is the name you want to be called. Don’t rush to select.

Consider how far you want the business to go. What is the vision? The end goal.

Your business name is unique, and your clients must be happy to relate with it.

If you choose a name that doesn’t relate to your business, people may get a wrong interpretation of what you represent.

Search for keywords in your industry. And work around it. I’ve seen people use beauty lingo in the fashion industry. It may sound okay, but the first impression customers get may mislead.

Let’s take an example

RONNIES LOOKS

RONNIES

These 2 names belong to a fashion house. To the best of my knowledge, the first name sounds like a makeup business or a hair/ beauty business.

The second name is simple and general, could fit anything. This is an idea of how your name can mislead your audience.

Don’t choose names because you heard someone using it. Sometimes in the spirit of competition, I’ve seen business owners coin name close to what another person is using. It could be out of admiration. If you find yourself on this seat, try to be unique. It’s part of what you want to do.

Copying makes you lazy intellectually, if you don’t task your creativity, it won’t task itself. Carve out a niche for yourself with your business name.

For global brands, products or services- consider your foreign clients too. Simplicity does it.

Your business name will keep being on people’s lips. Don’t take it with fingertips.

Another issue is religion – for those who get over religious with business names. Its okay, it is a personal choice. But ask yourself, is your service, product or brand for some kind of religion only?

If not, you are already creating a demarcation which will affect the business growth.

Take a short time and review your business name.

Search for industry keywords.

Search for keywords in other languages, some languages have beautiful interpretations that are so easy to pronounce, spell and they sure sound exquisite.

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Ibadancity Fashion College is behind IBEDC office capital building ring road ibadan. Oyo state, Nigeria.

+234 8081067070

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Sewing with a wrong Needle

As fun as sewing is, we all know when the frustration sets in…

• Thread cutting

• fabric puckering

And so on……

What could be the cause?

At the fashion college – Ibadancity Fashion College- we had an instructor who was nicknamed “Mr Change your needle ” he would tell anyone who came to ask him to fix their sewing machines if they had changed the needle.

He understood that many problems come from using a wrong needle to sew, and this leads to other small issues.

No matter how beautiful or strong your sewing machine is, the needle can make it malfunction if any of the following happens.

Using Dull Needles

How often do you change your needles?

If you are constant on your machine, try to use a new needle daily if possible. It’s not costly, so it’s a low maintenance issue.  It saves you a lot of stress. Dull needles pucker the fabric and can cause real damages to soft fabrics like silk, chiffon, satin even some cotton fabrics.

Bent Needles

Will keep hitting your machine and making strange sounds. The danger of this is it can cause damages to the sewing machine plates.

Wrong Size and Wrong type of needle

We have different brands and these brands may have the same sizes, the fineness of the sizes differ. A size 16 violin (brand) is different from a size 16 butterfly or orange brand etc. It’s safe to have different brands and sizes in your haberdashery.


If you’re not using industrial sewing machine, HA type is most suitable, although you can settle for DB, DP is also common In the market but the problem of DP is its too strong for some machines and fabrics.

Know Your Tools – it makes your work easier and smoother.

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STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO TAKING MEASUREMENTS FOR YOUR SEWING PROJECT

We are not all in the sewing business for money. Right? Some of us are here only to learn how to make clothes for ourselves, our family and make the necessary amendments when needed without having to go look for a tailor.

If you’re in a country where getting tailor isn’t as easy as it is in other countries, most especially developed countries. You don’t like the idea of booking appointments, or the nature of your work doesn’t give the time, how can you blend this in?

Knowing how to take your measurements by yourself saves you a lot of stress.

Either when sewing or when you have to send your measurements to your tailors or choosing clothes online / in a store.

This video is as simple as ABC.

The guide is easy and you will see its really not a big deal getting a hang of it.

Before you watch. Have you followed my social media handles? Kindly do. And turn notifications on so you can get first hand notice when new posts come up.

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Aderonke Olubanjo

IBADANCITY FASHION COLLEGE

+2348081067070

WhatsApp +2349024267637

HOW TO START A SMALL FASHION BUSINESS

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 .

Your Career In Fashion…. Designing for kids. 

Designing is designing as they say. But what comes to play when you are to decide on how to pick for adults or kids. 

Before you decide on how you want to run your fashion label, earlier posts has made us understand that the role of Research is a Must. Apart from research, discover where your passion lies, it makes the flow easier. 

Oftentimes, fashion designers in training go through the searching and discovery phase of finding out where they belong and how to know it. After knowing fashion is your field, knowing the aspect of fashion that is your line is next. 

One of the prospective lines is kids clothing line. It is not as clustered as such, and it is not as tasking as other aspects of designing. Although, to make it in this area, you need to research and know what attracts the target customers and how to attract them.  

 The use of the basic colors or primary colors is a number one. Why do we see schools painted in the primary colors, especially nursery and primary schools. The colors have a way of grabbing their first attention and that matters. If your designs are targeted at kids, you need to have a good knowledge of how to play with the colors. If and when wrongly used, creates a loud impression and may not pass the right message across to your target customers.  

  There is not much difference in designing for adults and kids, the way people that are not in the fashion field sees it. They actually believe it’s easier to sew for kids than adults. But, reverse is the case. It takes more planning and efforts to get it right. Mini sizes tend to look too small when someone not used to handling it does. 

As a designer, you should always learn to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. 

You should take your needs and likes out of consideration when designing sometimes. Remember, you are designing for customers and not yourself. Base your research on a wide scope. If your designs look alike always, chances are that you are making your preferences priority when choosing what to make. 

And when kids are in the picture, they are a new different kind of audience whose needs are totally different from what you are used to.  

  To have your way in this aspect, you might need to take a trip down the memory lane. Envisage what could catch your attention if you were a child. Or take one or 2 kids as sample case study. 

Consider their daily routines and activities. This will help in knowing garments that should suit them. Toddlers and babies that play around a lot would need trousers to protect them while crawling or playing. You would have seen some of their trousers padded at the knees, to cushion them. So if you’re considering launching a clothing line in that aspect, let your research put a lot of factors into consideration. 

   

 Colors – you want their designs attractive and colorful. Also remember the washing and how it gets dirty. Avoid colors that get dirty easily. Their colors shouldn’t be dull. Play around pastels that create a calming effect.  

   Remember some buyers attach tags to colors. Like “Pink is for girls ” and “blue is for boys”. Play with colors wisely considering many possible hitches that could come up. Kids love colors and they don’t attach any gender identification with colors. But the buyers most times do. Break even in your color picks. 

A little treat or gift going with your packages will be a good incentive.  And definitely will keep the kids bringing their parents or sponsors back. 

  

Fashion business is Big Business. The fashion industry is growing stronger by the day. You don’t necessarily have to be a fashion designer to be in this field. If your passion is there, take up a course to trigger your passion and get good hands to bring your creativity to life.  

At IBADANCITY FASHION COLLEGE, Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria. You will find courses to suit your area of passion in the fashion field. Not everyone wants to sew, you don’t have to, to belong in the industry. Fashion spreads across a wide range of prospects. There is a course  for you there. 

For Enquiries and more information 

Contact The college administrator on 234(0)8081067070

Email- ibcityfashioncollege@gmail.com

Located in ring road, Ibadan, Oyo state. Nigeria. 4, Ajia street behind IBEDC office ring road. Follow the tarred road directly opposite  KFC ring road. 

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