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.

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 ๐Ÿ˜†.

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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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.

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Sewing with a wrong Needle

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

โ€ข Thread cutting

โ€ข 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.

โ— 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.ย  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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WHY I CHOSE TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR

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.

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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

As a Young Entrepreneur, How do I break even FINANCIALLY?….

First of all. You are not alone on this chair, or table so to say. It is a concern most of us face, even the “so called” ‘established ‘ business owners- from your own point of view. You assess them as established, but they believe they are equally on a road to somewhere.

When people for example call me a big girl in the industry. I sometimes look around to check if I’m the same person they are referring to ๐Ÿ˜Š. Because I see myself as a goal getter same way they themselves. Our goals may be different yes, because some of us have played our friendly matches, our qualifying matches and now in the real game.

We are all on this pitch. Everyone wants more money. You do, I do too

But, your concern is how did they get there, because it seems you are just struggling through some thick bushes right now. Believe, it’s a matter of time. You will score more goals on this field.

Finance is why you are in business. Or part of. So you can’t give up yet. Except you feel this lane is not your own.

Having funding issues is normal, many startups face this. And if your business background is not as solid as some, you might find it more tasking. Like, if this is your first business. Getting everything going won’t be milky smooth.

Do your background checks. – know the pits and rocks in this field of yours. Its easier to play when you are familiar with the field. Don’t believe what some motivational speakers say, they make it sound like it’s just a finger snap solution. It is a PROCESS…….

Keep doing your ‘DO’ – in my words. Network and meet people that will help. Some people will only tie you to their aprons, avoid or break from them.

Keep your ears and eyes open and be ready to take risks. Life itself is one big risk. Seek available funding options around you, they keep you in check at times, because you owe your responsibility to ensuring you dont fail on it.

Start small. Don’t price your businesses the way A or B is pricing theirs. What works for you is not what works for them. They may be selling according to their circle ,connections, etc. Is your price fit for your market?

Basically, discover what works for you. It will make your growth easier.

Maximize the power of social media. It is helpful. Share someone’s content, repost, like, follow relevant people and hashtags, build your virtual circle.

There is no end to growing, remember. We are all learners in one way or another. So keep doing it.

Feel free to send me questions on WhatsApp +2349024267637

Keep tab and attend any speaking seminars I have too, when you have the chance. One idea is all you need sometimes.

Aderonke Olubanjo- Dgvstyles

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SEWING TECHNIQUES. TYPES OF OPENING IN GARMENT CONSTRUCTION

For every closure in your garment there is an opening. Ironically, the same principle applies to life. But today we are focusing on sewing.

How many types of closure and openings can you handle. At least, these few ones here, you should be able to handle them as a fashion student or fashion designer.

What Are Openings And Closures?

Openings and closures are the spaces you leave on garments made to allow for wearing and removing. These openings are closes in different ways as you choose or as suits your design.

Let’s examine a few-

FACING – easy to handle and one of the basic opening techniques you learn and master as a fashion designer. It is sewn by cutting fabric of same shape around the neckline but shorter than the garment. It’s few inches long, and flipped inside or outside the garment as the design calls for.

This is made by a slit and sewing on fabric cuts to make the placket. Same or contrasting fabrics can be used to achieve this.

Hemmed openings is about the simplest, but one needs to be extra careful to avoid stretching the curves thereby giving excess. The fabric is folded in twice and sewn. As much as it appears simple, it can go wrong if care is not taken. This type is best used when working with sheer fabrics, delicate fabrics etc.

FALSE PLACKET- as the name suggests, it’s just a placement for fashion sake. It’s not exactly an opening, but sewn on the garment to give an appearance of one.

BIAS BOUND- using BIAS cut fabrics or bias tape / ribbons to finish the garment opening. It can be done inwards or outward. When sewing this, avoid stretching the bias fabric/ tape and the fabric. Stretching either of this will equally alter the size of the opening originally planned. And may cause gaping.

FLY OPENING -for zipper closures. It’s a layover kind of opening. Used mostly on trousers but not for trousers only, can be used in skirts, blouses, dresses, etc.

This openings are on the seam lines. Side, back, shoulder etc. Any type of zipper can be used. But the use of invisible zippers is common with this type of opening in menswear lately.

OVERLAPPED OPENINGS as seen in wraps or surplice designs, jackets, tops, and more. This can be used in a way it works with the design you are working on.

BACK OPENINGS- who doesn’t know a back opening? No one. Simply and can be used among side facing, bias bound, false placket, zippers on and on. When making garments won’t high front neckline and you want to avoid zippers, back opening can be used and closed with fasteners of your choice. – hook and eye, snaps, etc.

GATHERED/ DRAWSTRING – commonly seen in off shoulder maxi tops and dresses, or any other kind of garment. Here little excess are drawn together to make the opening firm. Also used in finishing skirts, trousers etc.

The art of sewing is a constant lesson. Don’t stop learning.

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STARTING YOUR CLOTHING / FASHION BUSINESS RIGHT FROM HOME

Oftentimes, I’ve found myself as a teacher being asked questions about starting up the business on a low scale. Personally, I started my business from home. And it was a great experience. I see it as an opportunity many can make good use of. It helps in giving you enough time to save up, build your brand and gain client, most importantly; gain the good, the bad, the ugly, the sweet experiences; and get you well prepared for the real world of business out there.

You being in the fashion business world is already an advantage. Remember, everyone wants to cover up, and look good especially. It tells you, you have a business meeting readymade needs by nature. Food and clothing are part of the major things no one can do without.

Having it in mind that the business you’re about to go into is almost a “Sure” venture. Gives a good prospect. You can bet on it.

You’ve always heard it – Dream BIG!

And now, as a startup, you have also decided to Dream Very Big. This is absolutely cool. ๐Ÿ‘. But wait a minute, what about crawling before walking, walking before running……

There is a Process. Whether you choose to see it or not accept it. Don’t go ahead of yourself in the process of dreaming Big.

Your dream of becoming famous should be set aside, invest all the strength you have at the start into setting off your business line on a solid start.

Get all the knowledge you can. Be well equipped before the startup. There is a lot to understand before kicking off, that is why when you choose to learn, choose a school or a college that will teach you “All-Round”. It’s not enough to know how to sew, you need to know a lot of things. – Latest Trends, styles, body types and how to style each body type, colors, balance, shapes, the details of production, marketing, customer relations, and a whole lot more……

There is a lot to learn before you even start the business, if you want to be ahead of your game. Asides the one you will learn as you go.

To Create The Clothing Line Of Your Dreams

Have it in mind that the field is full out there. Everyone is making something, this is where the part of RESEARCH comes in. Understand the competion going on and how you can enter the market and get your feet standing. Your works must be powerful enough to gain the attention, retain the attention and get your more clients.

It will be good to choose a market to start with. You could choose children, women, men, plus size, maternity, etc…… But whichever one you choose, research to know what their market lacks. And start somewhere.

Ask to know what they need. – feedback helps, let them tell you what they feel about your work and ask for what they want. This will help you discover areas you can take advantage of.

Think up ways to maximize your limited capital. – you want to start small, it won’t be good if you put the money into what’s not worth it. Buy what you need, not what you feel is important.

More tips coming soon…… share this with a friend or anyone that needs this.

IBADANCITY FASHION COLLEGE

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