6 Important Checklists For Startup Fashion Designers (Part Two)
In my previous post, I started talking about 10 Important Checklists For Startup Fashion Designers. Here is the second part of that article. If you missed the Part One, you can click here to read it now.
So, I will just continue from where I stopped the last time.
Step 3: Register your fashion design business.
When starting a fashion designing business, registration of your business is a crucial step. Sometimes, most business owners build brands only to find out that another business has already been using the same name they have chosen – and that business already has the legal right to the business name. This has happened to me before and I really regretted it. I wished I had registered the company immediately the idea of that business came up, but I didn’t. I was running the business and it was already well known in my domain and already making money. When the idea of registering the business occurred to me, it turned out that someone else has gone ahead to register that same name I had been using. Funny enough, the person who registered the name happened to be someone who had visited me before supposedly for patronage but saw the power and the potential of the business – and went ahead to register that same name! I thought I was dreaming and I almost went crazy. Regrettably, I have not been able to register that name or any of its other permutations I have tried to use as a substitute since then – they have all been rejected. That is what happens when you are careless about registering your company name on time.
Furthermore, you will be cheating yourself to think that you will just keep running your business without getting it registered (which is actually what many people are doing). Doing so will severely limit the level of progress you can make in your business. The following are some of the benefits of registering your business duly with the government:
- You can open a corporate bank account with your registered business certificate. Without CAC certificate and other documents which you get upon company registration, you will never be able to open a bank account in the name of your business – and that’s a huge limitation for anyone planning to go beyond the subsistence level in business. Meanwhile, many customers feel more comfortable paying into a corporate account than into someone’s personal account, because they know their money can be traced.
- You can apply for loans and grants when your business is registered. No standard corporate financial institution will give business loans to an individual, or do business with an individual. Except your company is registered, there are levels of business transaction you will never be able to get involved in because those who do business at high levels will require that your company is registered.
- When you register your business, customers trust you because they see your business as legitimate and reliable.
- Registering your business is the first step to getting your business structured. Someone said and I quote: “Without registering your business, you are running a glorified hobby.” That is an amazing truth you cannot afford to ignore!
- A registered business can get interns from NYSC. This is one of the ways to hire good brains to work for your business without incurring a high cost of labour.
- When your business is registered, it becomes an entity on its own, separate from you – and recognized by the government and the law has having its own individual rights under the law. Therefore, it can sue, and can be sued in a court of law. Even if you are dead or become incapacitated (God forbid), your business continues running, especially if you have put the right structures in place.
- You have better access to investors. With a registered business, you can sell your company’s shares to raise money for the business and investors look at the business structure first before investing.
- With a registered business, you can easily obtain a visa and travel to any country for business purposes and conferences.
- Registering your company enhances the reputation and perception of your business to prospective clients.
Step 4: Brand Your Business
Maybe for other type of businesses, branding may not really be a big deal – just maybe. If you are in the fashion business however, branding is one of the most critical factors for success. Without branding, the best you’ll be is a local champion! If you are planning to be a mediocre designer, you might ignore branding as well. Think of some of the world’s most popular fashion brands, you tell me if anyone would have known them – or if they would have been this popular – if they didn’t brand their businesses.
Branding is a marketing concept where a company creates its name, and other brand elements which are easily identifiable as belonging to that company. Branding helps to identify a product/service/company and distinguish it from others. Branding is one of the most important aspects of a successful business. Branding is the process of creating a consistent and impactful business image that is recognizable by consumers. It’s the first impression you give to your audience and it’s what makes you stand out among competitors. Branding makes a memorable impression on consumers and it also allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company.
Branding helps to attract your ideal clients. people connect with brands that share the same values. If your brand clearly represents your business, you’ll be more likely to attract the right people. Now the big question is, “What is a Brand?”
Everyone’s idea of branding is different. Some people think it’s simply the fonts and colors a company decides to use. But if you’ve got a real understanding of what a brand is, you know that it includes at least some of the following:
- Design Style (e.g. logo, colors, typography, and packaging)
- Website and Marketing
- Social Media Presence
- Customer Service and customer experience
- Your environment and outlook
- Your Company Culture
- Taglines and Slogans
- Your Product Quality
- Your Pricing
- Your business philosophy and overall “Personality” of your business
Developing a strong brand doesn’t always take millions of dollars, but it does take a lot of creativity and research. At the beginning stage of your business, figuring out branding by yourself may seem very daunting but you can hire a professional who can accommodate your budget to help you with branding your business.
Step 5: Have an Online Presence
Another major requirement for starting a fashion design business is to put your business on the internet. Most of your target customers will usually search online for fashion products before making a decision to buy, and from who. A good online presence of your fashion business is therefore essential to do business.
A very quick and most effective way to give your business an online presence is to have a website – this is the most basic requirement if you want your business to have a space on the internet. Your e-commerce website should provide consumers all information that are important and convincing about your products or services. Other information to include on your website include pricing, images of products, product descriptions, and contact information, and so on. When you start a fashion design business, it is important for you to have a user-friendly website in order to drive online traffic towards your business.
If you want a very good website for your business, one that will contribute immensely to your business image and business growth – and you do not want to empty your bank account in the name of creating a business website, we know an agency in Nigeria that does elegant, highly functional and marketing-ready websites at affordable cost. Reach out and we will link you up.
(To be continued)
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