Today, African fashion design startups wonder why we have had many unsuccessful establishments in the first stages of operations.
Is it a problem of African nature? Nothing in our nature affects the African fashion startups; instead, it’s a mistake to avoid.
Research shows that more than 20% of fashion startups in Africa fail within one year of operation. For our readers, we found why the majority of African fashion design startups have not been successful.
You’ll learn the best lesson about some common reasons why most fashion startups in Africa fail.
1. Having zero knowledge about the industry
You definitely cannot step into something you don’t know and understand and expect to thrive.
One major problem with Africans is having the mindset, “I’m a fashion enthusiast, and so I can own fashion design business. Knowledge and love for fashion are pretty different from each other, and get it right.
African startups fail to learn the dynamism of the industry before starting a fashion business. If you don’t understand this, there’s no how you’ll ever know what decision to make when it’s time to change varieties and strategies.
Negligence to a deep dive into the fashion industry, studying the niche well, and identifying target audience are what land most fashion startups in Africa to failure.
2. Lack of a proper business plan
A sure way of failing in any business lacks a proper plan. Most African startups make the mistake of swimming through the business process with complete uncertainty, leading them to a downfall.
Do not depend on your self-confidence or trust to start up a fashion business. Do not neglect proper business plans and decisions on how to run the company to achieve success.
Have a proper business plan that includes an executive summary. See-through what you’re hopeful of achieving in six months.
Also, consider working with an experienced business owner that can help you to accelerate the process.
Many African fashion startups that neglected this failed woefully. Therefore, try and look into mini-projects that will take you toward making it; if not, you’ll end just the same way.
3. Absence of required resources
You possibly may invest too much money in the fashion business but will not thrive because there’s not enough technology integration and investment infrastructure.
In actuality, money is one of the resources you shouldn’t neglect, but that’s not all. Podcasts that discuss the fashion industry together with various topics are necessary as well.
African startups neglect resources like fashion magazines, blogs, and related associations they should network with to get insights about the legal considerations for startups and plenty of information concerning the fashion industry.
Forgetting other necessary resources such as humans, the right technology, innovative culture podcasts, time management, and information can lead to failure. To meet up with the actual discrepancies, utilize adequate resources.
How do resources improve business and help you build up your brand?
Resources run a fashion business smoothly and perk up profitability by better anticipating and optimizing project costs.
4. Flawed Business Modeling
Business modeling is a primary tool that analyses the financial status of a business. The conceptual structure of every business startup, including fashion, supports its viability and distills its potential down to the essence.
Most African fashion businesses fail because they fail to secure a robust business model.
Whether you’re a startup or an established fashion business in Africa, applying business models is very important as it helps to attract investment and motivate management.
To avoid the contrary effect, identify your target customers and relate to them; create a demand generation strategy that will involve the essential elements of your fashion products or services, the business challenges and strengths, the market, and how to sell your business.
The earlier African fashion startups start creating strong business models and validating them, the better they’ll overcome failure.
5. Awful Customer Service
One of the reasons why most African fashion startups fold in one year is terrible customer service – ineffective communication.
Factually, for any business to succeed, there must be an excellent customer relationship and service.
First, great ways to deliver excellent customer service are getting to know your customers and developing a friendly relationship with them.
Among others are:
- Prompt responses
- Giving them attention
- Asking for feedback
- Paying attention to their reviews about your fashion business
With all these taking out, I bet you your fashion business isn’t getting anywhere.
6. Lack of unique selling point
Failure to develop a unique selling point, otherwise known as unique selling prepositions, is among the typical reasons that pull most African fashion startups down.
You should get into your customers’ heads and give them what makes your fashion products or services better than the competitors.
Again, African fashion startups don’t mind the essence of offering something unique which their competitors don’t.
Most importantly, fashion startups in Africa do not construct unique selling prepositions that are straightforward, compelling, and irresistible.
While correcting this error, always explain how your startup solves your ideal customer’s problems and then deliver on what you promise.
7. Lack of creative process
Applying the creative process helps startups find a balance between subjective and objective, which in turn helps to achieve success efficiently and innovatively.
However, African fashion startups don’t mind whatever the creative process has to offer. They prefer to copy and paste any brand they like, which lands them in failure.
It can ONLY thrive when you get comfortable with being uncomfortable; seek independence, apply creative thinking, and better framework.
And before you start at all, it’s crucial to make researches have a unique theme, read, brainstorm, travel around and explore to get creative.
8. No brand identity
These could be startups or established African fashion businesses. As a business owner, you should pay attention to the visual representation of your business.
All the visible elements of your products or services make up the brand identity; they include the logo, designs, color, and other things that distinguish that brand in the mind of your target customers.
Paying attention to corporate brand identity or corporate image will go a long way to improve the fashion business in Africa. That’s just a way of relating business to the public, so be wary about it.
9. Lack of quality
In the fashion business, quality is just as essential as clothing and apparel. Selling high-quality apparel can be a lucrative business, but poor quality, unprofitability, and failure are what await you.
Most African fashion startups do not even consider that quality is what relates the products to customers. Again, various fashion brands in the market strive to provide quality apparels that are second to none.
They only consider the gain spending less on inferior quality products to earn more, forgetting that the business will face underestimation from customers, thus leading to failure.
Suppose most African fashion startups can focus on sophisticated and stunning quality, discovering the points to cover to provide the best quality and keep up with trends. In that case, it will be a battle won.
10. Ignoring the competition
Another big blow on fashion startup owners in Africa is ignoring the competition, and they forget what competition is going on in the industry and what their competitors offer.
And when this is neglect, there’s no way to make your fashion services or products or even how you market them to your target customers stand out.
More so, you won’t be able to ascertain the best way to set competitive prices and then respond to rival marketing campaigns with a personalized strategy.
11. Poor management and inconsistency
Incompetent management is what ruins the reputation of fashion startups in Africa. Know that reputation is critical in any business – it’s easy to consume but challenging to build.
Again, inconsistency is killing African startups, and nothing in this world can be successful without consistency.
Be consistent in policies and decision-making, evaluation, implementation, problem recognition, outcome, agenda-setting, etc. It matters a lot in business.
Although starting up a fashion business in Africa or anywhere around the world is like climbing a steep hill without a guarantee for success, knowing the deadly mistakes to avoid or promises that the ride further will be smooth.
All the points mentioned in this post are mainly for being consistent, unique, and trendy, among others, to survive in the fashion business.