“It’s not like I’m jealous Quincy, it’s just that the owner of the shop used to work for me. She used to be my apprentice. For some reason I can’t shake the feeling off. How do I ignore it? Am I supposed to ignore it? What if she steals my customers in the event that I’m unable to satisfy them? You know sew business nau? it’s not always perfect. If it was you Quincy, what would you do?”
1. Figure out what makes you different and unique: If as a sew entrepreneur, you do not know or recognize what makes you different and unique from your counterparts by now, you might want to go back to your drawing board and re-assess why you began this business in the first place. Knowing what you are bringing to the table that sets you apart from others, should be the pinnacle of your business. It should be your drive.
So figure out what sets you apart. Figure out what makes you different and harness it, but most of all, flaunt it.
2. Figure out your weaknesses and turn them into strengths: So it’s impossible to be perfect in this business of ours. Sometimes, you’ll hit the mark, sometimes you’ll not. There will be days when your customers will leave with huge grins on their faces and there will be days when they wouldn’t. Therefore, as a sew entrepreneur, you should understand the behavioral attitude of your customers/ clients alike. Recognize what you are great at and exploit it. However, in the event of doing so, do not neglect to improve on those areas that you are lacking. If it’s customer service, rectify it. Get a new attendant. If it’s in the area of services like, you are more comfortable sewing ankara/traditional wears than office wears(like trousers and straight skirts) and you recognize that you have more customers demanding for the latter, address it….rectify it.
3. Understand that the sky is big enough for others: So as earlier mentioned, you can not run away from competition. In this business of ours, there will be competition. As a matter of fact ,fashion businesses/ institutes spring up everyday. The world is literally obsessed with fashion and more Africans are exploring money-making ventures that will help them economically and improve their lives. In an effort to become financially independent, every one wants to own and manage a business with fashion business topping the hierarchy. So make peace with this. Understand that it is okay to have competitors. As a matter of fact, having them should motivate you to be better and not discourage you. You might be surprised that these competitors are striving to be like you. You inspire them! So while you are busy trying to move from one level of success to another, they are busy aiming for that level of success that you have attained.
4. Partner with others(if you have no other choice): While I was learning from my “Madam” , 11-12 years ago, I noticed that whenever certain jobs came to her that she couldn’t really do very well, she will refer the customer to someone else-a non-reputable tailor at the other street from our shop. Now, my “madam” at the time was the most talented sewist I knew, but when it came to make breast padded blouses, she sucked at it.
5. Trust your business to God: So I tell people that, a business without God is like sowing a seed in a desert and expecting it to germinate. As a sew entrepreneur, you must understand that success comes from God. Only He can prosper you and help you make the right decisions concerning your business. So when you are backed up against a wall, seek Him. When you feel jealousy creeping into your heart because someone has a bigger shop than yours, go to Him. Let Him teach you how to continue in such a competitive environment and in a righteous manner. Look inwards and see that it is His will that you prosper in all that you. Thus He is more than able to see you through. Stop looking at others…Look at Him.
So I hope I was able to help you out today. I hope I was able to encourage you to keep your business alive despite how competitive the fashion business has become. No matter what you do…keep sewing…keep fighting and keep doing your best. Trust me, they will all pay off in the end.
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