African Fashion

How to Build a Successful African clothing business

How to Build a Successful African clothing business

The business world is in a constant state of change. From fledgling startups to well-established African clothing ventures, companies today need to be ready to pivot as unpredictable markets could demand a shift in a business model. At times, it can seem difficult and even impossible to weather these extraneous forces especially as a new African venture. Here, tips on how to start your company in the face of uncertainty and keep it going, come what may.

5. How Kipfashion start her african clothing business?

When starting a new African clothing business in an emerging market or with an untested model, it’s important to keep costs as close to zero as possible. Those who’ve bootstrapped their African clothing company knows this better than anyone. When we started Kipfashion, we worked out of my living room for years to keep overhead costs down. We started Kipfashion with only a few hundred dollars, and it was carefully spent. Instead of hiring web developers or bringing on a technical co-founder, the entire system and workflow were built-in Shopify at first and later moved to WordPress.

Keeping costs close to zero gave us something others didn’t have time for. We could run our African online store operation indefinitely, and every dollar we brought in was a dollar used to grow the company.

4. From mistakes to successful African clothing business

While trying to grow our African clothing business model, we made a lot of small mistakes. But those mistakes turned out to be the keys to our success. Instead of building our ideal custom website for big bucks, we put up a content management system website and invested just a few hours into doing so. Instead of spending money on social media marketing, we went to trade shows to network, often finding ways to attend for free. When testing new products that required ad spend, like Google AdWords for example, we would build $5 campaigns instead of $500 campaigns. We were able to learn from our mistakes to build our successful African clothing company.

3. Being flexible starting business African clothing.

Influencer marketing was brand new and basically untested when we first started the African clothing business company four years ago. Whatever long-term commitments we made a lease, building products, we asked if it would still be useful if we pivoted in another direction and how quickly could we recoup the cost if not. Always staying flexible allowed us to be dynamic and adapt with emerging market trends.

2. Build a smart team

At first, we didn’t have the funds or the resources to attract experienced talent. We started by using people who could quickly learn a task and solve problems. The result for us was a team that took a very fresh approach to some of the ad industry’s oldest rituals and problems. We learned as we went, and team members were quickly switching and taking on new roles based on skill and performance. By hiring people who could handle any challenge or task thrown at them, we were able to keep our core team strong as the market changed and shifted

1. Be passionate, and start networking.

In business, it’s important to hang with the right crowd. These people can be board members, advisors or friends. Find people who have realized success in their lives and can teach and guide you. Surround yourself with a diverse group so that you have different experiences and skill sets to draw upon.  You don’t need to wait until you have funding, a cool office space or a Rockstar team to start approaching these people.

All you need is passion.

Be passionate about what you do, believe in yourself and everything else will fall into place. Don’t be afraid to reach out and don’t be shy. It will cost you only your time and it will be time well spent.

The Kipfashion tips

In conclusion, we want to say this to everyone who wants to start up an african clothing company:

  • Keep costs as low as possible 
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
  • Be flexible
  • Build a smart team
  • Be passionate
  • Start networking

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