One of the most important aspects for a start-up to be successful is clarity of vision. A business needs to be able to imagine where it wants to be and how to get there including the necessary skills and resources it would require. It should be a well-defined brand providing a specific solution to a targeted audience. This is important so as to be able to stay stoic and not get easily derailed by any adversity that may arise.
In the Nigerian business climate it is especially important to have clarity. This is because we live in an age where everyone is excited about entrepreneurship and because our African values make it so that we all want to be very helpful, this can lead people to get sooo excited about a brand that they volunteer suggestions on how to improve it. For instance, whenever clients meet me at the Moda by Maryam store they try to ask questions and give advice on what direction I should take the business. Like why do you only do ready-to wear? Why don’t you collect my fabric and sew this for me? Or why do you sew in Turkey? Why not in Nigeria, Indonesia, India or China? Or why are all your designs A-shaped? you know African women prefer flared or why don’t you use Ankara? Ankara will sell faster etc. So one really needs to have enough clarity especially in the fashion business so as not to lose focus because every Nigerian woman without exception, is trying to get something sewn.
However, that’s not to say that a business cannot change direction in the middle or even reinvent itself completely. It is a natural course of any endeavour that is to continually improve to be able to check itself and implement strategies for progress. The classic PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT and again.
However, whatever changes to be made should not be carried out on a whim or on the strength of one suggestion. Rather, we must take decisions based on facts. For instance, in the above scenario, if 5-10 customers come in and suggest you make more flared designs, then it’s probably something to think about to stay relevant in the market because after all is said and done, The customer is KING. Or in our specific case, mostly QUEENS
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