By Kofoworola Agboola
As a new designer (1-5) years experience, You will be doing several people’s jobs.
I didn’t find this out until much later myself until when I started exploring the fashion industry and working with top designers.
Picture the usual scenario – you got an order for a dress or a client chats you up. You were excited (Baba God Thank you, customer, at last).
You discussed style specs and talk pricing (the usual back and forth of ‘how much last’).
You looked at the dress, and details, and did a quick calculation of how much you thought the dress ought to cost, you couldn’t waste too much time na, the customer is waiting.
You also checked the display picture of the client to see if na ‘soji’ client (an fashionista), if she wears bathroom slippers, will she be able to pay N15k.
Then, you sent price, customer said, N10k last, you agreed.
So, you went to the market, sourced for fabrics, trims and notions.
Came back and cut the fabric.
Sew the style.
Pressed, finished and embellished.
Delivered the dress.
Now, for each of these roles, in a bigger fashion house, You had someone employed to do each separate task with a quality salary.
Fabric sourcer/procurement person went to the market.
Head tailor/cutter, cuts the fabric.
Tailor/machinist joined the fabric pieces.
Embelisher/beader puts the trimmings and details on the style.
So, you ran around and did at least five people’s jobs almost on a daily basis (several more, if you are married with kids).
But a strange thing happened; you checked your bank account, it was still red, but you found that you were always busy.
This was because you were pricing your garments in a way that was not sustainable for your business. You should only price according to what your business needs to thrive. Be willing to let go of clients who cannot support your business.
I collaborated with one of the best accountants in the fashion space to bring you an automatic garment costing calculator. A plug-and-play pricing strategy.
This savvy calculator only asks you for the costs and every other necessary tool you need to generate a price. All you have to do is input this price into your invoice and send it to your client.
So when next a client chats you up and asks how much, simply say ‘let me get back to you’.
Run to your business companion input all the details it asks and after it generates a proper price, input into your invoice (use Canva to design, or download an invoice generator)
Note: Your teeth might shake and you will fear customer will not want to pay, this is normal, it will pass.
Stop charging based on how customers is dressed and start charging what your business actually needs to thrive.
Want to actually make some profit this month? Check out the garment costing calculator – almost free of charge.