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HOW TO HANDLE COMPETITION IN SEW BUSINESS


So a couple of days ago, a subscriber hit me up with a mail where she gave an account of how her sew business was suffering immensely due to the fact that another sew business had sprung up right opposite her shop. According to her, she watches helplessly as customers troop in and out of that shop.
"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?"
And the mail went on with more distraughted questions.

By the way guys, it is okay to reach me via mail at quincy@theqeffectz.com or via phone/whatsapp  about any sew business issues you need counselling on. Who knows we might both counsel each other!
You can also feel free to join TheQEffectz Sew community by simply sending a Whatsapp message to 08030971467(Click here to learn more about TheQEffectz Sew Community on Whatsapp). Membership is N100 per annum(i.e yearly). Fridays is when we rant out our problems and get comforted by others or get practical solutions. I try not to miss it.

But moving it, I think recognizing competition is one aspect of running a business we entrepreneurs never put into consideration. We love to ignore the flip side of things and assume that because we are the best at what we do, there is never a possibility that someone else could be too.

And yes, it's most likely never about jealousy. You just want to be the only one people know and patronize. You want to be the only one in that line of business. But I'm sorry to inform you, having competition is inevitable. You can't run from it, neither can you hide from it. Recognizing it, addressing it and dealing with it makes you into a better entrepreneur.

So how do you handle it? how do you deal with it?

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.
    Have you ever wondered why Coke tastes differently from Pepsi even though the content looks the same? Beats me! But it's obvious that the recipe for making coke is different from Pepsi and no matter how hard Pepsi had tried to re-create it, it couldn't.

    Have you also wondered why despite all the attempts of other noodle brands to recreate Indomie, they never seem to get that unique taste? I have bought countless types of noodles, including those that come with extra spice like vegetables, palm oil, carrots and whatnots but none of them ever tastes like Indomie.

    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 obssessed 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 at the time, but when it came to make breast padded blouses, she sucked at it.

    So she will ask me to take the clothes to this tailor and return back with a fee. I didn't quite understand what was going on at the time so I had to ask her.  Apparently, she had made a deal with this tailor that all breast-padded jobs will come to her at a fee. This way, she will not only keep her clientele but she will also be able to help this other tailor get more jobs.

    So my point of this story is, rather than become envious of each other. These two sewists recognized their strengths and chose to help each other out. So there is a chance that you might not be so great at making trousers/pants for clients and someone in the shop opposite yours might, rather than fuss over it, partner with him or her to either perfect the skill or keep your businesses alive.


    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.

    CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD


    1. How to make a Lace embroidered padded blouse(with side peplum)- Sewing and Patternmaking tutorial (Preview / Download)
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