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  • Liz Ayanwale

Marketing your Small Business

Updated: Jan 6

(Perfect for Tailors, Fashion Designers, Seamstresses, Custom clothiers, Sewist Freelancers etc.).


There are so many tools out there that both Start-ups and older businesses are bombarded with but do not necessarily add to your day-to-day operation or help to grow your customer base. So, it is important to find the best tools that both add value to what you are offering and help market your business. It is not about the quantity of tools you use to achieve your goals, rather the quality these tools add to the services you provide.


Ways to choose the best apps for your business:

List them out based on categories of -

-must-haves

-should haves

-nice-to-haves


All three are important. Oftentimes, people overlook the nice-to-haves. Don’t ignore them because most must-haves today started out as nice-to-haves.


Let me explain:


After analyzing your business needs, the next step is to focus on ways to grow or maintain revenues. The revenue of course comes through your customers and the sales you are making through them. But rather than obsessing with sales, double down on how to better solve the customer’s problem.


The result is increase in new customers and return customers.


In essence, your goal is to invest in strategies that turn already converted customers into return customers and brings in new customers. Here is where the nice-to-have offerings play a major role because it is a great strategy that separates you from your competitors.


When you offer your customers a nice-to-have service that provides value, it puts you ahead of the competitive market.


How?


It benefits your clients because you are able to better serve them. This in turn benefits you because your clients are happy with your service therefore, they become return buyers or help to spread the word.


You can never go wrong with investing in the best tools for your business that allows you to market your business, grow your customer base and properly support them.


Most customers love convenience, saving time and their personal resources. So, finding tools that help promote these within your business only lets customers know that you care about what they care about. This is the first step to narrow down on what type of nice-to-have tool to invest in.


In the bespoke clothing industry, oftentimes customers are belabored with having to find time for their apparel production. Though it is exciting for the customer to be more involved in the production process for fit and adjustments, it should not have to be so discouragingly time consuming. This poses as a huge obstacle in growing a custom clothing business especially in the emergence of fast fashion and mass-produced clothing industry.


The amount of time required has put a lot of strain on the bespoke tailoring business making it less attractive to even people who are interested in it.


Ways that bespoke clothing takes time and resources and is discouraging to customers include:


1.         Getting measurements. Especially for customers who are not able to make a face-to-face visit, if you opt for video calling, it can be strenuous to have customers take their own measurements. Video calls take from 45 mins to as far as 2 hours or more. This is stressful for most people who already have a busy schedule.


2.         Multiple sets of fittings. Sometimes it can take 3-5 fittings to complete an apparel. Customers are required to set apart appointment times to either meet with the tailor or have the tailor or their representative meet them wherever they are. Both require customers to look for available time slots within their already very busy schedule to set aside for each meeting. This is not time saving.


3.         Prolonged production time: When getting measurements and having to show up for multiple fittings, it increases the production process adding to the time it takes to make an apparel. This prolonged process contributes to customers ditching bespoke cloth making and opting for off-the-rack purchases that seem quicker.


4.         Customers find themselves in situations where the cost of tailor coming to them is billed as part of their expenses. This cost of trips made for multiple fittings add up racking up more expenses for the client. This is not cost saving.


The time bespoke clothing takes for its production can be a double edge sword - both appealing and discouraging. It is appealing because as we have all heard, to get something that is good and worth it, requires more time and deliberation.


On the other hand, the prolonged time it requires can be off-putting to a lot of people because we live in a fast-paced world where there are many other alternatives available.


The issue of time in the artisan and bespoke cloth-making industry has made fast fashion and off-the-rack merchandises very attractive. However, this can change, and you can begin to have the upper hand.


To improve your services and grow your customer base, your ultimate goal is to reinforce the aspect that is appealing to your customers while reducing the not-so-attractive aspects.


Here are 3 best tools for your small business to make it more attractive to customers:


OVTMT virtual tailor measuring tool


1.   Reduce # of inconveniences incurred through multiple fittings while saving time especially for customers who are not able to make in-person visits. For example, for first fitting, instead of the customer coming out to the tailor or the tailor going to the customer for measurements, the tailor can virtually measure the client using the OVTMT app.  Then book subsequent fitting appointments to address any adjustments needed. In essence, this helps to save time for both tailor and customer.


2.     Save costs. Every customer is looking to save costs one way or another. If they don’t need to have costs accruing from multiple fitting trips to the tailor or having the cost of tailor visit to them added to their expenses, it ignites an even more positive experience which only facilitates their interest and connection to the bespoke apparel they are making.


3.       Save time. Again, the goal is to focus all the necessary time required on the intricate making of the apparel while removing the time-wasting aspects that makes it unattractive. Putting time into the intricate making of an apparel is what makes it very personal thereby adding to the appeal.

So, your goal is to limit the # of things that makes the customer have to look for time slots within their very busy schedules. Show that while you care about their fit, you also care about them and what is important to them as a person by helping them to save time.


Tailors are experts in reading the body and with advanced technology tools, they are able to accurately take measurements, draft, fit and make adjustments on a client accordingly. This leads to tailors being able to reduce the # of inconvenience a customer may experience while saving costs and time.


OVTMT was built for individuals involved in custom/bespoke cloth-making that are growing their customer base outside of their vicinity, whose goal is to provide online services to their customers. It is well-designed for customers to be able to generate their own body scan using their smart device. No booth or extra equipment required.


Tailors and anyone in the sewing business benefit from pulling their own measurements on their clients. This approach separates the ovtmt solution from others that depend on precalculated measurements. OVTMT has a free plan for tailoring professionals, no credit card required.


Orderry


1.    Manage customers’ satisfaction level and collection of feedback that can be used to enhance the business operations.


2.    Create and manage work orders by specifying the categories of work into garment classes, work type, supplies needed for each work order, statuses and deadline to ensure work is performed on time. Statuses of the progress of work is communicated to customers which helps them to feel more involved and up to date with the overall process.


3.    Manage staff and encourage employees to deliver better results for clients. It helps to simplify scheduling to ensure that tailors have enough time to complete a work order or quickly transfer work order from one tailor to another in case of unforeseen circumstance so that deadline and client expectations are still met.


4.    Manage inventory through an automated system that automatically debits fabrics, buttons, zippers etc. added to work order and shows that they are moved from stock to complete requests of customers. The organized approach enhances the customers’ overall experience.


Orderry is an all-in-one management software that handles the admin operations of your tailoring business allowing you to focus on your customer. It is a CRM system that allows tailors to manage their customer data effectively while providing efficient customer services.


This is a very well rounded tool that can be used simultaneously with other tools based on your business needs. Orderry has a lot of plans to choose from that best suit your business. You can get started for free on a 7-day trial, no credit card required on file and then commit later.


HubSpot


1.     Unlike Orderry, HubSpot is an option if you are looking for a CRM system that is not very specific or narrowed down to a particular service.


2.     It allows you to connect your marketing, sales, content management and customer service all on one platform.


3.     Allows you to focus on your customer while enabling you to grow your business faster. You are able to closely follow your customer journey which allows you to better understand your customers.


HubSpot is a CRM system that is useful to all types of businesses and has a variety of solutions to help a business grow faster. On their platform, you can have access to all the solutions with the customer being the center and the focus. You can get started for free and advance to other plans that best suits your growing business.


In conclusion, there are so many tools that are being thrown at businesses everyday, but it is imperative for business owners to take a step back to assess how beneficial these tools will be for them.


The bespoke/custom tailoring industry is particularly challenged with what type of technology app is useful and how it will serve them and their customers.


Narrowing the search by must-haves, should-haves and nice-to-haves helps to arrive at a clear informed decision. Remember, all three are important! Don’t overlook the nice-to-haves as they are strategies to place you ahead of the competitive market in serving your valued customers.


For a niche such as the bespoke sewing business, choosing a tool based on solving the needs of the customers not only enhances your business but makes your services very attractive to your customers which rewards you with increase in your customer base.

 



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