The Textile Industry - What It Taught Me About Business

Rejoice Denhere

Quality is everything - it can make or break your business

While the industry itself is not glamorous, it’s vital to economies around the world. Textiles are materials made of natural or synthetic fibres and are commonly used for items like clothing, furniture, accessories and more.

The textile industry provides millions of jobs to people around the world in fields like design, manufacturing, distribution and sales. In addition to producing these essential items, the textile industry also contributes billions of dollars to global GDP.

I got into this business by chance. I was looking for a job after getting married and moving to a small town. Jobs were scarce and companies were going through a difficult period. Hiring freezes were commonplace. A family friend who worked for the biggest textile company in town told me about a job opening. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands!

What the textile industry taught me about business

The textile industry taught me a lot about how to run a business, even if it doesn’t seem like that would be the case right off the bat.

The industry has been around for centuries and has been revolutionised throughout all of it. Take the digital age, when processes became decentralised. Each stage of production could be done in a different location, so long as they were standardised; this gave people choices about which company they wanted to work with.

This also made failure okay — instead of taking down an entire company or industry, small failures meant you could learn and adapt without spending too much time or money in the process.

The importance of decentralisation and standardisation in a manufacturing organisation

In the textile industry, there was a well-defined balance between decentralisation and standardisation. Each factory (which could be miles away from each other) had its own profit and loss responsibility.

Within a factory, every department also had its own profit and loss responsibility. The way costs were allocated was through standardisation: all factories used the same accounting system, which is what led to common input costs. This meant that even if you switched jobs from one factory to another in different towns, you would use the same accounting system.

Quality is everything - it can make or break your business

The first thing you need to learn in the textile industry is quality control and how to best go about it. This means having processes in place that can create, manufacture and distribute textiles of the highest quality.

Quality is everything when it comes to running a successful business because you want your customers to continue coming back for more.

The most important thing you can do before starting your business is to ensure that every single step that goes into creating, manufacturing, testing, inspecting and certifying will deliver the kind of top-notch product that customers expect from your brand.

Choice is not always good for customers

For example, having too many options can be overwhelming for customers. Choice should be used as a weapon to promote value addition by the seller rather than just a marketing gimmick.

An overabundance of choice can paralyse a buyer, and they might choose to do nothing at all. That’s why it’s important to maintain a slim but powerful product line.

To boost the value of your products and services, you need to be selective in what you offer so you can give your customers excellent products that solve their problems.

Pay attention to the small things as they can affect big things

The textile industry is a very complex business. Everything works off small pieces, from the smallest cog to the biggest wheel. If something goes wrong with one of these small pieces, it can cause a bigger problem down the line.

Now when I see an issue arise in my business, I keep my eyes peeled for any other problems that may come up as a result and fix them.

Acquiring all this knowledge from the textile industry has been extremely helpful on my entrepreneurial journey.

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