Executive Checklist

Things to Consider for Starting a Fashion business

London Fashion Week Fashion Show

All my wishes to anyone who wants to start a fashion business. However, as we all know, mere wishes aren’t enough. It is equally important that you ensure that we translate our idea into reality—and that requires a lot of considerations. There is no gainsaying that the fashion industry is as tough as they say; one cannot simply step into the industry and start a business. You require proper planning and execution for a good start. How to go about it? I may have a few suggestions to offer.

What you are going to find in this article are suggestions which most fashion entrepreneurs give. My own friends are in the industry, and they have told me some interesting things about starting a business in fashion. Let us find out in sufficient detail what they are all about.

  1. Know Your Area
    When I say ‘fashion’, I refer to the whole universe of fashion. From clothing to bags, it has everything and anything we can design and wear. So, it becomes necessary that you start small and focus on one or two areas. Identify your niche and work on it. If you want to design, manufacture and market, say, footwear, focus your resources into that. In fact, footwear, in itself, is a broad term and there are all kinds of footwear you can design: from boots to floaters, you have all the options in the world. The idea of narrowing down your area is to ensure optimal utilization of capital. Only when you are ready, you should switch to more areas.
  2. Whom do you want to sell?
    Another fundamental question you must ask yourself is who your target audience will be. Fashion businesses cater to all kinds of consumers: from kids to men exclusive, you can target the audience in general or of a particular sex. There’s more you will have to consider such as whether you are providing for luxury retail or casual, everyday wear for everyone. Once you know who you are going to sell your designs, you will be better placed to organize your ideas and utilize your capital.  Do not start anything without knowing your consumer base.
  3. Do a lot of math
    Starting a business is a big deal. Whether your business starts with a handsome amount of capital or just sufficient enough, you will need to do a lot of math. There might be a chance that you will need external funding. Find out possible investors into your business, or study various loan offers in various banks that best suit your interests. Remember that you will need a consistent flow of capital until you start earning a profit, and this may take a while. Hence, do your math right and know where to generate funds for your business.
  4. Network
    I think I have talked about networking and its importance in the fashion industry quite enough. Without networking, you will have no success. You must attend social events, talk to designers, give interviews to magazines, launch social media handles to engage with the world, and organize and attend workshops, etc. Wherever you go, make sure you carry your business cards with you. Hand them over when you find a good opportunity. Perhaps, networking might end up helping you get funders to your business. Never underestimate the power of networking in the fashion industry.
  5. Your Business Logo
    A business is identified by its logo. You need to get one if you want your brand to get registered in people’s memory. For that, I would suggest that you hire a good designer and get an attractive logo made. Note that a logo is the graphical representation of a business’s goals and ideas. Do not only focus on the attractive element of the logo; ensure that it reflects on the goals which your business aims to reach.
  6. Market your brand
    Your fashion business will require a lot of marketing before it builds up a reasonable reputation in the market. Go online and advertise your products on all major social and e-commerce platforms. If your budget allows, you might want to rope in a celebrity to be your brand’s ambassador. You might want to participate in local events or even sponsor them to attract attention. The idea is to become visible in this heavily crowded world. You must stand out!

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Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj
CEO and editorial director of the CEOWORLD magazine, an extensively kudized author, noted journalist, syndicated columnist, and ostensible entrepreneur. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or connect on LinkedIn.
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