THE KEY THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CONSIDERING LAUNCHING A NEW FASHION LABEL
The diversity of available products and the overwhelming amount of competition, makes the fashion industry one of the hardest businesses to succeed in. So, it pays to plan ahead before you jump in at the deep end and prepare yourself for potential problems.
It is a well-established fact that despite all the difficulties, there are ways to make a successful company with a great business plan behind you.
If you think you have a unique idea for your business, but are struggling to know where to begin, read on to discover the key areas you need to consider:
1.THINK LIKE AN ENTREPRENEUR
Try to approach your new venture with an entrepreneurial mindset. Entrepreneurs typically approach things with a flexible and subjective view and go the extra mile to build relationships with manufacturers, investors and buyers. Accept that every perceived 'failure' is a learning curve and that you are actually failing forward, not backwards.
2.KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Do plentiful research on the market you would like to capture. Try and immerse yourself into their way of thinking and ask what it is that is missing in their daily lives that you can provide. Understanding your customers' buying habits and lifestyle choices is crucial to building relationships with them and when creating marketing content later.
3.START SMALL AND GROW GRADUALLY
Working on a wide variety of products involves extra time, resources and management. Instead of spreading yourself, and indeed your money, too thinly, begin with one or two beautifully designed product lines that you know your audience will appreciate and capitalise on those before moving on to new products.
You can develop additional designs later when you have established yourself as a trustworthy brand and have put some capital back into the business.
4.DON'T UNDERESTIMATE YOUR COSTS
Once you are confident in your design and product decisions, it is crucial to also calculate your start-up costs. The cornerstone of a successful fashion design business is agreeing the right prices with your suppliers and manufacturers.
Include sampling and development costs, design out-sourcing, labelling and packaging and of course bulk production costs.
5. BUILD YOUR WEBSITE
Many potential buyers do their research online before they commit to buying. Create a user-friendly, enticing website for your business that customers will want to return to and that will communicate your brands' messages perfectly.
Online presence is vital, even if you decide to wholesale your products. A beautiful, well thought out website shows that you are a professional, trustworthy organisation.
6. CREATE A STRONG BRAND IMAGE
You want your customers to develop an emotional connection with your brand and brands that create strong and memorable identities are the most successful. Communicate your brand with a unique voice and highlight your strengths, so that real people will identify with you, and will want to be a part of your journey.
Ensure your brand is seen in as many places as possible. Carry business cards with you, attend networking and trade events and aim to grow your contact list at all times. Grow your social media presence with informative relevant posts that are tailored to your target audience.
8. DISTRIBUTE FLYERS & BROCHURES
You are visible online, and people are beginning to talk about your brand, but make sure you are also getting the word out there about your business locally. You never know what contacts you can make and a small recommendation can snowball.
9. MEET PRODUCTION CHALLENGES
There will inevitably be challenges and holdups along the way, when it comes to producing your designs. Work with your suppliers and manufacturers to iron out issues and problems that arise with a level and calm head, building your long term relationship with them and securing their trust for future collaborations.
10. DON'T EXPECT OVERNIGHT SUCCESS
Keep watering your seedlings until you achieve the garden of your dreams. Monitor feedback and implement ways to constantly improve your business and streamline the progression of your brand.
Love what you do, and do what you love - the more fun you have, the more productive you will be!
Starting a new Fashion Brand?
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