Calling all fashionistas! Are you ready to make your sketchbook fashion dreams become a reality? If you have ever thought about starting your own fashion business, there is no time to start like the present. But getting started can be a challenge when you don’t know how to do it. Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Coco Chanel and Marc Jacobs were once in your shoes.
If you’re looking to bring your trendy dreams to life, then you need the right tips and tricks in your arsenal. This blog will share the top 5 must-know tips to start a fashion biz and (hopefully) be the next Vivienne Westwood.
How Do I Start a Fashion Business?
Starting a fashion business can be one of the most exciting things you ever do, whether you want to keep it a simple at-home and online operation or plan on owning your own boutique one day. But without the right tips under your belt, it can be challenging to know how to do it and be successful.
One common question is whether you have to go to school to start up a fashion biz. Well, for some people, fashion is their whole life. This means going beyond the dreams and sketches in a notebook. They take design and fashion classes for years in college. But that isn’t entirely necessarily (although it does help).
Don’t think your dreams are limited just because you don’t have formal training. An eye for fashion goes a very long way. However, college-led designers and fashion lovers will need to follow the same structure for starting a business.
It typically begins with creating a rough draft for a business plan and bringing the project to action. From there, you will need to register your business.
5 Trendy Tips to Helping You Start a Fashion Business
Ready to leap into the world of entrepreneurship? Bust out your favorite pair of pumps, grab your go-to sketchbook, and get prepared for the time of your life. Your passion is about to become a reality – but these five handy tips will help you get started on the right (trendsetting) path.
1. Break From the Pack and Create Your Own (Targeted) Niche
One thing you never want to do as a new business is to do too much. While you might want to start a collection with tees, dresses, and totes, trying to do too much, in the beginning, can fail. You need to find something that you’re an expert at in the fashion industry. That’s because you will likely be making it on your own initially, and you need to do it well.
Your product also needs to be something that breaks apart from the pack and makes your brand stand out. Don’t do what has already been done a thousand times. Your brand will not stand out, and you won’t get very far in the industry. Step out of the box and wow your new customers.
Take your targeted audience into consideration when finding your niche, too. Once you know who you want to sell to, it will be easier to construct items that interest them. When researching your targeted audience, pay attention to all aspects of their lives, from social backgrounds to finances. From there, design and produce to target these potential customers.
2. Have a Vision For Your Brand
Success doesn’t come from winging it. You need to have a plan. Indeed, there will be some bumps in the road that may force you to switch up the project. But for the most part, a well thought out plan can be followed from start to finish with minimal chances. For that, you need a clear vision for your brand and what goals you want for the future.
Aside from having a plan that is understood and shared with the rest of your staff (even if it’s just one or two people in the beginning), you should also start thinking about the future for your brand in terms of identity. You want to stand out from the crowd. One easy way to do this is with an excellent fashion logo and mission statement.
The fashion logo design is essentially the vision of your brand. It will be the logo that people will begin to recognize, so make sure it’s something you like, and it’s something that represents your fashion designs well. For example, the colors and symbols should be a direct display of your business.
3. Don’t Forget to Market Your Business
What good is starting your own fashion business if nobody knows about it? Marketing is everything when it comes to branding and making sales. It doesn’t have to be super challenging or costly, either.
The best thing to do is to start by making a name for yourself on social media. Facebook and Instagram pages are entirely free. On these pages, you can showcase some of your designs. Have a friend model your products or pay a new model to sport your new line. Whatever you do, make sure the pictures are of high quality to pique potential customers’ interest.
Your new business should have a website, too. The website is where people can learn everything they need to know about your business while also ordering. That said, make sure your website stands out and makes a splash. You might need to pay for a professional, high-quality website, but it’s worth it in the end.
Marketing goes beyond an internet presence, though. Don’t be afraid to try some cool marketing ideas. For example, you can have a giveaway if enough people sign up for your newsletter or provide a buy one get one free for certain days of the week. Whatever gets people excited and talking about your business is the goal.
4. Don’t Forget Finances, Either
Sure, launching a fashion brand is fun, and you get to express your creativity in the form of bags, sunglasses, t-shirts, and more. But it isn’t exactly cheap, and you should understand that before diving into the biz. That said, don’t forget about finances when it comes to starting a fashion business. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Open a business bank account. First and foremost, you will want to open a business bank account. Why? Because you will differentiate between business expenses and profits away from your costs and profits. That way, it’s easier to know how your business is going. It’s also helpful when applying for financing.
- Obtain a credit card for your business. After getting your business bank account, don’t hesitate to contact a business credit card. These credit cards are beneficial for your startup when you might not have all the money you need. They are also useful for building credit for your business and putting money back into your biz.
- Start reporting your business expenses and profits. You will need to also keep track of your costs and profits by performing accounting. Here, you can place all of your expenses (such as startup costs) and see where your money is going. You can also understand profits better, leading to better handling of business money.
- Consider investors. Some people opt to use crowdfunding to start their business, and while it might help, it’s not reliable. What is more reliable is an investor or private equity firm. They can supply more considerable amounts of money for the startup. Keep in mind that they will exchange for a stake in the business, though.
- Budget right. It takes practice, but budgeting your finances is imperative to success. This will come in time, as you might end up spending more than you’d like right in the beginning. Over time, though, as profits start coming in, you will be better able to budget your money.
Staying on top of your finances is one of the only ways to know whether your business is booming. You may need to make some changes to the business model if you find yourself in dire straits. On the other hand, plenty of profits means expansion, which is excellent news for your company.
5. Know Where You’re Going to Sell
There are many options when it comes to where you are going to sell your fashion items. For most, eCommerce is an excellent place to begin. That’s because it’s cheap to go the eCommerce route, and setting up this type of website is easy – even for those who might not be tech-savvy. For example, Shopify is a cinch to set up, and it’s less than $30 a month.
eCommerce isn’t the only option for selling, especially when it comes to selling online. You may also consider selling on independent marketplaces, such as ASOS or Amazon. These sites are recommended because you’re able to get a fair amount of views on your products, and these websites are trusted by customers, which will lead to more confident purchases.
You don’t have to go all-out with a website, though. You can also sell to single individuals, especially if you want a small, handmade operation. For example, selling on the Facebook marketplace can lead to a few sales and keep it low-cost and straightforward.
Are you looking to go big and bold? When your business is booming and profits extend far beyond the expenses, you might want to consider opening up your small shop in town. That way, you will have access to nearby clients and an online presence around the world. People will enjoy being able to see your items in person, and you’ll get local sales.
Can I Start a Fashion Business From Home?
Many people are looking for businesses and jobs they can do from home, especially in this day and age. Well, if it has always been your dream to open a fashion business, the good news is you can do it from home successfully. That is where many startups in the fashion world start their businesses.
The process is essentially the same as if you were starting a regular fashion business. You will need to put together a plan, understand your niche and target audience, and market your fashion line. However, manufacturing might be a bit different.
You can choose to keep it small and only make items for clients as they purchase. If you want a more prominent company, you can consider wholesale manufacturing options and sell on Shopify or similar platforms.
Opening up your fashion business might seem like an overwhelming challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right attitude and tips under your belt, you can be successful. The most important thing to remember is that you need to find fashion items that break away from the pack, keep your finances in order, have a surefire vision, and don’t forget to market and sell.