The idea of starting a small business, with your brand name plastered across the neck of clothing items can sometimes cloud the mind. For the most part, you need to pay attention to important aspects of the fashion industry. Yes, the fashion industry is one that has stood the test of time and it will continue to do so, as long as capitalism and humans exist. In fact, even from the days when man sported animal hide, the need to stay clothed has pretty much prevailed. However, beyond this obvious analysis of the fashion industry, and the idea, thrill, and mere interest in fashion, there are underlying questions you will need to answer before delving into the fashion business world. Some of the below will help.
- Are you the right fit?
Many people like to play dress up and this automatically makes them believe that delving into the fashion industry is a viable way to continue with this hobby and stay paid. The thing is, having a fashion business is more than just a hobby, it requires you to be passionate and creative. Even more, when people think of the fashion industry, they think of designing or tailoring but it really is a huge industry and there are so many branches you can swing from.
Equally, there are various career paths to choose from within the industry. You could go into styling, fashion merchandising, public relations, fashion journalism, etc. Simply choose a niche that aligns with your passion and creative capabilities, as this is one sure way to succeed in the industry. So, if playing dress-up is your thing, you can start with styling before diverging into other spheres of the industry.
- What is the skill requirement?
While it may not be necessary to have an MBA or any core business degree to start a fashion business, there are still certain skills that are required, even if they are in their basic form. Think about your creativity, managerial, negotiation, and time management skills, as well as the obvious fashion skills. What level would you grade your knowledge in terms of these skill areas?
Other skills that are worthy to have included the ability to do basic math and calculations, as well as computer skills. In addition, though it’s not completely necessary, having photography skills is a huge plus.
More so, if after carrying out a personal assessment you are not satisfied with your skill level, don’t back down just yet as there are other options to explore. You could consider taking up a short course to improve these skills. Even more, you could find a business partner who is experienced in the industry and has the desired skills. Finally, you could explore the option of outsourcing some work.
- What will be your brand?
Whether you choose to specialize in fashion designing, fashion photography, or styling, you have to do it under the umbrella of a brand. A brand is simply the concept your consumers will associate your business with. Think of these questions; what reaction should consumers expect when they use your products or services? What makes you stand out from the sea of already established fashion businesses out there?
One way to start a good brand is to find a niche, research on that niche, develop an original style, and focus on producing nothing but quality. Once this is done, you can become a specialist in your field and aim to be the go-to source.
In addition, when creating a brand, make it revolve around a belief system. Let’s say you care about the environment, develop your brand around curbing global warming. A good brand has the ability to sustain a business through a crisis because many people are drawn to brands that stand for something.
- What is your goal?
So. you have done your research and found your niche, the next step will be to question what your goal is. Where do you see your business in the next 10 years? What can you do to actualize this vision? For example, if creating an online retail store across borders is your vision, you will probably need to think about expanding by setting up a website and having warehouses.
On the other hand, if your vision involves expansion in terms of a physical presence, then you should be planning towards creating more retail outlets across state lines and even in different countries. Whatever your goal is, take out time to figure out what you’ll need to get there.
It could be capital, which may need you to take up a bank loan or borrow from lenders like Buddy Loans. You may equally need to network to gain industry support or human resources in terms of employing more hands. Figure this out and use it as a road map to achieve your goal.
- What will be your marketing strategy?
The result of a good marketing strategy is the desire that builds up in consumers when it comes to your product or service. So, the question now is, how do you intend to ignite this desire? Think of advertising, promotional sales, and publicity as tools of marketing. There are many reasons why advertising is important especially to new businesses.
While it will cost you some money, do not look at it as a liability; rather, view it as an investment towards achieving more sales. Whatever advertising route you choose to take, remember to make your campaign align with your company brand – it has to be well planned out and distinctive.
More so, in terms of promotional sales, many promoters use urgency – a tactic which revolves around the fear of missing out (F.O.M.O). FOMO is a psychological technique that relies on the natural human desire to continually stay connected to what people are doing. They really don’t mind, even if it comes at a unique cost of admission.
You can even choose to partner with other businesses, which do not necessarily have to be in your field. For example, styling the actors on a movie set, partnering up with influencers to wear your outfits for photos on their Instagram pages and YouTube videos. You can equally go the obvious route of organizing contests and giving out discount codes.
While the most important part of any business is the end product or services rendered, you need to remember that the fashion industry is flooded with talent. So, be on your guard and always aim to stand out by building a strong brand. Also, conventional wisdom can be helpful when starting up a business but relying on it to direct you will leave you flying blind. However, proper research, hard work, and networking will have you soaring high sooner than you expected.