Setting Up A Fashion Business 101: What You Need To Know
There’s no doubt that working in fashion is a dream for many of us – and you may even dream of being able to launch your own fashion label one day, sharing your unique creative vision with the world. Fashion is becoming more individual and democratic, and yet if you don’t have a career background in that area, it can be extremely hard to know how to get your fashion business up and running. Where do you start?
Finding Your Factory
It doesn’t matter if you have plans to launch a handmade line of leather accessories or you want to come for the crown of Topshop with contemporary fashions, your first port of call should always been to find the right suppliers. You’ll need to source everything from the actual maker of the clothes to labelling like swing tags and garment labels and packaging. Fashion, the most out of any industry, depends on quality garment manufacture. This can be quite a hurdle. The types of people who dream of launching their own clothing line tend to be creative, visual, design-oriented, but the business side of it requires a good grasp of logistics – suppliers, manufacturers, shipping etc. If you don’t get the production process right, you’ll never be able to successfully grow your business. There are a range of factories and different levels of service – some who can do everything from sourcing materials and creating patterns to others who simply assemble your designs.
There are two basic levels of service – cut-measure-trim, or CMT or full package production, which is more expensive, but the better option if you have no training in garment-making or pattern cutting. If you are a complete novice, opt for this, whereas if you’ve been working on your line at home and just need to scale up and add a professional polish, you should go for CMT. Plan to visit a few Clothing Manufacturers Trade Shows to get a feel for different suppliers and pricing.
Develop Your Online Presence
Getting the word out about your brand means that you need to develop a marketing strategy that will help you find your audience – but with visual brands that doesn’t need to be expensive. Focus on creating some brilliant content for Instagram – hire a local photographer or learn how to take flat-lay photos of your product. Research hashtags to find the ones which will help you designs be seen by the right people. Reach out to influencers with a good following and engagement, and see if they will trial your designs in exchange for some coverage. Creating your eCommerce website is another must. It doesn’t have to be complicated – you can use a platform like Shopify to do the hard work.
Brush Up On Your Business Skills
Having your own clothing range is a business like any other and it needs to be run as one in order to make a profit and earn you a living. Keep on top of the business affairs, including looking at your accounts every single day, and consider finding a mentor who can pass on valuable tips and encouragement. Read every business development book you can get your hands on. With a little hard work and careful application, you can grow your business and make a success of your brand.