In this post, we're exploring some of the key topics that budding fashion business owners should consider building their skills and knowledge before they embark on setting up their own fashion businesses.
let's count them down, 16 key areas and in no particular ranking. That would be way too subjective.
Not everyone suited to being their own boss. So if there's one place that has to be considered before you get all worked up and head to the nearest bank for a loan, it's to do some self-assessment and figure out why you want to run your own business. How prepared are you for it and where can you get ongoing support from? Understanding your self, your motivations, strengths and weaknesses will provide you with a clearer idea of how suited you are to the role of self-emp0loyment and all it's pluses and minuses.
You need to learn about the industry segments, core product categories, roles within the industry and the rising importance of ethical and sustainable fashion.
You certainly need to learn about the importance of having a clear strategy for your business, how to write a business plan, choosing a business structure, where to base your business and choosing an accountant.
Learn how to do research, defining your ideal customer, using research trends and how to do competitor analysis so that you can feed these insights into your business strategy.
Learn the principles of range planning and pricing so that you have a small, focused range that is attractive to buyers and encourages customers to buy more items from your range.
Learn the essential financial areas that you must manage in your business including profit and loss, cash flow and budgeting so that you can stay in business and avoid financial difficulties.
Learn about the principles of building a winning brand and how you can stand out from the crowd to differentiate yourself with a strong and consistent brand identity.
Learn about the manufacturing process and what manufacturers need from you so that you can choose who to make your samples and get garments made with the minimum of hassle.
Learn about the different routes to market you can use to ensure your garments reach as many of your potential customers as possible.
Learn how to approach buyers effectively, how to present your products to them, and negotiate the best deal which provides you with everything you need as well as meeting the needs of your buyers.
Learn about the various techniques you can use to promote your brand and products to your target customers as well as where to get funding from for your business.
Learn about the basic ways to protect your intellectual property and all the hard work you have put into creating your design so that you have some recourse when others try to infringe on your rights.
And that doesn't include the other areas of HR, payroll, VAT, taxation, managing debtors and creditors and so on.
In fact, it's no wonder working for yourself is probably the most stressful way of earning a living.
Clearly, if you've been in business for some time and have successfully started and run various fashion businesses the areas above will not come as a surprise. But for people entering the market for the first or second time, there's a steep learning curve to go through. The list of 12 areas above is a guide to start from and form the basis of our 12-week online program called How to Confidently Start Your Own Fashion Design Business.
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