The road to starting a fashion business

Written by Henry Young. Posted in World Business

Not only women, but also men dream to run their own clothing store. When you have a sense of fashion, it is understandable to want to transform your passion into a business. This store will offer you independence and you will decide what clothing items you want to promote. You have the chance to be an influencer and to help people change their style. You should know from the beginning that you would play one of the most important roles in your community. Running your own business is gratifying, but you have to be ready for facing some obstacles. You may have a sense of fashion, but making a business flourish is not as easy as you may think.

Before launching your clothing store, you have to focus on doing research. Statistics show that around 70% of the start-ups fail during the first year of existence. If you want to be part of the 30% of businesses that achieve success, you should make every step with caution.

Make sure that your business plan focuses on your strengths

When creating a business plan, it is important to know what audience you want to address with your business. The business plan of every company should declare the value proposition of their firm. You have to explain in the plan how do you want to enter the market, what strategy you want to use and what your capital is. The business plan offers information about the way the business is organised, who will manage it, and what position it will occupy on the market in the near future.

For creating your business plan, you have to make a SWOT analysis. You have to identify your strengths, because they will help you individualise yourself from your competitors. Your weaknesses will help you understand what aspects require your attention, and what disadvantages you have compared with your competitors. Your opportunities are the chances you get to reach success, what aspects you can use in your advantage. The threats show you what puts your business in the danger of becoming a failure.

Conduct research to understand the market

Why is research important for a fashion business?

Persons who have an amazing fashion sense start the majority of clothing stores. Some of them are designers with great talent, who use their store to share their creations with the world. But only because you are talented, it does not mean that you also have knowledge on your market audience. Clients have access to a various range of products, so you have to become an expert on how to reach the right public. If you want your clothing store to be part of the 30% of the businesses that are successful, then you should understand the local factors that influence the life of a business. Research will help you have a better understanding of the consumer behaviour and will offer you the needed information for creating your business plan.

Research is required to find out the clients’ mind-set, your purpose is to offer them clothing items that meet their values.

How should you conduct market research?

The first thing you have to know when you want to start conducting research on your own, is that there are two types of market research, primary market research and secondary market research. The primary market research includes the information you will gather at first hand. You will have to use focus groups, surveys, Facebook audience insights and one-to-one customer interviews. Third parties make the secondary market research, and they offer you the information you need. They use case studies, reports and even publications. You can conduct the primary market research, but it is advisable to hire professionals to help you with the secondary one.

In order for you to understand, what steps to follow when you conduct the primary market research, you should consult blogs sharing their insights like this. In case you consider that the process is too complex for you to conduct it, then you should hire an experienced agency.      

Your marketing strategy will be influenced by the market research

Before starting your business, you have to establish what budget you have. Marketing is an essential part of any business plan, and the best way to market your business, is to build a network. Before creating your marketing plan, you need to make a list with the clothing distributors, clothing storeowners, merchandisers, media editors and buyers. These people will be some of your guests at your launching event. They are the first members of your network, and they should receive information about your products, offers and business.

The data gathered from the market research will help you develop the content of the marketing materials. Also, you should use the information from your market research to establish the prices for your articles, and what the best providers are. Every product has a recommended price on the market, and the research will help you make a clear image.

When you create a marketing plan, you need to know exactly what your target audience is, and what competitors you have on the market. If you understand the behaviour of the buyers then you will know what marketing strategies to use to reach them and to convince them to buy. When you have a clear image of the behaviour of your public, you can start organising your marketing campaign, but do not forget to check your budget before.

Budgeting is important

With your business plan created, the market research is done, and the marketing strategies established all you have to do is to check the budget for your new store. Understanding what the process of starting a fashion business implies is a thing, but paying for it is another. If you do not have a considerable amount of cash in your hand, you should search for sponsors and partners. You should have a list of costs, and decide what will bring you profit. One of your greatest worries should be the rent of the space. The rent should not be higher than 10% of your anticipated revenue.