Are you thinking about becoming a fashion entrepreneur? If so, then you might have already started reading articles online searching for advice about starting a fashion business. It’s possible that if you are smart, you have reached out to the influencers of this industry. Cool, but there are a few things that they won’t mention and that are crucial when you start this journey. Are you ready to get started?
It’s Not One Size Fits All
You might think that there’s only one type of fashion business, but that’s not true at all. There are countless options to consider here. For instance, you could become a fashion blogger. As a blogger, you will be able to write about your passion for fashion. This could be as formal or as informal as you like. Indeed, it’s important to find your own voice and style here because there’s a lot of competition and it can be difficult to find a readership.
Alternatively, you could also think about becoming an influencer. Again, it can be quite tricky and a long battle to gain the attention you want. But, you’ll find that the pay off can be incredibly rewarding. You will make thousands, simply by posting fashionable images online. You will need to make sure that you hone your photography skills or find someone who is willing to take your pictures. Selfies probably won’t cut it in the long run.
Then, there are the classic options that people often think of when they consider starting a fashion business. You could become a designer and make your own clothing or accessories which you can then sell. If this sounds like the right option for you, then you may want to think about first attending a fashion school or similar education option. You will need to pursue investors and they tend not to be willing to take chances on people who they consider to be amateurs.
It’s important to be aware that there is no easy route to being successful here. Regardless of what choice you make, there are going to be challenges on the horizon. However, they are not impossible to overcome if you are realistic and put the work in.
You Need A Following
You might think that you can just jump into building a fashion business. While it’s possible to take this route, it’s far more beneficial to make sure that you have a following first. Ideally, you should build a few thousand followers on a social network such as Instagram. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Indeed, if you ask any Insta influencer, they will tell you that building up the first 1000 is quite an uphill struggle. The good news is that once you pass that first hurdle, you’re going to find things are a great deal easier.
So, how do you build up a following? Well, assuming you don’t look like Bella or Gigi Hadid, you’re going to need to focus on quality. Content is king, but this is only the case if you give something that people want to read or – in the case of Instagram – see.
Since you are working to build up a fashion business, it makes sense to ensure that you are focusing on this element. Do be aware that there is a difference between style and fashion.
Style is about embracing your personality or own preferences and displaying them through the clothes you wear or the accessories you choose. Fashion needs to be embraced by a certain number of people. While it’s possible to build your Instagram following by showcasing your style, it’s far easier and indeed faster to focus on fashion. You’ll find that it’s far easier to get people to embrace your brand if you do this. Style can be a more acquired taste and may not appeal to the largest audience.
Do check out a few accounts and learn from them. Even smaller accounts can provide great tips on how to create the right impact. Just look at this example of marketing a brand:
Extra note: Make sure you avoid buying follows. This can be a tempting way to fake it until you make it. However, every social media is now cracking down on this tactic and punishing those responsible.
You Need A USP
Did we mention that the fashion industry is competitive? It’s a point that’s worth repeating because it will ensure that you don’t underestimate the challenge. To combat this issue, it’s important that you stand out from the crowd. Essentially, you need a USP or unique selling point. With a unique selling point, you can make sure that you are offering something that no other business can provide to customers.
Your USP can be anything and you should complete some research here. Get to know your competition and find out where they are feeling. Fill the gaps that they are leaving in demand for the product or even the service that they are offering. If you are creating your own fashion brand, then you need to offer something on the market. There’s no point in replicated the style of Stella McCartney because chances are people are going to just buy the original instead.
You might have heard that you can start a business with no money in your account. While this may be true for certain business models, it’s not the case with a fashion venture. Just think about all the things you need to purchase. You need to make sure that you buy clothing and even if you choose to purchase wholesale, that’s going to hit your finances. You will also need to focus on marketing. Digital marketing is the best way to reach the widest audience and while it is scalable, it’s certainly not free. Particularly if you want to make sure that you do see results.
That’s why you should be making sure that you save in any way you can. There are numerous ways to save on the cost of your business. For instance, if you are going to create your own merch, then you should price compare a few different suppliers. Though it could seem like a simple step, you could see great savings here. Of course, you also need to make sure that you find a company that you can trust.
In some cases, the cost of running your business is going to overlap with personal bills that you may already have. However, it’s quite easy to save here and cut the costs out of both aspects of your life. One example of this would be your phone bill. You will need to keep connected when running your business. You should make sure that you are staying in contact with influencers, outsourcing solutions and of course, your customers. That’s why you should make sure that you are exploring phone deals. Deals like SMARTY refer a friend will help you save on your phone and in turn, your business. If you refer 12 friends, you’ll get your phone service free for a year.
You are also going to need to consider whether you require a business office. There are a lot of business models that you can run from home and depending on the route you take, it’s possible that a fashion business could fit this mold. This is going to lead to a massive saving and if you do feel you need a brick and mortar presence, you can always consider a virtual office. It’s far cheaper and provides a lot of the same benefits.
We hope you find this advice useful when you are working to build your new fashion business. Remember, the industry is competitive but all you need is the right hook and you are going to be able to reach the top of the market.