You may have a myriad of reasons for creating your own fashion brand but regardless of the motivations, the most important thing is to build a strong business from day one. To simplify your entrepreneurial journey, here are 5 essential steps that need to be completed before the launching date:
- Market research: do an extensive study to identify gaps in the market and talk to as many people as you can, from industry professionals to potential consumers. Research trends and evaluate where there is room for innovation (in customer services? Technology? Fabrics?). Try to back everything with data and case studies that will make you feel more confident when deciding about the…
- Business Model: where and how the product will be sold? Online and direct to consumer? Wholesale? A mix of both? How many collections a year? And the manufacturing process? Figuring out how the business will operate will impact every decision so, again, research all the possibilities very carefully.
- Funding: even if the investment will come from personal savings or loans from friends & family you have to quote every single expense, from product development to marketing campaigns, packaging to wages, in order to get a clear picture of the amount of money needed. Keeping the cash flow flowing is the ultimate goal so don’t underestimate the capital you need to keep the business afloat for the first years. Remember: you need money to make money.
- Branding, marketing & communication: how the brand is going to be presented to the world? What makes it unique and remarkable? What’s your positioning, mission, vision and values? Who is your target and why they should buy the product? Once these questions are answered it’s time to create the brand book, the marketing & communication plans and translate everything into visual elements and strategies.
- Business plan: where all the above information will be gathered. Needless to say, if you are going after funding (from bank loans to professional investors) the BP is the first thing they ask for. Even if you don’t, it is expected from every business to have it as a guide showing where the brand is heading to. Maybe you don’t need a super elaborated plan at the beginning but you definitely need one, so do it or ask help from professionals but never neglect it, please!
If you want to know more about each step to launch a brand, here’s a detailed guide
Image: Boots and Pine