Many fashion entrepreneurs rush into starting their fashion businesses. I can understand the rush that comes with finally quitting your job and following your passion. But not doing a couple of things before quitting their jobs is one of the reasons why your fashion business will fail this year.
There are 3 key questions you need to ask yourself before starting your fashion business. If you intend to start your business and not have it fail this year then you need to get clear on a couple of things.
While many A-list fashion businesses we hear about today are doing very well and make outsiders look to join in and cash all the cheques. They don’t know that more fashion businesses have failed too. Nobody really highlights the failures that’s why everything looks so appealing and makes them dive head first.
This is the reason I decided to write this post today. I wrote down the top 3 questions you need to ask yourself to help you decide if starting a fashion business is for you or not.
3 Key Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Fashion Business
#1.) Do I really want to RUN a business?
Your first answer might be “Of course!” but I need you to chill and read further before you decide.
Let me guess: You are thinking it will be about working only when you want to, wearing fancy clothes and high heeled shoes, changing your status on social media to CEO and employing staff that answer to you.
I’m sorry to burst your bubble honey. It is nothing like that. Running a fashion business is managing your employees so they don’t send all your customers away with their bad attitude. Calling the delivery company at 10pm because your customer hasn’t gotten the product you sent two days ago and is dragging you on instagram. Drafting your marketing budget and finding ways to increase sales at 2am.
It is keeping up with new trends and trying hard not to buy a gun and shoot your copycat competitors for copying all your designs and strategies. While trying to make time for your family and not look like you haven’t slept in two weeks. Even if you haven’t.
Truth is, entrepreneur isn’t glamorous at the beginning. It required grit and dedication. They’ll be days you look at your account balance and dance with the stars and other days you’ll be hugging yourself and crying into your pillow at night. Starting a fashion business is a serious venture and should not be taken lightly. If you already have a 9-5 job you have to do these things or you’re screwed. Seriously, it is thinking only about the glamorous life that makes a lot of fashion businesses start without a proper plan. And they’ll fail this year. No kidding.
You have to understand that this is a fast-paced highly competitive industry where everyone is secretive about what’s working for them.
However, they are a lot of profitable fashion business niches that you can dab into. Maybe starting a clothing line is not the first step for you right now. You might need to start something smaller and build up as you go. You might need to intern at another fashion business to learn the skills you require to run a business in real time. Or just get a mentor and pay a monthly subscription fee to have them guide you (this is not a very affordable option but it is very helpful). Alternatively, you can enroll in a course, pay a one-time fee and have access for up to 6 months. In my Fashionpreneur Launchpad course, I teach step by step how to start a business that is set up for success. You might want to invest in it before I stop taking clients. You can visit this page to learn all about the course.
When things aren’t going the way you envisioned, the only thing that will keep you is your commitment to running a business. You will have a lot of responsibilities and need to make a lot of difficult decisions almost every day. If that doesn’t turn you off, then just maybe you can run a business. Either ways, it is your call. What do you think?
#2.) Do I already have or can I find the necessary skills, contacts and funding to build a profitable fashion business?
You need people. People need you. Now let that sink in for a bit. Doing a self-assessment of your skills and abilities will tell you what gaps you will need to fill in order to make your business work. You might have the necessary skills for one aspect but need funding, contacts or another skill set to add to what you have. You need to have these basic things on lock and key before you even think about launching your business. The advantage of having a partner in this journey is that you not only have someone to lean on in times of difficulty, you also have a division of roles.
This allows you to focus more on the aspects you are great at.
I have worked with some clients that knew what they wanted but didn’t have the required marketing skills to get their products out there in front of the right people. If this is your problem, then you are in luck. I already shared some must haves in your pre-launch marketing checklist. You should check it out and also consider joining my Fashionpreneur Launchpad E-course (it contains everything you need to know about marketing a fashion business). Go here to read everything about the course.
One major thing I have found that stops many fashion startups in their tracks is funding. They don’t know how to get funds to start their businesses. I won’t go into details of how to get funding because it is explained in the Fashionpreneur Launchpad course.
You will also need to find people in the Industry who agree to support you and work with you. You’ll need a couple of services like PR, photographers, influencers’ etc. who will (hopefully) give you their services as a discounted price. You might need to collaborate with them to get in front of the right people.
Well today is you lucky day.
In my fashion business collaboration guide, I went into detail on everything you need to execute a profitable collaboration, all the various collaboration ideas that can work for you and how to pitch your collaboration idea to just about anyone in the fashion industry! Go here to see all the details.
If you don’t already have the contacts of these people, you need to get out there and meet people so you can start your business on the right foot, with the right team behind you.
My FREE networking for fashionpreneurs e-course will teach you (step by step) how to make profitable connections in the fashion industry even if you are an introvert.
#3.) What is my unique selling point?
There’s no business idea that is completely unique. However, you’d have to bring something outstanding and unique to the table if you want any attention. What’s makes your business unique? Why should people buy from you instead of your competitors? What are they buying into; the product design, value or vision? What is your WHO, WHY and HOW?
If there is one crucial thing I recommend that you do before rushing off to start a business, it is to carefully craft your business concept. What is it about your business that will be unique? Why will people choose to buy your product over someone else’s? Is it the design, the price, the value or the dream that they are buying into? Have you actually profiled your ideal customer? Do you know how your ideal customer’s habits and relationships will affect your sales?
There are a lot of things to consider before starting your fashion business and I just listed these three. Honestly answering these 3 key questions will help you decide if fashion business is not really for you if you should start your own fashion (alone or with a business partner) or if you need to learn more or intern before you start!