Opening a new business in any industry can be intimidating, especially in the fashion industry, because there are so many big names that startups need to compete with. To succeed in your endeavor, you must remember some essential tips and tricks and apply them to your unique style.
It Is Not Just Clothes
The fashion industry is about more than just clothes; in fact, there are many startups you can open which have little to nothing to do with clothing or textiles. For instance, you can apply other business skills to companies already in the fashion industry, think web design or accounting, or work with jewelry and other accessories. You can also rent or customize clothing items seldom worn, such as wedding dresses, tuxedoes and costumes. You can even look up some business statistics around your preferred role or company model for an empty niche you can fill. An easy way to narrow down your options for business ideas is to look at business and market statistics to find your ideal customer or what they want. For example, if you live in an area with many schools, you should research fashion topics and items students are interested in, such as custom patches, badges or buttons.
Research Is Your Friend
The more research you do into different aspects of your startup, the easier it will be to find a secure path forward. This research should include the market demand for your product or service, what certificates or contracts you need to succeed, and your target audience. Remember that you will need to know quite a bit of the legal and business stuff besides the fashion stuff. Online influencers like fashion bloggers still need to worry about filing taxes, forming a separate legal entity for their companies and much more. You will also need to research why kinds of locations, tools and equipment you will need for your company. Some startups can get away with being entirely online for several years, while others will need brick-and-mortar locations from the beginning.
Remember the Legal Stuff
This next tip is a big one: do not forget that there are legal hoops you must jump through for the well-being of yourself, your company and your clients. This can include professional liability questions, such as if your fashion consulting firm is liable for damages from clients taking your advice. It can also include having a business license to operate legally in your area, such as the various state regulations regarding hair stylists, property zoning and having employees on the payroll.
Secure Your Branding
One of the first pieces of advice successful entrepreneurs tell beginners is to secure your branding as soon as possible. This means researching available trademarks and copyrights for your name ideas, buying the URLs associated with your chosen one, and securing that name on any social media site you can think of. The more places you can have the same name online, the easier it is for customers to find you and the harder it is for someone else to be mistaken for your official business accounts.
Once you have secured your business online accounts, it is time to start marketing, even if you have yet to open your doors. This gives potential clients time to see what your company is all about and whether they want to do business with you. It can also give you some valuable feedback because you can track which posts and advertisements gain the most attention, how much of that attention is positive, and make changes when needed before the grand opening.
Starting your business in the fashion industry can look like many different things, from making unique badges and buttons to consulting with established companies and even becoming an online influencer with a blog, video channel or more. To succeed in your endeavors, it is helpful to do your research into the market, your preferred business model and your target audience to see how much demand there is for your product, how you can meet a current need and whether you need a physical location or can do it all online.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.