We all have to start somewhere right? We have heard "I'm new to this" many times before and we want to reassure you that it's absolutely fine.
So you've decided to start a fashion brand. You have the concept and you know what type of clothes you would like to make, but you don't know where to start...?
Let's start at the beginning.
Running a fashion business, is a business, and so it's a good idea to start here first. Below are some of the basics you need to know:
Where will your business sit in the market? Who will be your brand compete against? What does your brand stand for? Who is it for? What will make your brand different? And how much will you be expecting your ideal customers to pay?
You may think that this is jumping the gun a little, considering you do not know what your design will be and all you are currently interested in is getting some samples made. But we believe it is a good idea to start with your customer in mind and then develop your brand around them. After all, it will be your customers who will be buying from you.
How will you get your business to market? Will you use influencers? Where will you sell? What strategies will you use to gain brand awareness?
It's important that you have a good idea how you will get your brand noticed and promoted before you start.
Will you have a business partner? Will you be working on the business full-time or part-time? Who will build and run your website and social media platforms? Who will be responsible for admin?
There is a lot of work involved in starting and running a business. It's important to know who will complete daily tasks and when. If you are working alone at first, it's even more important to keep on top of things.
Once you have done your designs, you need to decide a few of the following things;
It is important that you have a general idea of the aforementioned before you being seeking a fashion studio/manufacturer. Why? Because these variables are almost always constant and will need to be answered at some stage, so we think it's better you start there first. (See our post on "Working Backwards".)
Point Of View
Being a fashion service provider we think it's important for us to ensure that clients who work with us understand the production process before we begin working with them. We want all of our clients to feel comfortable with the processes as well as having a realistic view of what is achievable.
We have had countless conversations with prospective clients, about how much they have to spend on developing their first collection? When asked, a lot of them have responded with "I don't know, I'm ringing/emailing around to see how much things cost and then I'll decide from there." To us, this is not necessarily the best approach. (Please see our post "The Cheapest Quote." Where we expand on this.)
Hopefully by now we have given you some clarity on where to start. Please let us know your experiences and comment below.