Starting a fashion business is the dream that many designers harbour. The vision of his or her own brand is rewarding in itself. But the act of opening a boutique or a fashion store is no cinch. It takes a hell lot of effort, hard work, patience, passion and creativity. The success rate in the apparel industry may not be overwhelming for everybody. One has to avail a careful and well planned structure. The world of fashion is prone to heavy fluctuations, cut throat competitions and fastest changing trends. Lack of proper experience may prove to be an obstacle for an entrepreneur.
This would definitely mean gaining a comprehensive knowledge about the industry. One should read out research journals, blogs, publications, etc. related to the industry which can help in getting the perspective of current scenarios as well as future trends.
Establishing contact with a veteran of the industry for mentorship and guidance can be a crucial key to success. Attending various discussion boards, groups and workshops related to the industry can enhance insights.
A fashion designer must have the attributes of an entrepreneur if he or she wants to launch his or her own clothing line. As an entrepreneur, one must have the knowledge and understanding of how a business works. One must build solid relationships with a wide range of people such as manufacturers, investors, and buyers and follow a planned route in business.
The customer centric strategy is probably the most successful strategy any brand can avail. Zara has proved it better than any other brand. The market of the fashion industry is vast, consisting of a wide section of the population from all ages and interests. Knowing them all would help decide the range collections situated to the demography and tastes.
Fashion business is capital intensive. One needs to be cautious about one’s ambition. Starting small with sampling products can make sure the business venture doesn’t collapse before it even takes off. This strategy of tasting the market leaves one with ample space and resources to improve and improvise. The further development of the product should be based on the market response.
Thanks to e-commerce and online marketing, it just might be possible to turn a brand that began in a small store into a big clothing brand. A website with adequate information about the store, its motto and collection should reach out to the customer. This will act as an extension of the brands marketing and advertising. Once the popularity is ensured, the brand may begin to cater to the online shoppers.
Since consumers are at the receiving end of every product, the brands should make sure that the consumers want and desire what they produce. The brands should make a constant market survey of the trends in fashion that are shaping the tastes and preferences of the customers. This will add to the dynamic nature of the collections.
It is important to find out the amount that the target customer is willing to pay. The brands may decide their inventory accordingly then. Achieving the right balance may seem challenging but the idea is to make the customers happy even while attaining a decent profit.
Keeping track of the competitors is a crucial step. Analysing things like their design variety, pricing, and promotion, is important as it may spur some new ideas for the business strategy. This can be done easily nowadays by reading the blogs of competitor brands and signing up to their newsletters to keep tabs on what they’re up to.
While things are underway the best thing one can do is market and engage with the audience before the clothing line is actually available for sale. Building hype in advance helps get people excited and creates anticipation around the designs. Social media can be used as a weapon for pre-launch marketing.
Reviews from customers or other people interested in the clothing brand help in learning and growing. Non-Positive reviews shouldn't be treated as criticism. They should push the brand more towards success through modifications and evolution.