No industry is easy to break into, but that is especially true about the fashion industry. One reason for this is the fact that many individuals who launch their own clothing lines do so based solely on their artistic abilities, without being entrepreneurial and without understanding how businesses operate. Before launching your own apparel line, consider these five skills that will help you build a successful fashion business:
1. Knowing your niche well
The first and most important thing to do is to determine your field of expertise in the fashion industry. For example, if you have experience in creating a certain type of garment or you have a signature print that sets you apart from the crowd, stick to only producing what you know you’re good at in the beginning – the experimental phase will come after your business has grown and stabilized.
2. Thinking about design
When it comes to fashion businesses, a common mistake entrepreneurs make is focusing solely on their design field without realizing how big of an impact interior and graphic design can have on consumers. Your potential customers will get the first impression of your business by looking at your company’s logo, and a professionally designed one can have the power to invite them in. Similarly, the way your store is designed and decorated plays a large role in the decision-making process of a consumer. The Middle Eastern fashion market is a great example of this, where customers only opt for stores that feel comfortable and inviting, almost as an extension of their homes. If you have a business in Hong Kong, you should consider using services of a branding agency, equipped with skilled professionals who will make sure your store is enticing and attractive to customers.
3. Establishing a pricing model
Making a profit off of your products is necessary for your business’s success. Profit is made when you generate more revenue than the fixed and variable costs combined. Fixed expenses are those that have already been made and can’t be changed, such as office space and equipment. On the other hand, variable costs are expenses that can vary from one period to another, such as salaries and production costs. In order to ensure you make a profit, you must establish prices that are 30-50% higher than the combined expenses.
4. Creating a marketing strategy
Identifying the target audience is the first step in any marketing plan – clothing lines designed for businessmen need to target businessmen because targeting any other individuals will not yield the desired results. When you get to know your audience well, you’ll know what it is that appeals to them. Remember that you don’t have to do everything on your own – hiring an advertising company is the best way to make sure you reach your audience in a favorable way. Another good idea would be to explore alternative markets where you could potentially expand, such as the Chinese luxury fashion market, whose consumers represent 35% of the world’s luxury purchases and where interest in niche brands is on the rise.
5. Ensuring an online presence
Another great component of any successful fashion business is online presence. Most consumers in today’s society turn to the internet first when trying to find a product, which is why a website is crucial for attracting new customers. Your e-commerce website should be simple and user-friendly and it has to provide consumers with all the important information about your products and pricing in order to drive more online traffic towards your site. Another good idea is to expand your business to various social media sites, as they play a crucial role in online marketing.