Setting up your own fashion brand? Here’s 5 steps to think about before you launch.
When launching your own business, it is important to consider how you work as an individual. Your personal values form the conscious thought of your brand, influencing the products you create and how you respond to others who you may work and collaborate with. Self-assessment begins by working out what your fashion brand will mean to you. Make a list of your values and reasons for launching your brand, what is it that you want to achieve?
What do you consider to be your personal strengths? How do you think these will help you when running a fashion business? Recognizing your strengths means your business decisions retain focus and clarity.
What are your weaknesses? Do you think these weaknesses will affect your ability to launch your brand? Recognizing your weaknesses can help you create a strong foundation for your brand; as you progress, these are the areas you will aim to develop through goal setting and tracking
As a business owner, efficient research is your validation. Plenty of academic research is available online, but you can conduct your own market research through social media, surveys, and customer feedback. Firstly, you should discern who your customers are and what they are looking for from your product or service.
Yes, the market is busy, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t the space and demand for your contribution. Determining your niche can be tricky but it is immensely valuable, it will become your brands most recognisable feature, and dictate where you sit within the industry.
Why are you choosing to launch a brand? What is the value in creating and selling the product you intend to create? You need to consider value, particularly value added: is your work pushing the market forward and growing the sustainable fashion climate, or are you working at the same, current level?
Speaking and sharing: this is critical to forming a rounded understanding of your consumer. Discuss your ideas with as many people as possible, listen to their advice and incorporate it into your business ideas. I consider this process to be the most valuable stage of your start-up and launch phases.
Testing ideas, services and products on your target market is vital before you begin to spend more money on taking risks and developing your products.
Even though I’m a self-confessed planner, I know that it’s not possible to plan for every eventuality! At some point, you’ve got to go for it and throw yourself in. The temptation to reach that point where you feel 100% ready is always there, but I don’t think there’s any such thing as being completely prepared – there will always be something you’ve not quite finished, or something which isn’t quite perfect.
My best advice? Just go for it!
At this point, I’ve talked a lot about research and practice and assessment and planning; these are the aspects of your business that you can control meticulously. From my experience, there’s a lot to be said for winging it and going with your instincts!