So you want to start your own fashion brand, well how hard could it be? Especially there are many fashion brands launched on social media such as Instagram and Facebook. So, it shouldn’t be that hard right, right? Well no – it is difficult!
Since there are a lot of clothing brands out there, you will have to deal with a lot of competition to make sure your brand won’t get swallowed up by the waves of the other brands. You may think that your original and creative design is enough to be impactful and to last long in the fashion industry, but you also need confidence, assertiveness and a solid business plan.
Are you getting overwhelmed? Don’t worry, this article will help you to successfully start your own fashion brand. Scroll down to learn more!
- What makes your brand unique?
Okay, you can say that your brand is unique because it is designed by you. But that isn’t enough. You need to think further about the gap in the fashion industry that isn’t being filled. Ask yourself; What kind of clothing do you want to make?
Do you want to sell a pair of pants that is suitable for any occasion? Or a t-shirt made of materials that can be worn by eczema sufferers? Think about how your product can offer what major fashion companies can’t.
- Who is your target market?
Now that you know what type of products you plan to sell, you need to know if it’s suitable for your target market. If your products are not relatable to your target markets, it will affect your chances to reach more potential customers. Consider these factors when identifying your target market:
- Location (Local or international)
- Demographic (Age, gender, job)
- Psychographic (Lifestyles, personality)
- Pain points (How your product can help solve their problem)
If you set the youth to be your target market, you need to remember that they always follow the current fashion trends. So, you need to always be aware of the latest fashion trends by researching fashion magazines and social media pages such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. However, youth have limited funds so you need to include that factor when setting up pricing for your products.
- Who is/are your competitors?
In order to avoid creating the same products as the existing ones, you need to get your trench coat and shades on and check out your competitors. Okay, just kidding – just go head to their physical store or website to analyze them. So, get your notebook ready and write these down:
- Make a list of your competitors
- Note down their products, design and pricing
- Analyze their strengths and weaknesses
- See if you can offer that they can’t to customers
This list will help you to figure out if there are any chances your business can survive in the fashion industry, and also help you plan ahead to avoid any potential attack from your competitors. For instance, a lawsuit claiming that you’re copying their designs, etc.
- How will you get money to make money?
To start a business, you need to get funds and not everyone has the privilege of having generational wealth where you can ask for money from your family to start your business. So, what can you do to get funds?
- Personal loan
When you are thinking about business funding, a personal loan might not immediately come into your mind. However, it can be helpful especially if you only plan to loan a small amount and you want it quick.
In order for you to pass the requirement, you will need a good credit score and a history of stable income. To do this, you can get your business credit reports at your preferred credit bureau company. The upside of this loan is some banks disburse funds within one working day, so you don’t have to wait as much.
However, the downside of personal loans is they have a lower financing limit depending on your income. Furthermore, they have higher interest rates than a business loan.
- P2P lending
P2P refers to peer-to-peer and basically is when investors lend you their money to kickstart your business.
If you don’t qualify for a bank loan, you can opt for P2P loans as they have lower financial and operational eligibility requirements. They can also offer you fast financing where your application can be processed within a short number of days.
Even so, you have to be prepared for higher interest rates. P2P lending often charges higher than bank interest rates to make up for their lower financial and operational eligibility requirements. This is because investors will expect higher returns in exchange for taking a risk to invest in your business.
- Grants and schemes
Government or corporate schemes may offer low-interest or even interest-free financing or grants. But, they have a stricter set of eligibility requirements.
For instance, they may only offer business grants for specific businesses such as digital business, food or tourism. Or, they only offer a specific type of demographics like single mothers or someone below the age of 30. Plus, since they offer low-interest to no interest at all, you will have a lot of competitors when applying to them.
- How will your brand operate?
Now that you are aware of your brand purposes, your target market, competition and funding, you need to decide how your business will operate. To explain further, there are two types of fashion business models:
As the name suggests, this business model will have you handling the entire operation all by yourself. You need to take into factors of the time needed to get the raw materials, sew and cut your clothing. If your business has shown steady progress, you can hire more people to grow your business bigger.
The drawback of this model is you need to spend a lot of your time and energy since you’ll be doing a one-man operation, but it offers you an infinite amount of creativity by making a handmade clothing brand.
If you opt for dropshipping, it will ease a lot of your burden and stress compared to the previous business mode as it costs less money and time to produce your products. However, because dropshipping is easy to access, you will have bigger competition.
So, how does dropshipping work? Well, you can have your designs to be applied to ready-made products directly through a printing company. You don’t need to be concerned with your production as they will help you with that and you can focus on creating more designs, managing your store and advertising your products.
Now that you’ve scrolled down here, make sure to absorb all this information into your brain so you can start planning to start your own fashion brand. It’s fine if you are feeling overwhelmed and having self-doubt thinking about whether you can make it or not in the fashion industry. It’s totally normal, just take a few days to think about your decision and then you can begin the first step. I wish you good luck, future fashion brand owners!