Fashion

Getting started with selling fashion

No business model is entirely recession-proof. When money gets tight everyone must cut back on what they spend. But there are some things that people simply cannot do without. Clothes fall into that category. People still need to buy them and when they have a little spare cash often, they will treat themselves to something new to wear.

So, even in the current economic climate, it still makes sense to set up a fashion store. Below we go over the basics. The things you will need to be aware of and get done to set your fashion business up on a firm footing.

Decide what type of clothing you are going to sell

There is more than one way to sell clothes. Your first step is choosing which approach you are going to use. The following are your main options:

  •     Sell clothes you make or have made for you
  •     Sell items you buy from wholesalers
  •     Open a franchise fashion store, with the franchise deciding what you sell and supplying you with those items
  •     Sell upcycled or second-hand clothing

Work out how you are going to sell your clothes

There are several ways a fashion brand can make its clothing available to buy. You can:

  •     Sell online
  •     Open a store in a shopping center or on a busy street
  •     From a market stall
  •     At exhibitions, festivals, and events
  •     A combination of the above

Understand whether your business idea will be profitable

Before you sign a lease or set up an online store you need to make sure that your fashion business has a good chance of being profitable. You will need to first get a handle on the following, unavoidable, costs:

  •     The cost of rent
  •     The cost of any licenses or legal services you may need
  •     A rough idea of what your power, water, and other services will cost
  •     Insurance costs
  •     Any services you may need, for example, a window cleaner if you have a store
  •     How much money you would need to have tied up in stock
  •     Staffing costs
  •     If you plan to sell clothes that you make or have made you also need to understand the costs of producing them.

Armed with that information you can work out how much stock you will need to sell to turn a profit. Provided you know what the margin will be on what you are planning to sell. This article explains how to work this out.

If you are confident that you can sell enough to cover your costs and make a profit, you can take the next step and open your business.

Put together a business and marketing plan

Put together a business plan, that includes:

  •     Getting your store fitted out and/or setting up your online shop
  •     Launching your business
  •     Promoting it
  •     Running your fashion store

Include costings and timings, doing this ensures you stay on budget. It will also act as the foundation for a schedule that can be used to ensure the setup and opening phases go smoothly.

Plan your marketing from the start

Regardless of where you decide to sell from it is important to bear in mind that the fashion industry is incredibly competitive. You need to stand out, build your brand and put together some great promotions from the start.

Make good use of digital display screens

Inside your store be sure to make good use of digital signage for fashion. It is an incredibly powerful marketing tool. The promotions that are being displayed can be changed throughout the day. So, if it suddenly starts raining it is possible to put together an offer on raincoats, boots, and umbrellas. Having the flexibility to respond to the needs of your customers is key to securing those extra sales that will keep you profitable,

Create a decent website

Regardless of the fashion business model you are pursuing, creating a fashion website is a great way to showcase your products. You can use traditional product shots, or you can create a look-book that includes styles in action. Online look-books are particularly useful because they allow visitors to get a sense of your brand before they step inside your store.

Promote your brand

There are many ways to promote your brand. You can start by taking advantage of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These sites allow you to showcase your clothing designs, share photos of your new line, and connect with future customers. You can also hold events like a launch party or a trunk show.

Keep everything legal

In addition to the basics of running a business, you’ll need to make sure you’re putting the proper legal paperwork in place.

The above covers the basics of creating a profitable fashion business.

 

Sylvia J

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Sylvia J

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