With the current economy squeezing every penny out of our pockets, hundreds of people have turned to themselves for employment by starting their own business. A lot of these start-ups come through our marketplace system and are very successful both on a small and a large scale. It’s very possible that if you’re keen on fashion that you’ve thought about the prospects of having your own fashion business. So here are some of the key points to consider when going through the start-up process.
Funding and Taxes
There are a variety of government run organisations that are available to help you start up your business however when initially starting up its likely that you’ll be investing your own money. To do this you will first have to plan your budget and then create a system to keep a handle on your finances. The use of a spread sheet to keep track of your cash flow as well as a physical file to store your important documents such as receipts and purchase orders should be enough to be able to calculate your assets and liabilities. All of this stored information will be needed when you come to look for an accountant.
Branding is possibly the most important factor when starting up a new business as a weak brand can’t carry a good product. You should aim to cater to the 3 R’s of branding which are Reach, Recognition, and Reputation.
When you need additional funding for growth, you’ll need a business plan to show your investors that your business is worth their investment. Your plan should contain the following key areas as a minimum:
- Mission statement
- The industry in which you will operate
- Your target market
- Direct competitors
- A marketing plan that includes products, pricing, sales and distribution
- Financial plan
- An executive summary.
This is an essential part of the start-up process especially when making the transition from a lean business to an expanding business. There are plenty of organisations that provide advice on business plans including the Prince’s Trust.
Creating a Presence
Regardless of your product or your budget, you’ll need to get into the public domain in order to reach your audience. Fortunately, the internet makes this easier than it’s ever been.
You’ll want to secure your online domain before you’ve mentioned your brand to anyone outside your close friendship circle to avoid someone else grabbing it first. A domain can be bought extremely cheap with some being available for as low as £6.99 on various domain purchasing websites. If you don’t yet have the funds to build your website, buying the domain can still be useful to keep on hand whilst selling in a retail space like ASOS Marketplace until you’re ready to take the next step.
Showcasing Your Creations
Now that you’ve made some small sales and hopefully re-invested the money to secure inventory it’s time to push to get your brand seen by a wider audience. There are a few ways you can do this; you can place advert at your university for students that would like to be involved in the launch of a fashion brand. The same principle can apply with a photographer however it could be wise to play it safe and secure a professional just to make sure your designs are seen in their best light. Putting effort into how the product is portrayed online will improve the overall experience of the consumer on your website and hopefully increase sales. Launching a pop-up boutique in the heart of a city is also a great way to generate new sales and get your brand seen in a hurry. These boutiques often arouse curiosity and the idea of being amongst the first on side with a new brand is an exciting prospect for fashion consumers.
This article was written by Akin Fagbohun who is a researcher and content writer on behalf of ASOS Fashion.