With more and more people wanting to be fashion designers, how does one stand out? There is more to being a fashion designer than just great designs. Being in the business of fashion, means you have to be on top of your game creatively while keeping a close eye on your operations and expenses. After all the last thing any designer wants is to look like a starving artist or have the most trendsetting designs without a way to produce them.
In this highly competitive industry the fashion designers who can arm themselves with a solid business plan are the fashionistas who will outlast their competition. If you have a flair for design and want to start your own fashion line, start by asking yourself these questions below.
1. What type of line are you planning?
In this question identify if you will be designing ready-to-wear, sportswear, business casual, formal and evening wear or bridal. If you design a range of clothing identify and focus on the clothing you design the most. This will be hard for some, but the more you focus on one genre the more likely you can grow your business to the point when you can start making money and designing other types of clothing.
2. What kind of clothing will you sell?
Identify if you will be designing upscale, high-end, men’s, women’s, children’s, separates, t-shirts, shorts, evening gowns and etc. Again, if you design a range of clothing choose the items that will be the best seller of your line and prioritize from there. For example, my main source of income is from making high quality bridal gowns, but I do also make bridesmaids gowns when the bride requests them. Although, I do make bridesmaids gowns, I still choose to primarily market my company to brides and stores to try to sell my wedding gowns.
3. What kind of opportunity is it?
This is where you ask yourself how much time you’re going to devote and if this is a new start-up or something you are expanding. Will you start off working on your business part-time and then ease into making it a full-time career? Or have you already quit your day job to work to try to make your company from a local one to a national one?
4. Why will your line succeed?
This is the most important question to ask and often times the most difficult one to answer. Start by thinking about what you have already accomplished and what you hope to expect to gain from owning your own fashion business.
Example: My line will succeed because my designs are unique and original to the bridal industry, but appeals to many different brides. (Your answer should be at least several paragraphs).
Stay tuned this week as I reveal more questions. The four questions above are part of the “business segment” of a business plan. I will be providing questions for these segments in the future.
- Business Segment – Part 2
- Marketing Segment
- Location Segment
- Critical Risks Segment
- Financial Segment
- Milestone Schedule Segment
- Appendix Segment
- Creating Your Executive Summary
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