Starting a business can be filled with unexpected surprises and a fashion business is no different. However, there are several things I wish designers knew about launching their labels. This inspired me to create a short list of 5 things you need to know before you start your brand...
#1 Your Income Will Always Fluctuate
There are various factors that can affect your cash flow. Keep in mind that you are working for yourself, therefore, there is no monthly salary. In the beginning, it can take some time to pick up. However, if you want to increase your profits, you will need to do 3 things:
- Sell quality products and services
- Be consistent with your offerings
- Treat every customer like the only customer
Remember, odds are there are others out there who are promoting the same products or services. As a result, you have to give people a reason to be a repeat customer.
#2 Manage Your Expectations
It is not as glamorous as it seems, it is a lot of hard work. You will wear all the hats in the beginning. To use a restaurant analogy, you will be the head chef and the dishwasher. As a consequence, you can be in for some long days because you will need to focus on all aspects of the business.
#3 Research Inexpensive Or Free Options In The Beginning
I see way too many people spending money on unnecessary items. For example, if you are a fashion designer who needs a sewing machine, purchasing one that is brand new. A new industrial Juki machine is around $1000 to start, but if you were to buy a used machine, it would cost between $500-$700. Try to find free resources and purchase items second hand, if possible. Craigslist and Ebay are good options. There is no need to go into debt to start a business if you can avoid it.
#4 You Must Track Everything
Tracking your expenses is crucial to the success of your company. For example, if you are a blogger and spend money on taking a blogging course, this expense should be noted. It is seen as a business and knowledge development tool, therefore,it is considered a tax write off. There are many things that you may need for your business that could be considered tax deductible. In addition, you want to be aware at all times of how much money you are spending and where it is going. Once you have this information at your disposal, you will know where to cut costs to save your business money.
#5 No Marketing, No Business
I have three words for you, Promote, Promote, Promote. The theory of "if you build it, they will come” is bogus. You have to shamelessly promote what you do. In the music world when artists are on the radio, they are constantly promoting their brand. From Dipset to Cash Money, no one will know who or what you are connected to until you promote it. While you aren’t shouting it from the rooftops, you have to get into people’s faces. You must use social media as your stage and your product or service is your microphone to communicate your concept. Try to find interesting ways to market and promote your business.
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