At first glance, the fashion industry might seem easy to get into, but it’s pretty challenging to build your own successful fashion company with retail stores. Fashion houses need solid business plans and plenty of funding to be taken seriously. You’ll need to make sure you have everything covered from the beginning if you hope to succeed in this industry.
Marketing is also essential; however, for the most part, you can search for something like “advertising on LinkedIn with First Page NZ” and find the right advertorial partners to help you scale. Nonetheless, if you want to build a fashion empire with retail stores, there are some things you need to know. Here are some helpful guidelines on what you should know when building a fashion company with retail stores.
What You Need to Know When Building a Fashion Company with Retail Stores
Doing It Alone
Regardless of whether you have investors, it’s important to remember that building and growing a fashion brand takes more than one person. No matter how good your product is, it won’t sell itself—and no matter how well you market yourself on social media, people won’t buy unless they like what they see when they look at your product. Find mentors in other brands who are successful within their industry so that you can develop your business plan correctly before moving forward.
If you’re planning on opening up a retail location, think about which brands will complement your own. If you run an edgy clothing line, don’t try to open up a retail space that specializes in baby clothes. Think about what your store will offer and partner with complementary retailers. Remember you might need to open additional stores: To have any presence in today’s fast-paced retail industry, you need multiple locations.
It’s crucial for you and your co-founders or employees to own some of your business to focus on core competencies. Outsource what you don’t know how to do—and get good at knowing which skills you don’t know. If you want your business to build toward an exit, experts say it’s terrible not to hire someone with more expertise than you have in a specific area of business (such as accounting).
Finding a Supplier
Finding a high-quality supplier can be challenging. There are over 60 million independent contractors in China making clothing if you’re looking for clothing. Still, you don’t want to deal with that mess—you need an established factory with experience in your industry and a proven track record of delivering quality products. Where you choose to get your supply should also live up to your company values; if you want to be a homegrown business, find a supplier in your location.
Choosing Your Market
The retail industry has changed dramatically in recent years, with competition becoming fiercer and new business models constantly emerging. To have any chance of competing in today’s market, your company needs to have an innovative business model that gives you an edge over other brands. Before you decide where you want to open your first store, consider carefully what kind of business model makes sense for your brand.
Choosing Your Store Location
The retail industry is highly competitive, so you’ll need to ensure your store location is in an ideal spot with lots of foot traffic. That doesn’t mean your business needs to be in a busy urban center like New York City or Los Angeles—if you want to start small, try opening up in an area where people live and work, like a suburb or small town. To attract as many customers as possible, identify heavily trafficked areas within these neighborhoods.
Choosing Your Brand Name & Tagline
Developing your brand name is essential, as it’s what consumers will identify you with and make them remember your products. Make sure you have a solid story behind your brand name. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out some of these world-famous brands and see how they developed their names: Nike, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and KFC; all use their product name in their tagline.
Branded Products or Private Labels?
Is it better to create your line of clothing and brand it? Or would you be better off creating private label clothing for big retailers? The answer depends on your unique situation. It may be that you’re only launching a single retail store or even just one product line. In that case, branding and creating your products is more feasible.