Do you want to become a professional and successful fashion designer this year? Do you want to start a profitable fashion design business?
If YES, then this article is only what you need to read today.
Fashion design is art dedicated to the creation of clothing and other lifestyle accessories.
It involves a set of skills that range from market research and creativity to sketching and fabric selection.
A fashion designer designs and assists with the production of clothing, shoes and accessories, identifies trends, and selects styles, fabrics, colors, prints and trims for a collection.
The fashion industry is indeed is a multi-billion-dollar industry and an art of its own, and just like an artist, has no limit to the types or number of creative touches you put to it.
It has become increasingly attractive so much that one would want to become a fashion designer.
Becoming a fashion designer involves a lot and having a successful fashion business is easy and you’re going to learn how today.
You will need to have a combination of drawing, sewing, creativity sense, carefulness and design skills, knowledge of the fashion industry, and unparalleled perseverance.
You’ll also need to create a strong fashion portfolio and strengthen your knowledge of business and finance.
A talented fashion designer goes the extra mile to develop the skills and potentials in him or her in this trade.
Such skills and potentials include the ability to design unique style, sewing skills, and others.
There is also the need to gain the skill from more experienced person in the fashion and designing field if you think you have not gained enough knowledge.
This is very important as skilled fashion designers have an advantage over unqualified fashion designers.
Currently, there are a lot of great benefits and potentials for fashion designers in the world, because more and more people are willing to wear quality fabrics and clothes designed by skillful fashion designers.
Beauty products are in good demand especially if it has to do with women because real ladies don’t joke with anything that could make them look presentable and classy.
This is where finely designed clothing, footwear and accessories come in handy.
One good thing about this business is that if you are just starting out, you can start from the comfort of your home.
Depending on how you intend to start the business, it can be operated both part-time and full-time bases.
So, do you want to know how to turn out to be a fashion designer and have a successful fashion business?
This article will help you in becoming a successful fashion designer, start or improve your existing fashion design business in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, India and perhaps anywhere else in the world.
Before we get into the core of this post, I’d like to tell you to grab some coffee or tea.
This is quite a long post and if you’re really interested in becoming a successful fashion designer this year, you’ll definitely read to the end.
Steps to Becoming a Fashion Designer with a Successful Business
Even if you don’t know have an idea on fashion designing, you must have genuine interest and be willing to learn and know more of this field.
Money, although important, shouldn’t come first in your quest in becoming a fashion designer, if not you are most likely to lose track.
Be passionate about your hobby and stay focused.
Your passion and gifts can translate into something big i.e., something you do in your spare time can just be what people all around the world are looking for.
Avoid being distracted by events around you or other competitors.
2. Determine if You’re Ready for the Fashion Industry
You’ve to personally evaluate your skills and personality honestly before pursuing a career in fashion design.
You may be a fashion lover but only this isn’t enough when undertaking fashion design as a career.
Becoming a fashion designer is probably for you if:
- You usually sketch designs or offering free advice on some fashion tips, and then you most likely have the success ingredient which is creativity. This will keep you relevant in the fashion industry for a long time.
- You’ve excellent communication skills, willingness to work very hard, receptiveness to having many clients and/or employers, power to be a self-disciplined self-starter.
- You’re willing to read widely by finding the biographies and true stories of fashion icons in fashion that you’re interested in. Learning all the ins and outs of their experiences and see how you can use their experience to better your own.
- You’re willing to design all the time, as a way of getting further inspiration and also showing your progression. This will help potential employers see how you have learned and developed.
- You want to devote your life and time to this career. You don’t mind uncertainty or insecurity; you will stand up for what you believe in; you have clear-cut ideas about what is important in fashion; you listen to clients well, know the fashion industry inside out and you live, eat and breathe fashion.
Being a fashion designer is probably not for you if:
- You can’t manage stress and criticism well, you don’t like rejections, uncertainty or instability, you can’t keep up with the competition, fashion trends, you’re financially unstable and have other life interests.
3. Know which Fashion Niche is Your Passion
To set yourself apart, you will need to decide, as early as possible, exactly which branch of fashion you want to pursue.
Don’t just opt for an area that makes more money, or is easier to pursue.
Your fashion niche has to speak to your talents and interests if you want to succeed.
This will help you hone your skills, putting you in a better position to take on competitors when you enter the world of fashion design.
If you try to be a jack of all categories, you will end up being master of none.
So, choose a category of your interest.
Each has advantages and disadvantages that you’ll need to explore before reaching your final decision on which pathway to pursue.
- Accessories (purses, hand bag, jewelries, scarves, watches, wristbands, hats)
- Boys’ wear and/or girls’ wear (teenage wear)
- Bridal wear
- Costume design for theaters, movies
- Fitness/leisure gear
- Footwear (shoes, sandals, slippers, boots etc.)
- Haute couture
- Maternity wear
- Men’s daywear, men’s evening wear
- Outdoor, adventure, outerwear
- Sportswear/fitness/leisure wear
- Women’s daywear, women’s evening wear
- Uniforms for school students, doctors, factory workers
Also determine if you would target the regional market, national market, or international market.
4. Enroll in a Fashion School (Complete a Degree Program)
With creativity comes guidance.
Guidance in this sense means first enrolling in a fashion school that teaches you the basics and the techniques of producing stunning fashion designs.
Getting relevant training or a degree program will help you understand the rudiments of this business if you want to be involved in the sewing process.
Training will help in developing your skills such as drawing, an eye for color and texture, an ability to visualize concepts in three dimensions, mechanical skills involved in sewing and cutting many fabrics, understanding how fabrics move, drape, breathe, react when worn.
Your in-depth knowledge of fabric is essential to using it properly when designing and also know where to source materials from.
Being able to sew difficult fabric under challenging situations will stand you in excellent stead throughout your career but you need to work at it – it’s a skill that doesn’t come easily to many people.
No matter how artistic you are, the fashion industry is exceptionally competitive and education can make you more attractive than otherwise uniformly qualified candidates.
There are several fashion schools in the world and although the enrollment fees can sometimes be substantial, but this is nothing compared to the valuable knowledge that will be passed on to the student.
Training usually lasts from some months to a year or more, depending on how much you need to learn and how fast you catch up.
Do not be in a hurry to leave without completing your training period.
Complete your training and learn all you need to start up your business.
While studying, you can get some hands-on experience by participating in an internship programme at a clothing manufacturer, retailer, stylist, design firm or other relevant organization.
The connections you make through your training, internship or apprenticeship will be vital as you pursue your career in fashion, and working with industry professionals will give you an opportunity to pick up important skills first-hand.
Tips to Excel in Fashion School
You may really need to consider several factors before enrolling into a fashion school.
- Personality index
- Passion for this career
- Conduct some research about the school you want to attend (find out and know the school’s requirements, history, management, fees, facilities, programmes, training duration etc.)
- Finance (Trainings won’t be free. Fees can be substantial. Have a concrete financial plan before enrolling in to school. Training fees in fashion schools may vary depending on the number of programs offered by each of the schools.
5. Have a Nice Portfolio
In order for you to show off your talent to potential employers, you’ve to create a great portfolio showing your skills and creative sensibilities.
The perfect way to build a selling portfolio is to be very attentive during your time in fashion school.
The quickest, most visually effective way to impact a potential employer is through a well-constructed fashion design portfolio.
You can fill your portfolio with the work you’ve done during your degree, training or internship program, so it’s vital to treat every assignment as if you were going to show your work to a prospective employer or client.
Use projects and tasks as opportunities to show off your originality and skills.
Your portfolio should display your best work and highlight your skills and creativity.
Use a high-quality binder to show that you take yourself seriously as a designer.
With a strong portfolio, you have a greater chance of being accepted for an internship program.
You also increase the chance of selling your designs.
This is also a great way to build your reputation within the industry, as insiders have a reference point when considering your designs, and how you’ve progressed overtime.
6. Learn Fashion Business
In order to start and become a talented fashion designer in the long run, you must get educated about the business side of fashion.
Being a successful fashion designer not only requires talent and creativity, it also requires a sound knowledge of the business and marketing aspects of the fashion world.
Many fashion design programs include courses in marketing.
Some programs highlight marketing more than others, so be sure to do ample research on the coursework involved in the program you choose.
If you’ve already undertaken a course but missed the marketing/financial side of things, consider doing short courses in these aspects of business.
Think and behave like an entrepreneur. Keep yourself updated on the happenings in the fashion industry by regularly reading fashion business journals.
Research what others in the industry do, such as buyers, merchandisers, pattern cutters, garment and fabric technologists, quality controllers, graders, sample machinists, sales people, PR and marketing people, fashion journalists, retailers, event organizers, fashion stylists and so forth.
Meet those who know the business, and benefit from their experience.
Build solid relationships with a wide range of people such as manufacturers, investors, and buyers.
If you’re thinking of running your own design business, be prepared to be financially astute.
You may be exceptionally creative but be absolutely certain that if you run your own fashion label, you need to be business savvy.
You do need to understand those numbers and the invoices that keep piling up on your table.
If you really hate this stuff, there are good options, such as asking your accountant to take care of all financial stuffs or look for work as a fashion designer with a fashion house instead of running your own label.
7. Job Search/Creation
Nowadays, there is an increase in demand for stylish clothing that is affordable, particularly among middle-income customers.
When deciding whether to work as a self-employed fashion designer or for a well-known brand or company, it’s valuable to consider the compensations and challenges of each.
As an aspiring fashion designer, competition for jobs is strong.
There are various ways to find work in the fashion industry as a designer and it depends on the type of designing, you’re interested in.
As a beginner, some places for application include:
- Costume positions with movie studios, theaters, costume stores, etc.
- Existing fashion houses and designers.
- Online advertisements through various online job agencies.
- Word of mouth – use your college or fashion industry contacts to get you through the door. In an industry that values what people who already are well positioned have to say, this is a good way to get started.
8. Get Your Startup Capital (Finance)
A fashion design business idea might sound fantastic, but without the required finance, the business would just remain what it is, an idea.
This goes to show how important finance is in starting a business.
Finding capital for your business idea is therefore a task that every entrepreneur must face.
Your fashion business can start tiny and you might not need so much money at first, but you still need a little fund to purchase the equipment and tools you need for your work.
Your savings and contributions from family and friends are a good place to start.
For the investments you make, be strategic. It is important getting a mentor or team that has the experience you don’t have.
Find someone in the fashion industry that can answer questions for you as you start and grow your business.
Luckily, most fashion schools always keep in touch and advise, guidance to their students even after the completion of their training.
If you are not afraid to ask questions, and patient enough to listen, you will learn a ton from mentors and co-workers.
10. Business Name and Planning
You will need to create a name for your fashion design business which stands as an identity to your business or product.
If you’re looking to start off the business on a much bigger scale, you can draw up a business plan and look up for grants/loans around you.
A business plan is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them.
A business plan for a small business enterprise can be seen as both an entrepreneur’s business ‘resume’ and its growth strategy.
Since investors and venture capitalists usually want to consider investing based on business plan, a small business enterprise should document its business objectives and directions.
A good business plan would help you identify three major things:
Where are you?
Are you just starting out, what are your startup costs, what problem is your business solving, who is behind the business?
Where you want to be?
You must have business goals such as, how many customers you plan to serve over time, how much revenue you project to have over time?
How to get there?
You want a blueprint of how you will attract clients or customers, how much do you require starting, what will you spend the funds on, do you plan to raise external funds, will you finance the business yourself?
Once you can identify and answer these questions, you are well ahead of the guy who just has an idea and hasn’t figured how to go about it.
Keep in mind that the best business plans are those that are updated and regularly used to keep your business on track.
Whichever tool you use, make it a goal to create a plan that you can use as an action document and can grow with your business.
11. Business Registration
As an entrepreneur, you should know that before you can successfully run an enterprise that will sell products in commercial quantity, you need to register the business as a legal entity, because people will prefer to deal with or buy from an incorporate business organization than buying from a private individual running a business without a legal backing.
Depending on your state or country, the laws and if you want to start big, you’ll need to have the required business documents and register your fashion design business with the agencies or commission and finally get your license or certificate to begin work.
12. Choose a Suitable Business Location
A fashion design business can be small enough to start in your home, but as the business grows, you will need more space and extra room for such things as a production, changing room, warehouse storage, sales and inquiries.
Choosing an important location for your fashion design business is very vital, because the location has to be one to attract those who love your products.
Getting the right business location will contribute to about eighty percent success of your business venture.
A major factor in the location of your business is the population, financial status of those either living, or working around the area of your location, competition, security threats, your product pricing and customers access to the shop.
This is important so you do not locate your business away from your target market.
The more populated the location, the more customers you will get, however do not be bothered if your choice location is not so populated.
If you are good at what you do, then customers will locate you from everywhere in the world.
13. In Designing Your Shop Always Put Your Clients in Mind
Consider your targeted customers before you paint the walls and picking out furniture, ensure that your design goes in line with the type of clients that you would like to attract.
To make customers feel comfortable in your shop you have to make it a place they will want to visit often.
If your target customers are the youth, then go for bold colours and furniture.
You can also go for a modern, classy and sophisticated look.
You should adhere to shaping your design around your targeted customer base.
14. Equipment’s and Materials Purchase
You’ll definitely need tools and materials to get started, showcase your skills and bring your creativity to reality.
These are usually taken care of when you work under a professional as part of your training.
This is one reason training is very important. There is no one-size-fits-all equipment in fashion designing so you know exactly what you need when you get trained.
Acquiring the raw materials needed for production depends on what type of designs you want to manufacture and what your target market is.
If your intention is to start small, you might not require heavy machinery.
After everything has been put in place, you can now start manufacturing by creating your designs, making a sample and find a reputable factory to produce in bulk with different sizes and shapes.
Finding reliable manufacturers in any country can be difficult, especially when you’re basing your research over the internet.
With many non-credible people masquerading themselves online as garment manufacturers, try getting a factory that’d actually produce what you want in the right quality, quantity, and price.
15. Label Creation and Branding
Success as a newbie in any facet of the fashion industry depends on strong aesthetic, unique design/product, and consistent branding.
Remember, branding is more than just the look of your brand. It also encompasses your voice, vision, and your brand story.
It involves creativity; and it is a necessity that you must put in place if you desire to stand out among the competition.
It is both a good market strategy and a way for costumers to identify your designs.
Your brand has to be consistent in communicating your own Unique Selling Point (USP).
I believe some of the fashion businesses or stores you can recall now have easy-to-remember names. If they didn’t, you’d have found it difficult to recall their names.
Giving your business an epic name will boost the chance of spreading fast within your community and it’ll be very easy for people to describe your business to others.
Developing a good logo will define your style from the outset and so it needs to be good from the outset.
It is worth getting a professional graphic designer on the job if you’re no good at this yourself.
Get ideas from fashion and jewelry blogs – collect images, colors, and textures from nature, architecture, fashion, or travel, and then identify themes that emerge.
Also, branding your own products boxes and bags gives your fashion business a more professional look, and helps your customers remember where they got the designs from.
Designs such as hats and jewelries are quite fragile, that is why you need boxes to protect them during shipping so that they arrive in perfect form.
Custom packaging is a great way to make your brand memorable for first-time buyers and website visitors.
By using custom packaging, your customers would feel special when their custom-made clothes, hats, eye-glasses and jewelries arrive untouched in a beautiful box.
And when your customer gets happy, they tell their friends about you, share photos of their new purchase amongst their social media followers, get you more business, and you would make money.
16. Maintain a Clean and Safe Environment
It is said first impression matters a lot.
A professional fashion business blossom in an environment that is clean, safe and relaxing, where customers are sure to receive prompt and professional service.
Don’t litter clothes and materials everywhere and anywhere.
Remember to have a nice restroom your customers can use.
If you can afford an air conditioner, then get one; if not just get a good fan.
Keep the atmosphere relaxing, play soft music and keep loud continuous chatter between your employees at a minimum.
Also, try having a good team/staff and customer care.
17. Find Support
Opening a business is time-consuming.
Speaking of friends and family, a support system is crucial in the fashion design business.
Time spent designing is only half the commitment.
You’ll need to market your business, take orders, help customers, and do an array of administrative tasks.
If you don’t have someone cheering you on, it can be hard.
Whether it’s your spouse, a colleague, or a business mentor, you need someone in your corner.
18. Set Right Prices for Your Products and Services
Another aspect of running a fashion design business successfully is fixing the right prices for your products and services.
Having to fix a price for your products can sometimes be difficult as you won’t want to fix a price that will be too expensive for people to buy or cheap that you will make little or no profit.
You really have to learn how to fix the right prices for your products and services if you don’t want to make a loss from your business.
It’s easy to forget the time you spent making quality designs because you were watching TV while you did it.
There is nothing worse than realizing afterward that you earned 50 cents an hour on a fabulous creation.
Find out the worth of your products, services and the amount that your target customer will pay.
Then, calculate how much will be spent on raw materials and manufacturing including shipping fees and waybills and decide how much profit you intend to make.
For example, if it costs you $20 to manufacture one cloth, shoe or bag, you can put your profit at $8 making the fixed price $28.
One other thing you should know about pricing is that if you are new to the market, it would be very difficult to sell your products at a high price.
Also, decide whether to sell your product wholesale or retail.
By selling wholesale, you sell your design to retailers, which mean you receive larger chunks of money at a time but a smaller profit per item. You also work directly with the manufacturers.
By selling retail, you make a larger profit per item sold, but you hold on to your inventory for longer periods of time and you only sell a few items per customer.
Assign retail prices that are appropriate for the market you are targeting.
Create a cohesive collection to present to retailers.
To position your retail prices correctly, it is important to research the retail prices of other comparable collections within your target market.
Be mindful of your relationship with retailers.
Nurture them with personal meetings and use them to better target your designs
In all you do, ensure that the prices you set give you a nice profit.
19. Know Your Customers and Find Out What They Really Need
This skill is essential, and it’s one a fashion designer must never lose sight of.
It is essential to create and maintain a business atmosphere that has a reputation for providing topnotch operations that will keep your clients coming back for more.
The fashion industry and the market are vast, comprising a wide section of the population from all ages and interests.
Make research to know what trends of colors, styles, and designs people like these days.
Know what absolute needs are and the things that only get bought when disposable incomes are less tight.
Does your business cater to both local and international clients?
What is the purchasing capacity of your customers? Answer such questions to get a dependable customer profile.
Talk to and learn from your customers and test out which designs will sell best online and at trade shows.
Selling at trade shows and in boutiques, will enable you see how customers are actually interacting with your designs, which can dictate how you display and sell each piece.
Without knowing your target customers or clients, you simply cannot move forward meaningfully when starting your fashion business.
20. Learn and Get Creative Ideas from Your Competitors
Be original. These two words might seem like generic advice, but to survive, you can’t be a carbon copy of your competitors.
Be the best, the first, or the only one making your designs. If you can be all three things, that’s even better.
Also know what kind of competition you have in your area and work to set yourself apart.
Observe and note the fabric quality they are using; their products, services prices, and colours that sell.
At a minimum, keep up. Try to exceed them while still meeting your customers’ needs.
21. Personal Promotion
Wear your own fashion designs as much as possible.
What better way to promote your designs (clothing, shoes, hats, bags) than to wear and showcase it?
When people ask questions about it, be ready to explain everything in short, pithy ways that excite the listener.
Create a look book for yourself, featuring your best work.
You will probably start this process during your schooling and can then simply continue after you finish, updating this look book regularly with these, you are ready to be a successful fashion designer.
22. Designs Development
People always want to be the first to rock a new design.
Most times even, when customers come to you, they want you to look at them and create something that will fit them and make them look great.
Therefore, you have to be ready to well use such opportunities. This is where you put your creativity to work.
If you find difficulties in putting your designs on paper, then you can always refer to the internet for help.
YouTube is a good place to start. It will amaze you at how much information you can get there.
23. Open a Bank Account for Your Fashion Design Business
As you get clients and making money from your fashion design business, you would need to open a separate bank account for it.
Having a business or corporate account will make you look professional, help you keep track of your sales, profit, and spending.
If you haven’t seen the deposit from a client, don’t start working on their designs.
Make sure your client makes a full or part payment before you design their custom-made clothes, hats, shoes, bags.
The payment would commit them and there won’t be any losses on your part.
24. Employ Qualified Personnel
As you scale your fashion business, determine the parts of the operation you enjoy most and tap into your own strengths. Hire around those to fill in the gaps.
This depends on how you plan to run your business.
Do you want to be the one working there, or you want to employ fashion designers that will work for you and give you daily or weekly returns?
Whichever it is, you must be ready to deliver the best quality services to customers that come around.
It is essential to note that hiring only qualified, well-trained and highly skilled designers, stylists and other personnel to your shop is indispensable to ensure the success of your business.
It is also your duty as the owner to make sure that your personnel are well trained and that they have a total understanding of each service offered.
Professionalism must be a yardstick of your business and of your staff.
25. Customers Satisfaction
Your customers are your key to success. It is essential to create and maintain a business atmosphere that has a reputation for providing topnotch fashion design operations that will keep your customers coming back for more.
The reason customers leave a business or brand is because of dissatisfaction with service offered, dissatisfaction with the product, and the need to try out an alternative.
The best ways at increasing customer retention for your business is to; set customer expectations early, by under promising and over delivering.
Customers remember negative experiences; building on trust by implementing a relationship marketing strategy; having an excellent and proactive customer service and building relationships with your clients online especially on important social media platforms.
Customers love innovation, but they also love comfort. In bringing in new innovations, do not sacrifice the comfort of your customers.
After innovation, comes accessibility. Customers must be able to get to your products when they desire to do so, which is why sometimes the location for your business must not be far or be of great inconvenience to your clients.
Different occasions and outfits call for unique designs, ranging from wedding, corporate, casual outing, dinner party and so on.
At every point in time, you have to know what your client needs it for to be able to give appropriate advice.
Ensure that you make your clients feel valued and appreciated – focus on giving them the best experience each time.
You can reach out to your clients by collecting their contact information e.g., phone numbers, email addresses so that you can easily send them updates on new products/services, and any special offers you have.
26. Plan for Finding New Customers and keeping Them
When a customer finds a fashion designer he or she likes, they usually become repeat clients.
However, this doesn’t mean you should let up on your marketing efforts.
Even if you have a steady stream of customers, build on the marketing efforts you’re already using.
Customer profitability increases over the life of a keep customer, which is why businesses strive for ways to keep their customers.
Have a system that assigns a unique number to every customer that patronizes your business, when they refer a friend with this unique code, they get a discount on their next visit.
This system keeps making them market for you since it’s a win-win situation.
This is a system that rewards the customer and rewards you much more because one person can bring ten friends and ten friends can bring another ten making it one hundred new clients just like that.
27. Stay Updated
Researching trends is one way to determine and validate your chosen direction.
You either follow trends or create them.
The fashion industry changes from season to season, so it’s important for you as a designer to keep abreast of the trends.
Read fashion and jewelry blogs daily to stay on top of trends for each upcoming season.
Having a good grasp of what is trending will enable you to focus on creating and trying out new designs.
You will need to remain updated, knowledge-wise and skill-wise about industry information and trends; and also network with colleagues in the same area through seminars and conferences.
That way you know about your customer’s preferences and needs, and make adjustments accordingly.
28. Hold Fashion Shows and Sell Your Products/Services
Arrange for a show or event at a local venue, or apply for a slot within a larger fashion show.
At the show, display some of your best looks, giving customers a taste of what you offer.
Offer your products up for sale immediately after your fashion show so interested consumers can get their hands on them right away.
You can sell your goods independently by working directly with consumers, or sell them to boutiques and stores that will ultimately resell your looks to their buyers.
29. Marketing and Advertisement
What do you do before and after you launch your new fashion business?
Do you just sit in your shop waiting for luck?
If you want to succeed in your fashion business, then you must create an early awareness immediately you launch your business.
Be ready to advertise your products. Consider the power of online selling.
It is one thing to invent, and it is another to make known your invention.
Many people are already in this business, so in order to stand out you have to be ready to showcase your talents.
Where to spend your marketing money will depend on your product, audience, budget, and may require some trial and error and your marketing strategy will center on quality and pricing, and above all excellent customer service.
Use all available means to advertise your business.
For a small-scale business, the cheapest, yet effective advertising method you can use is word of mouth.
When you produce high-quality designs, your customers will spread the word about your craft.
If your budget is more robust, you could advertise your business on newspapers, fashion directory sites, magazines, television and radio.
You can work with fashion bloggers, influencers and celebrities to promote your products and designs, and see a spike in sales.
Also, set up and use social media accounts.
Social media is a powerful medium and an important component to your marketing plan to reach out to more consumers and customers.
A majority of your target audience are on different social channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Ensure to know and use the right social media platforms your target customers are on.
You can advertise your business using business cards, poster, flyers, brochures, radio and television.
Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and distribution trucks/vans are well branded with your company logo.
30. Build Your Online Storefront
People use the web to search and shop their choice of products and services.
Most of your potential customers make online search browsing for trending styles and then take a purchasing decision.
Invest in a professional user-friendly website or online store if you are serious about presenting your product to the world and growing your customer base.
A fashion website design is also an ecommerce site, which has special features to make online shopping easier for the customers.
Tailor your website to the image you want to project.
Update the site frequently, with new pictures and new written content.
Never stop looking for new ways to improve the customer experience. Always be transparent. Implement a generous return policy.
Product descriptions should reflect your brand story and include details like sizing, materials (important for metal allergies), and, if applicable, material sources.
Also, you can easily create a YouTube channel and have videos of your modeled designs uploaded. This can attract both national and international clients.
31. Network with Others in the Fashion Industry
Networking with other influencers such as fashion bloggers, vloggers, fashion designers, stylists, models, journalists, marketer, photographers, and other business owners who have a large following has its benefits.
Influencers with a large following are usually well reputed and respected for their views.
They can really increase your sales by reviewing or recommending your products.
Working with influencers allows you to have your products advertised to a different group of potential customers. If you’ve chosen the right influencer, it can lead to new customers.
By doing this, you would also be knowledgeable about upcoming fashion shows, photo-shoots, fashion exhibitions, trade fairs, and even referrals.
How to Start a Successful Fashion Business that Makes Money Daily
- Have Passion
- Determine if the Fashion Industry is Ready for You
- Know Which Fashion Niche is Your Passion
- Enroll in a Fashion School (Complete A Degree Program)
- Have a Nice Portfolio
- Learn Fashion Business
- Job Search/Creation
- Get Your Startup Capital (Finance)
- Business Name and Planning
- Business Registration
- Choose a Suitable Business Location
- In Designing Your Shop Always Put Your Clients in Mind
- Equipment’s and Materials Purchase
- Label Creation and Branding
- Maintain a Clean and Safe Environment
- Find Support
- Set Right Prices for Your Products and Services
- Know Your Customers and Find Out What They Need
- Learn and Get Creative Ideas from Your Competitors
- Personal Promotion
- Designs Development
- Open a Bank Account for Your Fashion Design Business
- Employ Trained Personnel
- Clients Satisfaction
- Plan for Finding New Customers and keeping Them
- Stay Updated
- Hold Fashion Shows and Sell Your Products/Services
- Marketing and Advertisement
- Build Your Online Storefront
- Network with Others in the Fashion Industry
8 Characteristics of a Successful Fashion Entrepreneur
Starting, running and growing a business is a lot of hard work.
Although there isn’t a secret formula for success, there are common traits that successful entrepreneurs share.
And in the unique business of fashion, some of these traits are downright necessities.
Let’s look at eight characteristics that can help you become a full-fledged fashion entrepreneur.
- Effective Communication
- Risk Tolerance
Benefits in Becoming a Successful Fashion Designer
These are some benefits you get to enjoy when you become a top fashion designer and having a successful fashion business.
- Fashion designing is so wonderful because it turns creativity into pure profit. You can make a good income daily, weekly and monthly.
- There is never customer’s shortage. People will always buy and wear clothes, footwears and accessories and ceremonies will always take place. Once you overcome the customer challenge at the beginning, you will not have customer issues as long as you play your cards well.
- Unlike a lot of other business, you may not need to register or get a license to operate, except you are starting huge.
- You get connected to a lot of individuals that can open other doors for businesses. A satisfied customer is a happy customer.
- By setting up your own business, you also add value to the society by reducing the unemployment rate and reducing crime rates around you.
- From this business with proper planning, focus and savings you can open other chains of businesses increasing the number of your streams of income.
- It allows you to unleash your creative potentials which can take you farther than you would have imagined.
- You can pass this knowledge to younger ones by teaching and mentoring and have your name written in fashion history.
- You’ll relish the unique daily interactions with clients and will be immensely proud to understand that your creations will outlive you by many generations.
Challenges Encountered as a Fashion Designer
These are some challenges you may encounter as a fashion designer or when starting up your own fashion design business. They include:
You’ll need some money to startup. There may be no access to loans from financial institutions.
This limits rapid growth, as finance is required to purchase equipment’s/materials, pay staff wages, office rent and other miscellaneous expenses.
Depending on the type of fashion business you’re setting up, it could either be really cheap to start up or very expensive to execute.
One way to handle this is to start small and grow fast.
When the business progresses, then you can get the documentations (e.g., business plan) and apply for a loan, but you will need to convince the lender beyond doubt it will not be a wasted investment.
The fashion industry is not for the fainthearted. It is very competitive; and lucrativeness can be difficult to achieve, especially if you’re operating in tight niches.
Competition in this business is expected to increase, so fashion designers with extensive experience or education in the field should do the best.
If you can produce incredible wears at a cheaper rate than your competitors; you will soar so high in this business.
Ensure that you have an edge over your competition in these three key areas: quality, pricing and service.
Another competitive strategy is to ensure that your customers stay excited by making every new feature, design or product you introduce innovative. This gives your customers something to talk about, whilst shutting out the competitors.
Only pursue a career in fashion if you are zealous to the field.
A good competing environment will help to bring out the best in you.
Keeping Up with Fashion Trends
You need to be innovative and keep up with the ever-changing trend if you want to stay relevant in this business.
Promotion of Your Products and Designs
This is a challenge especially for starters. Once you settle in and know your way around the business, this challenge will be minimized.
This may be a challenge for beginners. Once your patronage increases, you will handle this challenge.
Some customers don’t know what they want and even when they know may make ridiculous and frustrating demands.
Others may be vulgar and aggressive to your staff and may foul mouth you and your business.
Dealing with such customers can be difficult especially if they have been patronizing you for long and have even referred other customers to you.
Fashion designing can be stressful. You will need to work at unexpected long hours to meet deadlines.
As with most artistic careers, fashion designers’ creations will be scrutinized and critiqued by colleagues, as well as clients, so a tenacious personality is important.
Take advice from mentors, friends and family. Never give up; you can’t quit your passion!
Fluctuations in exchange rate values can affect the cost of goods and services.
How to Attract Right Clients to Your Fashion Design Business
Take Pictures of Your Designs
Pictures show you how your designs have evolved. Where you started and how far you have come.
You also need pictures to build a portfolio, show off your designs, sell and make money.
Take pictures of your products on mannequins, yourself, and even your friends.
Wear Your Own Designs to Parties
When you are invited to special occasions or parties, wear your own designs.
It is a way of showing your creativity and attracting clients to your fashion design business.
Let people see and ask where you got that gorgeous cloth, hat, shoe or bag from.
This also makes you confident about your business and sets you up for success.
Share Pictures of Your Designs on Social media
You want people to see the beautiful custom-made clothes, hats, jewelries, shoes and bags you create, share them on social media.
Encourage your clients to share and tag you in pictures of them wearing your designs.
Social media is one of the best places to get clients for your fashion business.
Marketing Ideas and Strategies for Your Fashion Design Business
- Advertise your fashion business in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Advertise your fashion business on high-traffic fashion blogs, classified sites, directory sites, forums, fashion newspapers and magazines, local TV and radio stations.
- Apart from having a website, having a social media presence is vital as well, as you connect with your customers over platforms that are best for your brands.
- Attend conferences, seminars, and fashion and business fairs.
- Create different packages for different clients whilst still delivering quality designs and products for them.
- Engage in roadshows in targeted communities from time to time to sell your products.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and distribution trucks/vans are well branded with your company logo.
- Ensure that not only is your website optimized through the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but that you also convert every visit to your page to actual sales through the use of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).
- Ensure you create an identifiable brand by streamlining your logos, colors, and fonts. Tell your brand story as well, while emphasizing the brand’s core values.
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state.
- Introduce your newfound business to your family and friends.
- Introduce your products to corporate organizations, businesses in retail industries, boutiques and supermarkets within and/or outside your country.
- Promptness in bidding for contracts, as well as delivery reliability.
- Provide discount days for your customers.
- Sponsoring shows and competitions. Shows such as fashion shows, and other such events, are strategies intended to boost the brand awareness of your company.
- Use of biddable media is another way at boosting brand awareness, as it is the use of paid promotion across Facebook or Twitter, targeted at a particular segment, by using keywords and usually run on a budget to reach the target market.
- Word of mouth or direct referral is a powerful influence, and can help boost your brands in ways that you could not imagine. Word of mouth or direct referral can be gained through excellent customer service, provision of incentives, and also testimonials.
Becoming a fashion designer and having a successful fashion business can be profitable if you go about, it the right way.
By getting your economy analysis right, having enough capital, knowing more about the fashion products you want to create and sell, knowing your target customers, creating your brand identity, pricing your designs and products correctly, and making use of every effective promotional medium to build your brand can help you succeed anywhere around the world.
Do you have experience opening your own fashion design business?
What worked for you, and what didn’t?
Please drop your comments.
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