part 1(one):THE PREPARATION STAGE; Starting and running a clothing line successfully
Good day to all steemians. Here is the first part of the series you have been longing for, hope it meets you well? Okay! Now, let's dive right into the topic proper.
THE PREPARATION STAGE
I call this the preparation stage because you get to put your plans and strategies in order right from this point.
Remember the saying "Rome was not built in a day" well to me i think Rome wouldnt be built at all if the foundation wasnt very strong, same goes to your clothing line. Your clothing line is just like every other business, your goal is to make profits and be known for what you do, but you won't achieve this if you don't have a clear view of what you want to do and creating the right foundation for it.
So the first things you must do as preparation to kickstart your clothing line dream are:
1. Create a solid and clear business plan
Your business plan is like the back bone of your business, it must clearly state how you intend to manage and run your clothing line in details. You must be as realistic as possible when you write this. You can learn more about writing a business plan here then make sure you are particular about these:
Executive summary — An executive summary describes your company's mission statement and future plans, here you can as well use it to lure in potential investors because what investors do is to first go through this to determine if your mission allign with their's. But you must be careful about investors, i will rather advice outside funding expecially for a clothing line
Company description — The company description gives people an idea of what your clothing line is about, what differentiates you from your competitors, and the markets you want to gain a foothold in.
2. Prioritize your finances
Funding and finances are the major stumbling blocks for an enterprenuer, in early stages of busineses it is important that you spell out your starting budget and the sources. Here's what you'll need to know starting out:
- How much money will you need in order to launch your clothing line?.
- Do you have money saved up for this, or will you need a loan?.
- What are your costs?.
Further parts of this series will bother more on cost of all (materials, manufacturing, supplies, equipment, advertisement, marketing, overheads, etc.). Add up how much it would cost to run your business for a year then balance it up with your capital.
Let's chill and take a break!!!
Wet your eyes with these amazing designs
this is our kente sweatshirt.. image source
Lovely aii? Haha, yeah! I know you do.
Let's get back to learning.
3. How long do you intend to run it
It is very important to note the time frame and the manner you intend to run your clothing line business. Do you intend to run it full-time? Or part time Just try to gauge your level of involvement. As for me, im an aircraft engineer by profession but i run @finite-clothings because it's my passion so i didn't start out thinking of making profits, and these has helped me scale through difficult seasons. You'll probably spend more money than you earn for the first four seasons (one year). Once you're established, however, you might be able to expand with funding from angel investors, celebrities, and pre-orders with your store accounts.
4. Do research on the rest of the market.
Competition is very important in business for improvements and growth because it keeps you on your feets and keeps the fashion trends rolling. You must find out answers to these very vital question if you wanna stay on your feet expecially in this constantly evolving fashion industry:
- Who are your current and likely future competition
- Who are your target market?.
- How much do you think you can sell your designs for at the retail and wholesale levels?
Ask around. Get feedback. Talk to store owners and potential customers alike.
One word of advice from me to you, do not despise competitions, there is room for more fashion designers and entrepreneurs. This is why im sharing this wealth of knowledge, to stir up your passion.
I call this the Trinity shirt, i made it with blue adire fabric, white and ash colour pure cotton fabric. image source
reply with a comment if you love to get one on these
sorry for the distractions, you know i gotta sieze an opportunity like this to showcase my stuffs.
Now lets get back to our topic!! Haha
5. Make everything official
To get in the groove of this, you first of all, need to decide on your business structure (LLC, partnership, corporation, etc.). Though It is not overly compulsory to register your business and do all those stressfull business wahala (stress) if you intend yo just run your business on a small scale, but here in Nigerian, you will be required to have your business registered with Corporate Affairs commission . This will enable you to open a bank account for your business so that you can accept checks written out to your company's name, also required if own an online store and you wanna receive payments online in your e-commerce store (E-commerce is another topic for another day). The benefits and advantages of registering your business are numerous
For bigger businesses, you may want to consider hiring a business lawyer in case of legal issues.
Thanks for staying glued to this post up till this point, i hope you find it interesting and have learnt one or two things today. In order not to clog your head with too much talk, i will stop here for today. But don't forget! Today i talked about preparation stage but Next topic i will be talking on putting your clothing business foot on the ground .
So stay tuned!
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