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STEPS IN STARTING A FASHION BUSINESS ON A SMALL BUDGET

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When starting out it is advisable to begin with designing pieces that have little to no sizing issues. Many things come to mind, such as hats (as was the case with famous designer-Coco Chanel), handbags/purses, jewelry like earrings, caftans etc. 

Also try to limit your colour palette to basic hues. Such as black, white, Navy etc.If you can, pick colours that suit the general skin tones of the population you intend to market to. 

Get a pattern maker and a production company.

 A pattern maker helps you to put your ideas into concrete pieces ready to be used on cutting the fabrics. A production company is one that produced clothing articles for various Designers companies e.t.c.. They help translate your ideas into finished products. The great thing is that they work on contracts and so do not have to be permanent employees which at the beginning might be quite expensive to maintain.

Get them to make samples for you. This will help you to quickly fish out mistakes if any and correct them.

Make some noise

While all that is on going, try to build a network of like minded people who might be interested in your product. You can do that by creating social media accounts and creating a blog. These media account provides you with an avenue to share contents that are of interest to your customers. With the help of social media, turn your potential buyers into an interactive community. This will be useful when the product is ready for modification and hungry for feedback to fuel them.

You doubt your ability to get followers online, first level contact will always be the best. Get all your friends to enlist on your proposed business social media pages.

Produce in small batches

This one might be pretty obvious. Minimize expenses by producing a few items. It doesn’t really matter if they’ll be too small for your demand. Just make sure you produce a quantity that can be easily sold off. When the first batch is finished concentrate on satisfying the demand by turning the rest of the orders into a pre-orders and producing just enough to satisfy them. How do you find subsequent productions after the initial one? That leads us to our next point.

Implement pay before delivery 

To avoid cash flow issues a mini bootstrapping strategy is advised. In this specific case, bootstrapping simply means that all cost of production should be financed by ready purchase from customers. In short make sure your customers pay the total purchase price upfront before delivery or pay enough to cover production costs. In the latter case, the customers pay the rest on delivery which means that whatever is paid at your delivery is Net Profit. This strategy limits your losses and helps you finance production without actual loans. However, when implementing this method, you have to be committed to deliver on your promises to your customers and avoid disappointments to your clients at all costs.

Photo-shoot

This is the aspects of starting out that is worth spending more money. Pictures help turn your produced goods into desirable articles for your customers. They should be sharp enough to ignite a feeling of want in your potential customers. 

The making of the shots should incorporate elements that communicate your brand persona in a visual form. If your brand is geared at nursing mothers and you producing a handbag for them. Be sure to add things such as baby wipes or a feeding bottle to let them know that this bag has a lot of space to carry all they need for the day. In a nutshell your pictures should tell a visual story that your audience can relate to.

Collaboration

A way to even cut cost further across all levels is to partner with budding entrepreneurs in your industry. So let’s say your brand specializes in corporate shirts,i you can partner with a brand that specializes in shoes and another that specializes in suits. Together you can get bulk deals on photo-hoots, models, production companies and even purchase of raw materials such as fabrics. These costs will be split up amongst you guys. Thus bringing down costs for everyone. Where do you meet such people…

Co-working spaces

Although most of the steps above can be carried out while maintaining a 9-5 (which is advised when starting out), if you are ready for the deep plunge and want an office/production base you can work from a co-working and co-sewing space like ours! Co-working spaces limits the expenses on infrastructure when starting out. Because they provide you with space, equipment, electricity and all at a bulk price. You gain access to all you need without having to buy anything just pay a rental fee as you use the facilities provided. 

A co-working space also gives you the opportunity to network meaningfully with like minded people. You get to meet people working in the same industry with you. This makes for links to potential partners/Collaborators

You can come to our hub a get a free visit and see for yourself how it’s done. 

See you soon.

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