Your Own Fashion

By Jo Phillips

When the chance to start your own fashion brand presents, money doesn’t have to be an issue. Here are the need to know finance tips for vogue start-ups.


With over 13 million users, the success of fashion marketplace Depop just goes to show that there is still money to be made in the fashion industry. If you’re just starting out and want a career in fashion but without the lamented unpaid internships, going it alone and creating your own business from the ground up could be an option.


There are so many ways to get involved in the fashion industry, but making sure that you get the basics right can make all the difference to how well you fair. Whether you’re selling your own embroidered tees or sourcing coveted vintage pieces, it’s vital to ensure that your business is ticking all the right boxes when it comes to money. That doesn’t mean that you’ll need to spend all of your time nose deep in spreadsheets, but getting a grasp on your finances could leave you with more time and freedom to be creative and grow your business.


If you’ve always wanted to start making money from fashion, here are some of the top money tips that will keep you afloat and help your business to grow.


Have a clear business plan, and keep it under review
A business plan is what separates a wardrobe raider trying to raise some extra money for that dream holiday from a business owner making a real effort to enter the fashion world. There’s nothing wrong with either path, but if you’re serious about making a living from fashion then you’ll need to have a roadmap.
Whilst most people understand that a business plan covers off things like whether to have a website and what to stock, it should also include financial details that will help you to focus on making money from the word go. When drawing up your plans, be sure to include the cost of everything from a sample collection through to any specialist equipment, insurance, and advertising. You’ll quickly realise whether you’ve balanced the books, and will be well placed to make any tweaks needed to make your business viable.


Be realistic with pricing, and review that too
Noticing a theme here? The business world is fluid and to survive, you need to make sure that you’re agile enough to keep up with competitors and get ahead of the game. That means reviewing your policies, practices, products, and prices – with the latter of these making sure that you aren’t selling your products at a price point way above other market players or underselling yourself and losing out on profits.


For all but the most well-known of luxury brands, customers generally have a ceiling value that they are willing to pay and if you charge too much for your items you may just price yourself out of the market. Keep tabs on what your competitors are doing, and make sure that you have an intimate knowledge of your overhead costs so that you’re able to make informed decisions about pricing and margins.


Get the right kind of funding for you
There are lots of different ways to raise the funds needed to start a fashion business, but choosing the right option for you could really set the tone for the future of your venture. If you don’t have savings of your own to draw on, it can be tempting to ask for help from family and friends – but whilst this gives you a degree of flexibility it could also leave you struggling to maintain relationships which are now focussed on finance. In a similar way, seeking help from a private investor or crowdfunding could help you to get your hands on some serious money, but might also lead to you losing control of a slice of your business.


An alternative is to search for a personal loan with an online broker like Little Loans. Whilst raising money in this way does mean paying back what you owe with some interest, it does mean that you won’t have to give up any control of your business. When using a broker, you could get as much as £10,000, repayable over several years, with potential for money to hit your account in just minutes. Ultimately what works for you will depend on your priorities and status, but knowing your financing options can be a real help.


Make your brand stand out
It might not be a financial factor, but having a strong brand can certainly make a difference to your bottom line. By investing in a punchy yet accessible brand complete with logo, site and narrative, your fashion business could reach more customers and make more sales. At the end of the day, there are tonnes of clothing sellers out there so it’s vital to make yourself and your brand stand out. If you invest in your image from the beginning, you can sit back and let your branding and advertising do the talking – leaving you with more time to focus on the creative side of fashion.


Putting your best foot forward
Getting into the fashion industry isn’t easy, but provided that you have passion, determination, and an informed approach to money, you could turn your interest into a rewarding business. With a comprehensive plan, an effective way of funding your start-up, and an eye-catching brand, you could be well on your way to making a living out of what you love.

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