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Developing a Business Plan – Introduction.
Whether you are going to start your own clothing label or open a small speciality boutique, the first step you need to take is writing your business plan.
A business plan is a roadmap for your business success and will help guide the way for the goals that you have for yourself and your company.
Your business plan is going to contain information on your fashion label or company, the competitive landscape, your industry, marketing information, distribution, management, and financial information.
Every successful business owner has one of these, including all the famous designers that you look up to, so you should know and understand exactly how to craft one.
Draft a Summary
The first step when developing your business plan is your executive summary.
This is a description of your company and its goals.
This section should be as accurate as possible since this is usually the first item that banks will see.
For example, in this section, you could address any items that you plan on designing.
Although you want to be specific in this section, you should also keep it general enough to encourage your reader to read more. Don’t give away your entire plan of action in this first section.
Since the fashion industry is so broad, you should get very detailed at some point in your business plan.
If you specialise in a certain type of apparel, such as children’s wear, athletic wear, or you intend to focus on jewellery, it is important to note that in your plan.
Another thing that you should note are production details like haute couture or mass production preference.
If your designs are unique or you have a specific niche market, you should address what it is that makes you stand out amongst the competition.
Research the Fashion Market
Throughout the course, you have learned about the importance of researching the fashion industry to predict fashion cycles.
When you are drafting your business plan, you should do a considerable amount of research to determine information about your target market, demographics, and market research.
Develop a Marketing Plan
Fashion designers have several different marketing techniques that they employ to advertise their brands.
When you are drafting your business plan, you will need to include how you plan on marketing your own designs.
You can include plans for social media advertising, fashion shows, or product sampling.
Outline your Organisational Structure
A business’s organisational structure refers to the employees and the chain of command.
It also covers hiring, recruitment, and compensation projections.
When you are planning this section, keep in mind that designers need artists, tailors, graphic designers, models, and fashion consultants.
Draft a Cost Analysis
Your cost analysis will include the amount of money that you will need to start your label.
This could include several factors like purchasing supplies, employee salaries, materials, manufacturing, fashion mock-ups, and photography.
Owning a Business in the United Kingdom
If you want to start a clothing line or open a small business in the United Kingdom, there are some things that you need to know.
Before you set up shop, you should do your due diligence to find out if you need to register your business before you begin selling clothing under a label.
Depending on the type of business you are and where you choose to work, you may need to register with the government.
To help you along the way, here are some guidelines for opening a business in the UK:
Most businesses will register as a limited company, partnership, or sole trader.
If you opt for a limited company, the company finances are separate from your personal finances, but you have more reporting and management responsibilities.
With a partnership, two or more business owners share responsibilities for business debts and accounting responsibilities.
A sole trader is simple to set up, but it means you are personally responsible for business debts and hold accounting responsibilities.
If you are going to own a business, then owning business insurance is a great way to protect yourself and your company against unexpected expenses.
Although that is elective, there are some types of business insurance that are required by law.
You also can choose from the following optional insurance options:
Commercial Property Insurance
This covers the cost of rebuilding or repairing business repairs.
Covers the cost of compensation claims following any negligence made against you.
There are also specific rules that you must follow if you sell goods online, run your business from home, or buy and sell goods overseas.
To be sure, you should always check with the business rules and regulations before conducting business.