Financing Your Clothing Label
One of the advantages to starting your label is that you can start modestly because your largest overhead will be the actual clothing. If you choose to purchase your own clothing, you will need to locate designers who will sell to you at wholesale prices.
If you are designing your own clothing, you can purchase basic clothing to get you started and invest in more professional manufacturing equipment later. Remember, once demand picks up, and you have the capital, you can grow your stock.
The type of equipment that you will need will depend on what you are deciding to make. For example, if you are designing dresses, you would require some material and a sewing machine. In addition to cost production, you will spend money on marketing costs, and trade shows.
The amount of money that you will need to start your label depends on your business needs and your goals.
However, you do have some options available to you as a start-up business.
In the UK, you can apply for a start-up loan of £500 to £25,000; these loans are for people who are interested in starting or expanding a business in Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
If you are interested in applying for a loan in the United Kingdom, there are a few requirements that you must meet:
You must be a resident of the United Kingdom
You must be 18 years of age or older
You must start, plan to start, or currently have, a UK-based business, which hasn’t been trading for a period of 24 months
Not currently bankrupt or on a debt relief order
You cannot have an outstanding trust deed or individual voluntary arrangement (IVA)
Not currently be on a debt arrangement scheme or debt management programme
Start-up businesses prefer to apply for grants because they usually do not require payback.
However, the number of subsidies offered by the UK government is limited. If you are interested in applying for a grant for your fashion line, organisations want entrepreneurs to see that your plans for the future are detailed, fail-proof, and serious.
Crowdfunding websites allow members to pool their resources and investing as little as £10 each in start-ups.
A traditional business loan from a bank is still a popular route for many first-time business owners, and it offers you the ability to retain equity in your business.
Marketing Your Clothing Line
Fashion is a very competitive industry and talent is always available, so having a well-executed marketing plan for your brand is the best way to separate yourself from the rest.
While there are many different marketing methods available, the ‘Four P’ method is the best place to begin.
The four P’s stand for:
The key to a good marketing strategy is having a great product. After all, what is marketing without a product?
Product is defined as a service or an item that meets a customer demand or need. However, in fashion you are designing a product that people don’t know they want or need yet, and you’re using marketing strategies to make them desire it.
Since this is a backwards technique, it is important to employ methods that promote your brand or product. To accomplish this, try to convey a message with your marketing techniques and call focus to a particular lifestyle or activity that will appeal to the masses.
In fashion, the word price is referring to the value equation the brand creates in a consumer’s mind and not the actual monetary amount.
This simply means, for the price the customer is paying, are they getting the quality it is worth?
Fashion brands have several sales channels, making where you sell your product very influential on your brand image. You have the benefit of controlling your sales environment, so pay close attention to your target market.
Regardless of where you are selling, you should always have a website for your brand.
Your designs can have several different promotion techniques, which range from cutting-edge to traditional. They are all effective in their own unique ways.
The following are all methods of promotion that you can utilise for your business:
Advertising – This is the most favoured method of promotion, and it includes TV, print, radio, and online methods.
CO-OP – Retail accounts will promote your designs in store or in catalogues and distributed material.
Social Media – There are several social media outlets available to brands; this method has become very popular for advertising and brand promotion.
Website – The internet is filled with opportunities for a budding designer. Creating a website to showcase your designs is a great way to promote your work.
Another great way to market your fashion designs is to host events that teach people how to dress.
Surprisingly, events like ‘dress for success’, are becoming increasingly popular for women who want to improve their public perception and image.