It can sometimes be difficult to take the knowledge and talent that is gained at fashion school and apply it towards a successful wholesale or retail distribution. This article takes insight from a variety of sources (designers, retailers, advisors, etc.) and is aimed at helping potential designers become great. The following tips are a good starting point when entering the business world:
1. To become profitable in this business world, you must always act like an entrepreneur
These kinds of people, as defined in the great Entrepreneur article, always have goals in mind, and they will constantly push themselves to go above and beyond. These goals include setting up a location, building relationships, and getting your name out and known. This is necessary behavior because of the intense competition that you will be facing. Understanding that the needs of the business will be coming before your own (at least for the first while), is crucial in becoming successful in the fashion industry.
2. A key item to focus on is your brand image
You must consider what you are offering, and how are you offering it. By developing your brand early on in the process, your customers will come to know you. Designers who spend time on their brand image are able to showcase their talent and uniqueness. In the fashion business, marketing plans are essential. Who, what, where, when and how are questions about your business that should be answered fully. If you do not know the answer, investing in a PR company may be beneficial.
3. Later on, it becomes easier to make deals with suppliers and manufacturers
However, when you are starting out, you will be unfamiliar to them. They will likely insist on deposits up-front, even though the retailer has not yet paid you. Even if this happens, make sure that you make all payments when they are asked for. This will start growing your reputation and relationships.
4. The simple fact is that you need to have sales in order to be successful
Buyers must be made aware of your business, and they will be asking why your product is worth their money. You should be researching your competition, and finding areas in which they are lacking. Then you can change your business angle so that it succeeds where others failed.
5. Proper money management is the last tip for successful distribution
Retailers and customers will be your main money source, however, it can only stretch so far. As a new business, you will have many expenses, especially when you are testing original products. The money will come in, and it will come out. Where that money is allocated will be your decision, and will cause the business to either fail or succeed.