Chances are, if you’re getting ready to launch your fashion brand, you’ve thought of a lot of complicated things. You’ve likely considered how to set up your website, how to develop a social media presence, where to source your materials from, what sort of marketing scheme you might come up with, and so on. All of these are essential things to think about, and will help determine the success of your brand from day one. But as any entrepreneur will tell you, there are also unexpected and unforeseen challenges that come up along the way.
To give you a better chance at avoiding some of those, we’ve written up a few important questions you might not typically think to ask yourself when putting together a fashion brand….
1.) Are you working too hard?
The mindset when you’re working on your own brand tends to be that you can’t possibly work enough. It’s common for emerging entrepreneurs to lose sleep over their ideas, and to work excess hours just trying to make things work. However, there’s evidence to support the idea that this sort of approach is actually counterproductive. Florida State University findings cited previously on this site suggested that working in 90-minute intervals leads to greater productivity than longer intervals. Additionally, the most productive subjects studied work for just 4.5 hours a day! Putting more than that into your brand startup is understandable, if not inevitable. But you may want to consider the basic notion that more work is not necessarily better work.
2.) Do you know how to start a business?
In asking this question, we don’t mean do you know how to establish a brand? or can you maintain the day-to-day upkeep? or anything of the sort. Rather, we’re asking if you literally know how to start a business — a Limited Liability Company registered with the state, and recognized as a legal company. It’s not particularly complicated, but it is something to look into. In Florida for example, where we’re based, an outline of the LLC process by ZenBusiness conveys that only a few steps need to be completed to turn your brand into a more official business. With a few forms filled out, tax status obtained, and some company decisions made, you can establish an LLC and move forward as a legitimate business owner.
3.) Can you diversify?
The idea of diversification is something you may not think of in the early going. But it’s something that’s often tied to success in business (and building wealth in general). As was pointed out in an interview at Business Insider, it’s common to hear that the average millionaire has seven streams of income. Thus, some individual attempt to establish as many, and start bringing in funds from a variety of sources. It’s an interesting practice, but one that can also be applied to your business. As your brand grows, it’s wise to have a few plans in your back pocket for how you might diversify it and turn it into more of a multi-faceted company with multiple income streams. That can mean many different things, but it’s a good idea to go ahead and start brainstorming now!
4.) Have you assessed your competition?
Finally, it’s important not to wait until you establish your brand to do some research and see what you’re up against! In Florida for instance, there’s been some talk in recent years of an influx of fashion inspiration. More designers appear to be taking root in the state, and a Miami Herald look at sustainable fashion indicated that eco-friendly brands in particular are establishing themselves. By no means should this be discouraging, but it is an example of what you might begin to find if you start to research potential competition. Knowing about similar brands, or brands established in close proximity to your own, simply positions you to compete effectively.
Maria Pesin knows fashion, especially the business side of the fashion industry. Do you know how Manolo Blahnik got his start in the industry? How he leveraged a paltry 3 grand into one of the world’s most famous luxury brands? While she doesn’t take credit for Manolo’s success, Maria has walked a similar path on numerous occasions. The world of fashion is not silicon valley, and it has nothing to do with Madison Avenue marketing. In this industry there is ALWAYS room for something new and exciting, but you have to have your ducks in a row. If that’s what you need, believe me, Maria is the General Patton of fashion ducks!
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