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BUSINESS STRATEGIES

6 tips from fashion designers to help you start your own clothing line

You have a passion for fashion, but turning your passion into a profitable business takes certain know-how. So, where do you begin? Well, there’s no need to remake the wheel, at least not when you’re starting out. A good place to start is by looking at the people who have been there and done that. Heeding the advice of established fashion designers will help you get your clothing line off the ground. So here are six tips from fashion designers to help you get started on your own clothing line:

  1. Don’t compromise when it comes to your business

Ralph Lauren tells a story about trying to sell his ties to Bloomingdales and how they wanted him to make all sorts of changes, and they didn’t want to use his label. At this point in time, Ralph Lauren was in desperate need of a sale, but he wasn’t about to compromise on his design, “Six months later they called me back, and they said, Ralph, we can’t find your ties anywhere, and we want to buy them.” What we can take away from this is that if you believe in your designs and your business, don’t change for anyone. Wait for the buyer who understands your vision and wants you for you.

  1. Actively seek out new ideas to improve your business

“You can’t just lie down and say something will come to me. You have to make an effort,” says Karl Lagerfield. This means that you can’t just wait for inspiration to strike, you have to be continuously coming up and experimenting with new things. Fashion changes quickly, so you have to be ready with new ideas to revitalize your clothing line and keep it top of mind.

  1. Find a partner for your company

“Don’t start up alone. You need a partner in crime: someone who will invest the same blood, sweat, and tears as you; a sounding board for ideas; someone you can implicitly trust,” says Nicholas Kirkwood. A partner can make or break your business, so choose this person wisely. They should be as passionate about your business and designs as you are.

  1. Don’t separate the creative from the business side of things

“I’m always thinking, “Ok, what is the end objective? What are we trying to create? What’s the concept? Who is the customer profile? What’s the price point? What’s the distribution model?” explains Alexander Wang, as he discusses how, when he’s designing, he’s not just making something for its sake. He’s designing with a specific customer in mind. When he’s considering materials, he’s also considering at what price the garment can be sold at. When he’s looking at a collection, he’s not just looking at how everything looks together, but how it will be sold and the method of distribution. In other words, be creative, but keep in mind the particulars of your business when designing.

  1. Concentrate on the feeling you want your designs to evoke

“The only way to advertise is by not focusing on the product,” says Calvin Klein. What he means by this is that if you want to sell clothes, you should sell the feeling wearing said clothing is intended to evoke, rather than the pieces themselves. Focus on what the target audience will get out of wearing your designs versus someone else’s. Why is your shirt the better shirt, what will it do for your customer that other shirts won’t?

  1. Step into your customer’s shoes

“I know who the Versace woman is because I wear the clothes myself,” says Donatella Versace about her clothing line. The important point that’s raised here is knowing your customer. Who do you envision wearing your clothes? What are their hopes? Their dreams? What style of clothing do they prefer? What is their purchasing capacity? It’s essential to have a clear idea of your target audience. You have to be able to speak their language and connect on their level. Once you have a good idea of who your target audience is, do some research to solidify their image. For example, are they mostly eCommerce shoppers, or do they prefer brick-and-mortar stores? This will help you to know what distribution models to use and how to advertise.

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BUSINESS STRATEGIES

Pandemic planning for business in the era of Coronavirus

 

In addition to the severe health and humanitarian effects of the coronavirus pandemic, entrepreneurs worldwide are facing business crises. Customer demand is collapsing, and there are significant regulatory modifications and supply chain interruptions. Employees have had to be laid off, there’s an economic recession, and on top of all this is continued uncertainty about what the future will hold.

In the same way that the health and humanitarian effects of this crisis will need to recover, so to will businesses need to find ways to return to normal. Impromptu responses won’t work; companies need to start laying the groundwork for their rehabilitation now.

Your rehabilitation strategy should answer five important questions:

  • Where is your business positioned during the pandemic, and where can you position yourselves afterward?

It’s essential to understand your business’ position in your industry so that you can make appropriate strategic decisions. Ask yourself, who are you in your industry, what role do you play, and who are your main competitors? It’s also important to consider the direction you’re headed in. Are you able to shut down and then reopen without consequence after the pandemic? Is it possible to recover lost ground? Will you be bankrupt, or will you come out of the lockdown as a market leader?

  • What is your plan for a full recovery?

Once you know where you are currently positioned, you need to make a plan to direct you to the position you want to attain post-pandemic. This plan should detail the steps you need to take today to achieve your goals tomorrow. In other words, what do you need to do to get through this crisis so you can resume your business when the pandemic ends?

  • What changes can you expect the pandemic to have made to your company’s culture and identity?

Your company’s culture and identity will likely change as a result of the pandemic. Crises can foster feelings of collective endurance. On the other hand, they can also create feelings of distrust or self-interest. For this reason, it’s essential to consider how the perspective of your employees might have changed. Ask yourself, how prepared was our company to deal with this crisis? Is this ongoing situation bringing people together or driving them apart? How will your employees view your company when the pandemic is over? Your answers to these questions will tell you what you can achieve once the pandemic is over.

  • What projects do you need to undertake to solve your pandemic-related problems?

The answers to the questions outlined above should give rise to a series of projects for dealing with your pandemic-related problems. What will be challenging is deciding which projects take priority and coordinating initiatives to future-proof your company. Be cautious about starting several projects that involve the same resources, such as specific individuals, or particular departments like IT. If you try to start too many projects simultaneously, this may result in a fight over resources that could delay or derail your strategic response.

  • Are you ready and able to execute your business’ plans and projects?

Last but not least, you need to evaluate your business’s preparedness. Can you successfully undertake the projects you’ve outlined, especially if a lot of your employees are working remotely? You need to assess the resources you have and the speed and quality of your decision-making processes. The results will determine if you’ve prepared yourself appropriately to tackle your pandemic related problems and come out on top.

If you undertake to answer these questions thoroughly, you will end up with a strategic response to the pandemic to see your company through to the other side.

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BUSINESS STRATEGIES

Don’t let your company fail – Develop a business mindset

A business mindset is a way of thinking that allows you to discover and view problems as opportunities and then take those opportunities and turn them into a business. This mindset is a particular way of looking at the world of business. It enables you to understand how to execute your idea for the greatest chance of success. By developing this type of mindset, you increase the opportunities for your company to succeed.

A business mindset is more than just a set of rules to follow; it’s a way of thinking. For this reason, every entrepreneur’s mindset is different. What we’re going to do is give you an idea of what you need to consider to develop an entrepreneurial way of thinking. Use this list to help you discover opportunities and then turn them into a business.

  1. Find a customer and develop a business to meet their needs

While you may think that developing a product should be the first step in your business, you should actually find your target audience first. Once you’ve determined who your customer is, you need to figure out what their needs are. The best way to do this is to talk to them. For example, if you want to work in the beauty industry, find beauty product customers, and ask them what needs they have that aren’t currently being met by the industry. When you know what problems need to be solved, you can come up with a product or service to meet the needs of your customers. This ensures that once your product goes to market, there will be someone there to buy it. In other words, find your customer, find their problem, develop a business around solving said problem.

  1. Always be looking at the future of your company

As in chess, you should always be looking three steps ahead. This means that rather than asking yourself, “What is happening at this moment?” ask yourself, “What will be the result of the action I’m taking today?” Something may benefit you in the present, but it could come back to haunt you in the future. Therefore, before you make any decisions, you need to look ahead to determine what kind of impact your choice will have on the future. For example, if you launch a seasonal product, what will happen when the season changes? Will you have excess inventory? Will you have another product lined up and ready to go? You can’t expect to buy one lottery ticket and have it be the winner; you have to have a vision of the future. You need to think long term about where you want to end up and examine all the necessary steps to get there.

  1. Build an Entrepreneurial Network and Build your Business

A strong and diverse entrepreneurial network provides you with a community of knowledgeable and enterprising people. This community can help you build your business by giving advice, learning opportunities, funding, and potential partnerships. To begin constructing your network, start by reaching out through social networks. Be honest about why you’re contacting someone and be conscientious of their time. You may also want to attend industry or business-oriented events. This will enable you to meet valuable people in person.

  1. Get Comfortable being Uncomfortable

A good business mindset involves putting yourself in situations where you don’t know what you’re doing. There’s a first time for everything, and no one knows everything about what they’re doing the first time they do it. You should try to do things that you find hard because you’ll likely be the only doing it, or one of few. This puts you at an advantage. Remember, the only real way to learn how to do something is to actually do it. So you can’t just learn about running a business, you need to actually run one. If you think that you only have a certain level of ability, you’ll never achieve anything beyond that. You have to believe you can improve yourself, that you can teach yourself anything so long as you try enough things and push yourself hard enough.

  1. Be the Designer of Your Own Destiny

Lucky people don’t necessarily have more advantages than you. It’s not the universe, but rather their own steam that is propelling them forward. What looks like luck is actually them putting themselves out there more. In doing so, they’re creating connections that eventually lead to opportunities. You may start a business, and it may fail, but if you never try to start another company, you’ll never be successful. A business mindset is all about focusing on your successes and learning from your mistakes. It might take you ten failed businesses before you have one that’s successful, but that’s business. There is no luck. You’re in charge of your destiny through the decisions you make and the actions you take.

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BUSINESS STRATEGIES

Do you have what it takes to build a business empire?

Creating an empire is every entrepreneur’s dream. However, not every empire succeeds. The world’s most successful people didn’t become that way by accident. They worked for their achievements, pushing for them over the course of a lifetime. They also have a particular set of qualities. These shared qualities helped these entrepreneurs build a business empire.

We’ve created a list of the qualities that are integral to building a business empire. As you read through this list, ask yourself, does this sound like me?

  • Entrepreneurial Vision

You know exactly what you want to do and can visualize yourself doing it. You understand what needs to be done to achieve your vision and can conceive of how to get it done. You engage in intense but targeted networking and are open to new people and new ideas.

  • Courage in Business

You know that building a business empire takes courage. You have a strong will and a vision that encourages you to take action, focusing more on what’s possible than on possible adverse outcomes. You don’t overanalyze situations or spend a lot of time thinking about consequences; you just take action.

  • Belief in Your Entrepreneur Capabilities

You have a strong belief in your ability to succeed in your business venture. This is what drives you to success, along with your vision. Your inner belief drives you against all hurdles. You stop at nothing until you hit your mark. You think outside the box and use any obstacles as a learning tool to increase your chances of success.

  • Ability to be a Self-Starter in Business

You understand that if something needs to be done, you need to do it yourself. You create objectives and parameters to ensure that your project follows a specific path. You are highly proactive. Rather than sitting around and waiting for opportunities, you make opportunities happen.

  • Discipline and Focus Regarding Business Objectives

You are solemnly focused on making your business a success. You are keen to reduce distractions and hindrances surrounding your objectives. You have clearly stated strategies and have outlined tactics for attaining your goals. You strictly follow your business schedule, and you observe your spending and investing habits to ensure that you adhere to your personal and business principles and ethics.

  • Confidence to Take Risks

You have never questioned whether you’re worthy of success. You are confident in the knowledge that your business can succeed, and this confidence pushes you to take significant risks that will reap big rewards. In so doing, you engender confidence from your clients and investors in your abilities.

  • A Thirst for Entrepreneurial Competition

You know that companies are often created when entrepreneurs believe they can do something better than what’s currently being done. Therefore, you have a thirst to win, striving to be the best business out there. You take competition positively and come up with strategies to develop better products or services that will draw interest from the market.

  • A Mind Open to Business Opportunities

You see every situation and event as a potential business opportunity. You continually generate ideas about efficiency and workflows. You are open-minded about new ideas and can find the business side in everything around you.

  • Entreprenurial Creativity

You can make connections between seemingly unrelated situations and events. You formulate solutions from the synthesis of ideas. As a result, your products and services are placed above similar products in the market.

  • Knowledge of What Product to Sell or Create

It’s not enough that you believe in your product. You’ve studied the market and have customized a product based on the market’s needs. Your process for choosing a product to sell or create is as specific as possible. Your process is well-defined and measurable so you can determine weaknesses, modifying the process as needed, and limited financial loss.

  • Passion for Seeing Your Business Empire Built

You know that passion is vital for any entrepreneur, but especially if you want to build a business empire. Therefore, you love what you do. You’ve read and researched all the ways and techniques to create an outstanding and long-lasting business. You’re willing to invest countless hours to make sure your business succeeds because you get joy and satisfaction that goes beyond financial rewards.