Today, “entrepreneurship” has become the most widely discussed word among the younger generation, thanks to the evolution of technology and the widening horizon of the digital media. This has eventually generated a very tough competition in the market, leading the entrepreneurs to focus more on the uniqueness of the product or the services they offer. Even though there are no specific barriers as what one should offer it should be noted that there is no industry that one could break in easily.
Fashion and lifestyle industry is the one among many which has seen a rapid growth in the past, creating an opportunity for many young entrepreneurs to enter in to this space. It is however important to understand that the biggest impediment in the apparel industry is the ability to understand and meet the demands of the end consumer according to the changing trends in the market. In order to gain a permanent solution, the best way is to study forecast and conceptualize new style. Before launching a new clothing line following are the 8 points that budding entrepreneurs should keep in mind.
1.Understand your Target Group:
It doesn’t make sense to try and please each and every individual hence the foremost important aspect of any business is to understand the needs, wants and the demands of a target group. In a highly volatile industry like fashion and life style, it becomes necessary for the entrepreneurs to be acquainted with various trends and the changing consumer behaviour. Understanding the target group gives a very specific direction to the brand in terms of offerings and further helps in sketching the growth trajectory of the company.
The very first step that needs to be taken to start a particular business is to do a thorough market research. It should be noted that market research is not only important during the inception phase but also is of significance when a particular brand reaches a level of excellence, as there might be a need for an alteration in the product that they are offering. It should be understood that the clothing/ apparel industry is highly research driven, hence research becomes a prominent factor for an entrepreneur who is willing to start a clothing line.
3.Experimenting with the Product:
Once the research is done and you get a concrete report of the insights of the consumers, it’s a key practice to incorporate the findings in the product. Constant experimentation with the products helps in creating a fresh image of the brand in the market attracting your target group. This eventually helps the brand in expanding the reach which would indirectly result in the maximisation of sales.
4.Experienced + Fresh Minds:
The prime need for any business to reach a level of excellence lies in the expertise and the innovative offerings given by the brand to the consumer. Considering the fact that the clothing/ apparel business is widely labour dominated, its key for an entrepreneur to have an expertise in labour management or to appoint someone who has a proficiency in the same. Along with that employing fresh minds would lead to generating innovative ideas for the product and for the business.
5. Market Presence:
Once the clothing line has been established it is imperative to have a decent market presence in order to reach outto the target consumers. Due to the extensive use of technology it is comparatively easy to establish your market presence. Today an entrepreneur can very easily expand his presence/reach by having various online channelcomparted to the earlier days of going through the retail outlets.
It is often said that “Quality is the best business plan”. This saying stands true for almost all the business that exists in the world. However this is very significant when it comes for a company offering a product and that too in the apparel space. In order to maintain the quality of the offering, it’s of prime importance to have a very quality cautious procurement department. And the product should be tested multiple times before it reaches out to the end consumer.
Due to the extensive competition in the market, one cannot afford to turn a blind eye on the impact of marketing. Having your business connected to an extremely lucrative marketing plan would help your product to reach the right place. For example, if your TG spends a considerable amount of time online, then not establishing the business on the online space would lead the brand to missing out on many opportunities. Thus a right marketing mix is of utmost importance.
Making profits out of the clothing line that has been established is the primary objective of an entrepreneur. The end product should be priced taking into consideration the fixed cost and the variable cost. The fixed costs include the cost of machines or rent, while the variable costs are those that change over a period of time like cost of labour or credit card fees. It is important to note that the product should be priced in such a way that would earn profit margins of 30-50% higher than the expenses associated with it.
At the end it is imperative for the entrepreneur to constantly review the existing business model and to make the necessary amendments in the same as and when necessary.