3 Essential Business Tips to Know Before Designing Your First Collection

Turning a concept into a marketable product is complex and multifaceted.

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By Marilisa Barbieri

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Choosing a big enough niche, being prepared to mitigate variables and validating your product before it's built are keys to the success of your new venture. Consider the following three business tips before designing your first collection.

Segment sustainability

In selecting a niche for your brand, it is fundamental to make sure that it can sustain your business. A sustainable segment has enough customers and opportunities for your brand growth — contrary to a tightly closed niche, which will limit your business and lead to stagnation.

The fashion designer Giorgio Armani at the beginning of his career focused on a small niche of professionals. Over time, this decision severely limited the brand growth, and today the luxury company is working on expanding its market to other customer segments.

Research is essential before designing a new collection and entering the market. Find the trends and trajectory of the industry you chose, and discover what's projected to grow or decline over the next few years.

Segment sustainability is a piece of information that your funding partners will discuss with you before making any decisions. Researching the growth potential of your niche market from different sources and perspectives — and disclosing the results with your potential investors — will help showcase your leadership skills and secure funds.

Related: 19 Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Risk management plan

Risk management is about identifying and mitigating uncertainties and must be among an entrepreneur's core competencies. Before designing a new product or service, evaluate the uncertainties in the following categories: market risks, competitive risks, technology and operational, people risks, legal risks and systemic risks.

Think about what could go wrong, and what to do to mitigate those variables cost-effectively.
Identify and categorize the risks, consequences, mitigation tactics and costs.

Highlighting the risks in your business plan with solutions provides investors a real insight into you as an entrepreneur. It demonstrates that you know what you are doing and also looks for ways to mitigate the variables. If you disclose the risks, it will get you the investor's trust and possibly funds.

Related: 5 Tips for Starting a Successful Company

Run a beta launch

How can you validate your product before launching? The first validation comes from the investing founders. If people buy the product based on a pitch, they will probably buy it when in the market.
A beta launch is often used to get feedback before a digital product is built. You can borrow this tactic and build a landing page and run ads. If people click the "Buy Now" button, you got validation.

Conducting a market opportunities analysis and a SWOT (strengths, weakness, opportunity, threats) analysis helps to validate the feasibility of your ideas.

If you are ready to embrace entrepreneurialism, put your ideas out there to land opportunities and turn them into successful ventures. With a solid business plan and proper brand strategy, you are on your way to becoming the next big thing in your niche.

Related: 7 Terrific Tips to Improve Time Management

Marilisa Barbieri

Business Consultant, Luxury Brand Expert & Educator

A luxury-business expert with an MBA and interior design and arts degree, Marilisa Barbieri helps companies elevate their brand value and increase sales of design service by revealing proven sales strategies employed by top luxury brands.

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