Lateral entrants can prove themselves in the fashion market, but a knack for fashion – let me put it straight away – is not enough to secure a sunny spot in the highly competitive market. Basic business knowledge should definitely be acquired before setting up a company. In addition to specialist knowledge, some personal skills are also essential in order to assert oneself in the market.

How To Successfully Start A Fashion Business | Fast Company

A clear profile of your fashion business

Often, aspiring boutique owners have a clear picture of the store’s interior and cute little details, but not a clear concept of the range and target group – it’s a bit like the wedding dress and the wedding. Once the brides have their wedding dress, everything else seems secondary. To avoid this mistake, ask yourself the following questions in advance:

  • Which target group do I want to address? (Age, solvency, clothing size)
  • What should my range include? (elegant, sporty, second hand)
  • Which price segment do I want to serve? (Middle price ranges have over half of the market shares)
  • What does my fashion store have that other fashion stores don’t?

The location of your fashion store is half the battle

Before starting your own business with a fashion store, you need to consider some important external conditions:

  • Clientele: The walk-in clientele is essential for your business. Pedestrian precincts or the proximity to large shopping centers are recommended. Location analysis is often worthwhile. Are there up-and-coming trendy districts in which you can settle down? It is essential to have the purchasing power data determined in the immediate catchment area in order to be able to guarantee the profitability of your fashion business in the long term.
  • Competition: While surrounding businesses in other industries stimulate business, competition is stifling business. So make sure that there are no or few comparable model shops nearby.
  • Infrastructure: Transport connections, parking spaces, and wide sidewalks are important influencing factors.
  • Rental costs: If the above conditions are met, a high rental price is of course waiting for the future boutique owner. But it is better to rent an expensive shop that is well located and has high sales potential than a cheaper shop that is poorly located and hardly generates any sales.
  • Here, too, you should invest again, then profit. Getting to such a shop is, of course, also art and requires a lot of negotiation skills and, above all, patience. Months can easily pass from the idea to implementation, so you should have a long-term, timeless concept ready so that you can strike at the right moment.

Become self-employed as a fashion retailer: Establish supplier contacts at an early stage

Without suppliers, no goods. Without goods, no fashion store.

As a newcomer to the industry, it is very difficult to get hold of suppliers because the competition is very fierce. So make sure that you can find suitable and above all inexpensive suppliers before the opening. The “Who delivers what” page offers a good first overview. Negotiate delivery times, discounts, return rights, payment modalities, etc. together. Make sure that the suppliers you use comply with environmental standards. According to the latest study, over 70 percent of consumers consider it important when buying clothing that it is produced sustainably (Slow Fashion Monitor 2016).

Financing & subsidies for your fashion business

The financing of the purchase price, as well as the necessary additional investments, can – like every business start-up – be facilitated by the state with low-interest funds. You don’t have to look further or search Google for ‘cash for my house‘. Don’t put your house at stake because there are other means to fund your business. Find out which funding is available for you in your area.