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Monday, 21 January 2013

Starting a UK Fashion Business

Unemployment has got a tight grip on much of society today however lots of people are shaking its vice by starting their own businesses and working for themselves. We’ve spoken with ASOS Marketplace who’ve seen a rise in the start-ups coming through their domain for designers, traders and consumers to sell new items and re-sell their vintage clothing online. ASOS have been kind enough to provide some tips on getting started in the UK fashion industry.

Branding
Branding is crucial to the success of your business. You should aim to make your brand name or logo relate to your designs in some way whilst keeping it simple and easy to pronounce. This will make your brand memorable. Coupled with amazing designs, quality branding can make your business a success. Of course you can also choose to go down the trader’s route if you have an eye for a deal and can find a margin by reselling.

Funding
To look for an investor you’ll need to show them that they can make money. So without an exceptional idea and a lot of luck you’ll probably find that you’re investing your own money. This can be daunting and so we stress the importance of keeping watch over your finances. Create a budget keep a file of your receipts. Make a spread sheet to track your cash flow, investments, debits and credits which you’ll need for your accounting.

Business Plan
Regardless of the type of business, you’ll need a plan in order to secure investment. Your plan should contain the following key areas as a minimum:
· The industry in which you will operate
· Your target market
· Direct competitors
· Mission statement
· A marketing plan that includes products, pricing, sales and distribution
· Financial plan
· An executive summary
Many organisations provide guidance on creating a business plan, including the Prince’s Trust.

Website
You should secure your domain before discussing your business to increase your chances of getting the name you desire. A domain can be bought and held for very little money so even if you don’t yet have the funds to build your website, buying the domain can still be useful to keep on hand whilst selling on another platform such as ASOS Marketplace.

Showcasing Your Creations
Experienced models don’t usually come cheap but if you’re savvy you could try putting an advert out at your nearest university or on StudentGems. Often students are keen to be involved projects that involve being made up and taking photos. You can also do the same to find a photographer however it’s probably best to hire some experience to make the most of your designs. Putting effort into how the product is showcased online will improve the feel of your brand; something that should translate to sales. Launching a pop-up boutique in the heart of a city is also a great way to arouse curiosity, make sales and increase brand awareness rapidly. There are agencies that assist with the management of pop-ups or you can contact an empty shop owner directly and discuss your needs.

This article was written by Akin Fagbohun who is a researcher and content writer on behalf of ASOS Marketplace.

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