How to Launch a Fashion Business Start-up
Starting a business is an extraordinarily exciting process, especially if it’s your first time! Our goal is to provide you some support with guidance to make it even easier and pleasant. Here in our Business Start-up blog, we will briefly guide you through some valuable tips and insight.
Were going to focus on setting up a fashion startup by buying and selling surplus stocks. No manufacturing or regular dealership. Short, quick, low budget operation!
Although every business seems so different, all businesses are based on the same universal business principles and language. What changes is the business model or concept and of course the niche you have chosen!
Most new entrepreneurs will be pitching their products to investors as their main strength but you’ll find the investors equally focused on their business strategy, pricing, ethics, business model, market share, and expansion ability moving forward. Because they’ve been there and known even if you have the best product in the world lacking some of those principles will soon tumble down on the business.
This is why you have business studies at college or university rather than “How to open an online fashion store”. Once you’re in business you will soon realize that you can apply your experience and skills to set up another business start-up easily with a completely different niche. The great thing is to start up a fashion business is not so difficult at all!
So what can we do for you at Top Down Trading to support your business start-up?
5 Tips to get you started
1) Decide your niche
What are you going to sell? Women’s, men’s, or kids products? Maybe you want to sell all? Do you want to sell designer clothing or less expensive high street fashion?
If you can’t decide a quick solution is to test it. It’s a little like trying to choose a career. Remember when you started University how difficult it can be to choose a career path? Luckily here you can do a quick test with a small budget to see which you enjoy more and you’re more successful with.
We have business start-up parcels and pallets for you to trial. If you do need a specific wholesale clothing or shoe deal to trial just ask us!
2) Establish a budget
Is it important to have a business start-up budget? Yes sure. How much money do I need to start a fashion business? Only you can answer that question. Okay, you’re so persistent you just want an easy answer! Fine, from £500 to 1 million! Got the idea? I know that’s a huge bracket, but it makes no difference as you can set up your fashion start-up for £5000 too! It entirely depends on what, where, and how you’re going to sell.
You know if you asked for help from any start-up organization they would get you to make a business plan. Oh, God! So many pages! I know we all hate it! But did you know one of the main objectives of a business plan is to find what budget you would need? Yes, Surprise!
3) Buying your goods
A- You buy per style with full-size breakdowns/ratio
This is a great way if you’re targeting a specific category. For example, you want to buy wholesale women’s dresses or wholesale women’s clothing as a wide category range.
Pros: You get every size. For online selling, you are only going to need one listing of all sizes, which saves you time and work. If it sells well you can repeat buy again.
Cons: It’s going to cost you more £ to buy. If it doesn’t sell or sell slowly you’re going to be stuck with a whole load of stock.
Do you know all those wholesalers selling per a pack clothes? Why do you think that is? Because they try to make it in smaller bundles so if you get stuck you don’t scream and cry! Ouch!
Another thing is its sold as one style one pack and the price is disclosed to everyone so everyone (even your customers) knows how much you bought it for. I really don’t like that, that’s why we opted out of that business model decade ago.
B- You buy mixed sizes mixed styles
This is a fantastic way if you’re looking to pay less. For example, you want to buy wholesale kids mixed clothing or wholesale bulk men’s jeans. You can decide if you want to narrow or broaden the range.
Pros: You pay much less in money value. Even if there are a few styles on the website usually there is so much more so your customers or everyone else wouldn’t know your products and how to get it.
Also because there are more styles you will not be stuck with hefty leftover stocks. You can end up with some percentage of very high retail value popular brands that cost you the same as the rest of the high street brand goods. Last but not least stocks change all the time and each parcel or pallet has different styles so you buy a unique range to lessen competition. Jackpot!
Cons: You will not get all the sizes you want on some occasions. You might dislike a few styles. You might need to buy all-season products which mean you could have a portion of summer goods while you’re in the winter season.
Now after two decades of experience at Top Down Trading, we try and make sure you avoid the cons of mixed deals. For this reason, we divide season stocks much as possible and all goods have reasonably fair size ranges. So you never end up with one size! That’s scary! But please don’t be shy to speak to us so we can tailor deals for your requirements.
Also quite importantly, we sell wholesale clearance clothing and shoes but when we call it clearance or job lot or even liquidation clothing because, it’s the actual brand's clearance from the stores. Please be aware of wholesale clothing companies that sell their own clearance stock that has a completely different meaning. That means they are selling you products that they couldn’t sell themselves. Nope do not buy it! You could end up with all sorts of problems, unless you have the experience and market for it.
4) Selling your goods
Presumably, you’re going to sell online. If you have a small budget to open your website and bring customers, at the beginning it could be a long and costly process. Okay, we're not talking about making your website on a ready platform for less than a hundred quid! It’s really not important at first.
What’s important is there is only two ways you can bring customers to your website. One is organically working on SEO (search engine optimization) which takes time and the other is paid adverts which can be costly unless you can afford it!
Hang on! There is another way! Build your website? Nope! Just pay a monthly fee like £20-£30 and use a ready e-commerce website with your domain job done. Don’t forget you’re a start-up! What if you decide this is not for you after three months?
So the idea is to keep your setup and running costs to a minimum. Stock investment is not an expense that disappears its always worth money, you can even sell it off in a car-boot market! So try to save your budget to buy your stock.
Okay, where were we? Oh, right now you got your website… There are so many platforms you can sell these days, like Amazon, EBay, Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, Depop etc. Choose some, list some items that keep selling and gain customers to redirect to your own website. Job done!
So now you’re able to sell from day one, your gaining customers and directing traffic to your website. Those platforms spend millions to gain market exposure and you’re benefiting from them without spending on advertisements. Jackpot!
5) Maintaining the business moving forward
So finally you have done it! Your business is running and money is coming in. Now you have to stay and keep in the flow. Few simple tips on this:
Make sure you always do your market research, what’s trending? How can you improve your sales? Which part of your products sells the fastest or makes more profit? Check your competitors what they sell how much they charge and what services they provide. Make sure you keep close and good relationships with your customers and wholesale clothing suppliers.
Completed your first year of trade and have a great budget? Now you can invest more on your website, get an accountant to do your accounts, and go on have a short break to celebrate you deserved it!
In conclusion, for those who like skimming through an article and reading introductions and conclusions here is a sum of this article in a few sentences in plain English!
Let’s make it easier. To start up a fashion (stock-lot) business the one and only main thing is; buy something and sell it to someone else with a profit. Dang! I know sounds so obvious, doesn’t it? But trust me, I’ve been in business for more than thirty years and people love to complicate things!
So save some money, decide your niche, buy some stock, and sell it on online platforms or even to your friends. Whatever you have left go to a Sunday market to sell and clear the leftovers. Boom you’re in business!
Thank you! I hope you found this article informative and fun!
Top Down Trading