MBA students at the London Business School wrote The Commercialisation Creativity Report to understand the biggest challenge the best strategy for fashion entrepreneur. Alejandra Caro and Alessandra Basso speak with 19 designers, 14 retailers, 16 advisors and 5 PRs and media representative.
This report sets a guide to help young designers build a respected company for their creativity, having a high profile and earning profit. Here are some of the most useful tips:
1. Think like an entrepreneur
To build a successful label, you need to think like an entrepreneur from the beginning. This means understanding how the business works and arranging a plan that is meant for short, medium-term and long-term goals. Once your company is up and running, build a solid relationship with the manufacturer, buyer and investor with consistency and honest about what you are doing.
2. Understand the importance of product development
Smart small – introduce one product line only and expand the brand from there. Setting the right price for your product is important in finding success. Work by starting with the amount that customers are willing to pay. Then, calculate how much you need to spend on materials and manufacturing while still gaining profits.
3. Have a strong vision of your brand identity
It is important to set your brand identity from the very beginning. Young designers need to understand who they really are and why they start their own business.
Start with a marketing plan that determines the customers you are targeting and how you will approach them. Consider PR – PR is a useful tool to support designers and bring their work to wider audience attention.
4. Understand the production challenges
New businesses are often rife with production. Order small amounts, which makes you in a weak bargaining position. The suppliers may ask you to deposit an amount before you receive a payment from the retailer. This may be difficult, but it’s important to pay quickly so that the production is not delayed.
5. Know how to get the buyer’s attention
To succeed, you need to get the buyer’s attention. Tell them the uniqueness about your product. If you are planning to sell online, find out that the colourful and printed products are usually the most popular. Any outfits that are unusual will be a tough sell on the website.
6. Understand the importance of cash flow and financing
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a new business is cash flow – for product and manufacturing development. You need to know where your funding comes and ensure your finances are in control, so think carefully.