Being a successful fashion business owner means finding good ways to grow your business. And of course, growth doesn’t come without challenges. In the fashion industry, just like any other industry, there are many challenges to overcome.
The fashion industry is a fast-paced industry, where things change rapidly, and staying focused is not easy. To make things even more difficult, there are also other everyday pressures every business owner struggles with.
But building and growing a successful fashion business is possible. There are many opportunities, you just need to see them and for that, you need to know these 10 essential things. Let’s take a look.
Redefine your core values and business goals
Every now and then, it’s a good idea to redefine your core values and your business goals. It’s these core values that can help you keep your business on the right track toward achieving your business goals. Somewhere along the road, you may have strayed away from the right track, so revisiting and tweaking these core values will help you get back in the right lane.
It’s also a good idea to revisit the business goals you had in the beginning, so you can see how far you’ve come and how much you still need to go until you achieve all your business goals. Having clear goals can make everything a lot easier.
Concentrate on e-commerce
In this day and age, having an online presence is pivotal. Online shopping has become huge in the last couple of years and if you don’t have an online shop, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities.
If you don’t already have an online shop, it’s high time you started one. And if you do have it, optimizing both the shop and e-commerce strategy is something you should be doing regularly.
Invest in software and tools
For things to go smoothly and without hiccups in your fashion business, you should think about investing in software and different tools.
It’s not a secret that many small and mid-sized fashion brands are usually understaffed and with so much to be done the lack of help can be detrimental to these businesses. That’s why every small or mid-sized fashion business should consider investing in software and tools that can help them automate processes, track things, and reduce errors.
Unmade software is a great example of software that can help your fashion business automate and streamline every stage of your existing value chain, shorten production times and eliminate manual processes and errors. Having software like this can help you with the growth of your fashion business.
As mentioned, being understaffed doesn’t help your business but thankfully there are things you can do to fix this problem. Investing in software is one way to improve your business, the other includes outsourcing. Outsourcing implies hiring a third party to perform services or create goods that are usually performed in-house.
Outsourcing and delegating can help everyone on your team concentrate on what they are good at and in that way the work done will be more efficient and results better. These practices can also help you cut costs.
Every fashion brand, regardless of how big or small, has at least one overpriced product on its shelves. While this product may be the best you’ve ever produced, it’s not successful thanks to its high price tag.
These types of products should be identified and either resourced or redeveloped to make them more successful as well as profitable. Now, resourcing is not an easy job because it requires either tweaking or enhancing the products to make them more popular and as mentioned, more successful and profitable.
Know your supply chain partners
How well do you know your supply chain partners? The better you know them, the more solid your partner relationship will be. And with a solid relationship, working together, making plans, and reaching goals will be more successful for both parties.
The key is to build a long-term collaboration with a partner you trust. That way your supply chain will be secure and you can rest assured that the materials you order from your partners are always of good quality.
This may even mean drastically reducing the list of suppliers and manufacturers you’re currently working with. Fewer partners mean deeper relationships and less administrative work for you!
Communicate with customers and partners
For things to work properly and for a business to be successful, communication is critical. And this means communication with your partners and customers equally. Open and transparent communication can be beneficial both for you and those you work with.
Communicating with your customers can help you get the feedback you need to find out what interests them, and how you can improve your products, and offer them what they want. By regularly communicating with your customers you’re also showing them that you care about them and their opinion. Find ways to engage your customers and make the communication interesting to them.
The same can be said about communicating with your partners. Don’t be afraid to be honest, over-communicate if needed, keep in touch regularly, and so on. Building strong and long-lasting relationships with both clients and partners is important for the success of any business.
Repeat sales are always welcome
For your fashion business to stand out, you’ll need to find ways to increase repeat sales. Yes, getting new customers is great but many focus only on getting new customers and completely forget about their old ones. And keeping your old customers is less expensive than attracting new ones. For your business to stand out and be successful, you should concentrate on repeat sales.
Both repeat sales and old customers will help you build a brand and loyalty amongst customers. And it’s precisely this customer loyalty and a brand image that will make you stand out and be an expert in your niche.
To encourage repeat sales you can offer your customers loyalty programs, personalized customer service, free use coupons, freebies, and so on.
Never stop innovating
Innovation is the key to a successful business. The minute you stop innovating is the minute you fall behind. This is the situation in every industry, not just the fashion one. You should always be up to date with industry trends (new materials, colors, styles, and so on), technology, sales and marketing strategies, and so much more.
As an entrepreneur, you should also be brave and explore areas and things other brands don’t. However, when it comes to innovation, you also need to be careful. You can make a big mess if you aren’t thoughtful enough when implementing innovation in your business.
Keep track of inventory
Do you keep track of your inventory? Old inventory can pile up pretty fast if you don’t keep track of it. This happens when you overbuy – things end up sitting in a warehouse collecting dust and, in turn, your money, too.
To deal with this problem, you should find smart ways to keep track of your inventory. This will help you not only save money but space, as well. Knowing exactly what’s going on with the inventory will help you know what needs to be purchased next time and what is not. Don’t let your money sit on the shelves collecting dust – use it smartly to grow your business instead!
These 10 things are what will help you keep your fashion business running and if used smartly, they can also help you grow it. And remember, innovation and automation are the future of your business – but only if used strategically and carefully!
Jess Cooper is a part-time journalist and blogger based in Sydney, Australia.