Everyone has a dream. Everyone has something they want to achieve in life and be remembered for. Living out these dreams should not be hindered by limitations that loom ahead of you.
If your dream is to start a fashion business but you have no money whatsoever to do it, do not be discouraged, limitations are meant to be overcome. After all, the world is ruled by ideas, and those that succeeded jumped over many hurdles to reach the goal.
Here are 6 steps to help you start a fashion business with no money in the bank.
1. Build Yourself Up
There is no substitute for having the right skills in entrepreneurship. You have to take an inventory of yourself to see in what areas you are lacking and find ways to build yourself in those areas.
“To build a successful fashion label from scratch requires creativity, determination, flexibility, foresight, the ability to effectively handle resources and the ability to understand and work with different types of people. All these skills are essential at the very beginning and though difficult to master, can be developed through years of practice.” – Brenda Nakalema.
You need to learn to sketch, to sew, to manage resources properly, price right, interpret financial books, etc. These skills are important in running a successful fashion business. They are also skills you can learn for free from watching videos online and reading materials on them.
Since you do not have money to hire professionals to do things for you, you need to learn to do them yourself.
2. Pick A Niche
In starting a fashion business, you have to know and understand why you are starting that business. This means having a clear idea of who you want to sell to and what problems you are trying to solve for that person with your fashion items.
Are you an eco-friendly fashion brand? Do you specialise in streetwear? Are you a fashion brand that is out to help pregnant women feel beautiful and sexy? Are you out to give the working class woman comfort and class with your outfits?
You have to understand what problems your fashion brand is out to solve in society and who you want to solve these problems for. This is where market research comes in.
So, now you know who your target market is and what problems you want to solve for them but you have no tools to make your dreams into reality. This is where collaboration comes in.
Find yourself a tested and trusted tailor that can make your designs for you and deliver on time. Since you do not have a sewing machine and this person does, you can work hand-in-hand to grow each other’s business. You provide the clients and your partner provides the outfits. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.
In collaboration, you need to agree on how you will split the profits from the business. Who gets what percentage? Will it be a 40/60 thing or a 30/70 thing? Whichever way you decide to split it is totally up to you.
4. Start With Your Contact List
Now that you know what your fashion brand is about and you have someone to sew or you, it’s time to start searching for those that fit into your buyer persona. Since you are a new brand with no money, the best place to start looking for your ideal buyer is in your contact list.
Everybody knows somebody, so, start with the ‘somebody’s’ you know. Search through your contact list and pinpoint those that fit into your buyer persona then approach them to patronise your brand.
This means that you must have been a trustworthy person and someone of good repute because no one will want to patronise someone they don’t believe in. Even if you do not have your target market in your contact list, you will know people that do and you can leverage your relationship with these people to get business for yourself.
When you find your ideal client, who’s him/her your sketches and get them to pick from amongst them. When a design has been picked, request for a percentage of the amount you will charge for that outfit to be paid upfront to enable you to buy the raw materials you need to make the outfit. This is why you need to be known to be trustworthy.
5. Give Out Value
You have to give out value to get value. People love it when they receive value from others and it makes it easier for them to release their hard-earned money to those they receive value from. As a business owner, you cannot afford to have a mentality that seeks to only take and not give.
Giving value can be in the form of starting a fashion blog that talks about all things fashion concerning your target market. You can answer the fashion questions they have a give fashion tips and tricks to make life easier for them.
Alongside this value you are giving out, you should also advertise your business. Since they see you as a form of authority in that field, they will want to patronise you.
6. Make Use Of Social Media
You can use social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook completely free of charge. This means taking your business online and advertising it there. Show the world what you can do using pictures of your sketches and photos from clients you have already worked with.
Social media marketing can help pivot your business from where it is to where you want it to be for little to no cost at all.
Carrying out these essential steps in starting a fashion business with no money requires a lot of determination, hard work, creativity, and skill but it is possible. Never let not having enough capital stop you from living out your dream. Go out and show the world what you’re made of.