6 Important Checklists For Startup Fashion Designers (Part One)

6 Important Checklists For Startup Fashion Designers (Part One)

6 Important Checklists For Startup Fashion Designers (Part One)

Fashion designing is a very beautiful and lucrative business. It’s profitable and creative. It is one of the businesses I advise entrepreneurs especially young ones to venture into. Fashion designing is an in-demand business and one of the most common phenomena of this century. Apart from the food business, businesses that center around clothing or what people wear tends to be the next in line for massive patronage. This business comes with a lot of possibilities and readily offers many advantages. It is therefore advisable to learn about the rudiments of the business before venturing into it in order to avoid possibilities for failure. This article will guide you through some checklists of things you need to have in place before venturing into fashion designing business.

Many fashion designers started a clothing line but made some critical mistakes and ended up closing their outfits, because they never thought it was important to learn about some of the most basic things about the fashion business. You may be a talented clothing line designer but that does not automatically mean you are going to be a successful businessperson. When starting a business, you should stick to some basics to run your venture successfully.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 70% of small businesses fail within their first five years. You would not like to see your fashion startup to be on that list of failed businesses. So, if you have little or no business experience, pay attention to some basics to avoid the mistakes that others have made.


Step 1: Find Your Niche Market

A niche market is a subset of a market on which a particular product is focused. Niche marketing talks about setting or tweaking the features of your product, production qualities, demographics and price range to satisfy a specific interest group within an overall market, based on the highlighted and perceived needs of that interest group. Niche marketing is a useful approach, which can help businesses to increase their financial gain margins.

Ever hear the expression, “Jack of all trades, master of none”? I know you have heard it before. It simply means that a generalist can do many things at an average level, if he tries very hard, at the best. However, a specialist will mostly do one thing (or very few things) extremely well. The same holds true for you as a fashion designer. Understanding the market means you are able to identify the unique needs of your potential audience/customers, provide new and compelling products, tailor your products in the right way that connects with the emotions of those you are targeting, communicate efficiently with the target group in a way that they most understand and can identify with, and figure out how you will position your business against your competitors and knock them out. In order to determine your niche market correctly, you must first have a very good understanding of the overall market. Then from the general knowledge of the main market, you can begin to identify the specific and peculiar needs of the actual group which you want to target within the market.

An important advantage of Niche Marketing is Brand loyalty. Focusing your business on a niche allows you to provide customers with products and services that mostly meet their own peculiar and specific needs and desire. This way, you end up “getting into their emotions” as it were, and this gives you a leg up on the competition because product items that are focused on a niche market are difficult to find in the general market. That way, you keep your target customers glued to you and to your business, especially if you are able to create highly innovative and customized designs that are very difficult get in the general market.

6 Important Checklists For Startup Fashion Designers (Part One)

The following questions will help you find your niche market and situate your business tightly within the niche market:

  1. How Do You want Customers to View Your Brand?
  • Low End
  • Middle End
  • High End


  1. What Is The Production Approach?
  • Bespoke/Custom Apparel
  • Ready-made designer wears
  • Both


  1. What Gender(s) Are Your Products For?
  • Men
  • Ladies
  • All Genders


  1. What Age Of People Wear Your Clothes?

Understanding which age group you are designing for is essential to knowing how mature your cuts should be.

  • 13-17
  • 18-24
  • 25-34
  • 35-44
  • 54-54
  • 55-64
  • 65+


  1. Where Are Your Customers Location?

Understanding where your customers are is crucial to helping you design a better product. Why would you waste a ton of resources on making jackets and cardigans if you are primarily situated in a hot weather environment? You must understand that location has a way of affecting people’s dressing and that must be part of your consideration.

  • Northern Nigeria
  • South
  • A predominantly corporate environment
  • A predominantly local community where most people are farmers (just for example)
  • A campus where most of your target customers are students
  • A Christian dominated community
  • Etc


  1. What Is The Emotion of The Brand?
  • Quiet – dark, minimalists tone
  • Medium – casual neutral colors, positive energy
  • Loud – Bright, speaks out


  1. What Types Of Apparel Will I Offer?
  • Casual
  • Corporate
  • Trendy
  • Exotic
  • Business
  • Sporty
  • Wedding
  • School
  • Etc

6 Important Checklists For Startup Fashion Designers (Part One)

  1. What Type Of Product Will I Be Known For?
  • Headwear
  • Shirts
  • Coats
  • Belts
  • Ties
  • Pants
  • Underwear
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Accessories
  • Etc



Read Also: 5 Costly Mistakes that will destroy Your Business



Narrow down on what your good at and get to work. If you put together all that what we have gathered so far, you may end up with a definition of your niche as follows, for instance:

  • High-End Men’s Custom Corporate Apparel For 25-35-Year-Olds Who Like Nice Neutral outooks.
  • High-End Women’s Native Wears For 30-55 Year Olds Women who like Shouting, Elegant Owambe Dresses.
  • Etc


When you have written out the detailed version of what your brand will look or sound like as listed above, you can then narrow it down to something like:

  • Elegant Men’s Apparel
  • Modern High-End Ties, or
  • Elegant Owambe Wears For High-Class Women


Step 2: Write a business plan.

It’s always useful to write a business plan at the start of a new venture. This plan will act as a roadmap outlining how you’ll reach your goals over the next couple of years. While some owners may be tempted to jump directly into startup mode, writing a business plan is a crucial first step for budding entrepreneurs to check the viability of a business before investing too much time or money. The purpose of a business plan is to help articulate a strategy for starting your business. It also provides insight on steps to be taken, resources required for achieving your business goals and a timeline of anticipated results. Marketing and determination of market potential for the proposed business are all important aspects of a plan for aspiring small businesses. A business plan can be important in providing structure and management objectives to a small business. It can become a reference tool to keep you on track with sales targets and operational milestones. When used properly and consulted regularly, it can help you measure and manage what you’re working so hard to create.

(To be continued)


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