Starting a Fashion Label: How Much Money Do You Really Need?

If you’re planning on starting a fashion label, you definitely have a big question in mind… how much money do you need? The simple answer is you need a lot more than you think!

What Does It Take to Launch a Fashion Business?

Let’s clear up a couple of common misconceptions before we dive deeper into the details. When the words “startup” and “launch” come to mind, people often think of building their new businesses inexpensively. However, a bare bones website with products doesn’t cut it in fashion. It takes a village of hardworking experts to build, spotlight and grow your fashion business.

You can only launch once. Make sure you get it right.

What’s Your Launch Strategy?

Map out all of the details to determine how much money you need to launch. You can have a local market launch, a national launch, a multinational launch, a global launch….

Ask yourself the following questions:
– Which markets are you entering?
– What is the desired scale of your launch?
– Are you entering an undersaturated or oversaturated market?
– What’s on the table for your PR and influencer marketing strategies?

Your specific needs will dictate how much money you’re going to spend but be careful about the unforeseen expenses. We’ve seen so many brands caught off-guard with the amount of money they spend on gifting influencers, executing partnerships and collaborations and getting PR. A lot of them get hurt thinking they can just give products away for free and the influencers will talk about them for free. You need real influencer strategies in place. The only people who will post for free product will be the people who are already brand loyal or the people you know. We’re past the era of let me just email you and see if you want to post my product.

How Much Should You Budget?

Allocate anywhere between $100,000 to $1,000,000 to get lots of visibility. You need press to get noticed beyond your circle of friends. Friends can be encouraging, but they’re not the only people who need to buy your designs. It’s just not sustainable for your bottom line.

Operating Costs

Moving back to those figures, do keep in mind that they don’t include production or consultants. It’s just the amount you’ll need to launch and cover operating costs.

Have you calculated your operating costs? It takes people to make things happen – accountants, bookkeepers and more. For example, if you can’t reconcile an invoice, it doesn’t matter how many orders you get… it won’t mean a thing.

That’s one reason why a lot of future brand owners are shocked by the numbers. Many think they’re going to squirrel away and work on a lot on their own, but you really have to bring people into your story and brand early on. In fact, if people did that more in the beginning, they’d be so much better off in the end.

There’s a common misconception that brand owners can do everything from social media to working with buyers and coordinating with manufacturers – all on their own. The truth is you may not have the bandwidth to cover everything alone. Plan to fill in the gaps and create a budget for making the first hires for your team.

Cutting Expenses

Leverage the strength of your contacts and start early in building relationships. Never forget that it’s actually people and relationships that spread the word. If you only reach out to people when you need something, they might say yes, but it’s better to always be building and cultivating relationships. Though it requires an investment of time, it can actually save you financial dollars through better deals, getting things done for free, etc.

However, don’t cut corners on important aspects like hiring or your business will suffer for it. Cut corners in the right places that work for your business- and don’t skim or forego quality in vital areas. The smartest business owners launch with their long-term goals in mind and work backward from there.

Getting ready to launch? Find out how our team can take you from brand concept to a fully launched startup, primed for success. First, we’ll begin with a 30 minute consultation session to ensure we’re the right fit. Book your appointment today. Give us a call at 310-957-5264 or email hello@scalingretail.com.

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