Fashion is big business these days. With ever-changing trends and new looks appearing overnight, running a small fashion retail store is no easy feat. You need to stock the right products, attract the right customers, stay on your marketing A-game, and keep up to date with your accounts all at once.
If you’re running a retail business on your own, you probably feel like you’re wearing a hundred hats at once. The list of roles you’ll need to fulfill may seem impossible at times, but if you’re passionate about fashion and style, this can be a super-profitable business idea.
Physical or Online Retail Store?
The first decision you’ll need to make is whether you plan to sell your clothes in a physical store or stick to e-commerce. There can be benefits and drawbacks to both.
Are often preferred by customers when it comes to buying fashion as unlike online clothing stores, they allow customers to touch and feel the clothing and try it on before making a decision to buy. But there are more overheads to think about. You’ll need to purchase or lease a store, buy in stock to display, and spend money on things like mannequins – you see them used for clothing displays in every mall, so you can’t go without them.
The benefit of eCommerce to the customer is that they can get a new outfit without having to leave their home – or their couch! And when you’re running an eCommerce store, you can list unlimited product lines compared to a physical store where you might only have space for just a few, offering more options to your customers. It’s also cheaper compared to renting a store. But you’ll need to make the ordering process easy for customers – since they can’t try the clothing on before they buy, they’ll expect free, fast returns.
Staying on Top of Trends.
When you’re running a fashion store, you need to have a good eye for products that appeal and cater to your market. Knowing your target audience and the kind of fashion trends that appeal to them is absolutely crucial. And you need to be able to procure distinctive, interesting fashion pieces that will help you differentiate your brand from the big high street names, giving customers a reason to choose you over them.
To be successful, you’ll need to be committed to staying on top of fashion trends, developing new contacts, and have a knack for knowing what’s going to sell well.
Skills You Need.
A passion for fashion is crucial when starting out, but you’ll need so much more if you want to be successful with your own clothing retail store. Whether you’re starting your own fashion brand or are going to be reselling other brand names, you’ll need to develop a head for figures and a range of important sales and managerial skills.
It will also help if you’ve got considerable industry experience; whether you’ve worked on the shop floor in a fashion store before, or as a fashion buyer, for example. But this isn’t always necessary, so don’t worry too much if you’re diving in simply because you love fashion. You can develop these skills as you go.
Marketing skills are also vital; you’ll need to create a strong brand identity around your store and market it online, both on your own website and a range of social media channels if you want to be in with a chance of attracting customers. This is where market research is important; having a strong idea of who your customers are and how to appeal to them will go a long way in improving your marketing efforts.
What type of fashion will you be selling? We’d love to hear from you.