Are you a fashion business looking to expand? Or, are you looking to grow organically from within but not sure on how to get started??
You need to have a plan. Considering all of the different factors that make up a successful business is crucial, but so too is ensuring you have a comprehensive and detailed business plan.
A successful fashion business plan is a step by step live communication tool that provides alignment throughout every sector of your business. It forecasts where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.
It doesn’t just address the financial aspects; it’s a comprehensive guide that will help you to pinpoint the people and support you’ll need to achieve success.
Let’s focus on the essential anatomy parts of what should be included in your plan:
- The Overview: Your Executive Summary
- The Overall Goals and Objectives of Your Fashion Business Idea and Plan
- Understanding Your Fashion Market and Competitive Landscape in Depth
- What will it Take to Deliver: Implementation of Your Fashion Business Plan
- The Financing: How You see Your Fashion Business Growing and the Need to Forecast
Remember that your business plan for the fashion industry should be fluid; enabling you to incorporate and adapt as you move forward to reflect any changes as you progress.
Firstly, Before we Begin: Why do I Need a Business Plan for my Growing Fashion Business?
Without a plan, you’re going in blind. You’re left constantly guessing and you have no idea if you’re heading in the right direction.
A detailed and carefully thought out fashion brand business plan offers you focus and acts as a guide. In particular, for the fashion industry, you should look to set it out into seasons over a period of approximately three years.
You’ll likely spend those years reinvesting back into your business for things such as hardware and software to improve your efficiency and capabilities, which will mean that profitability will likely occur outside of this timeframe.
A good business plan should be accessible, highlight every area of focus and clearly state your strategy.
The Overview: Your Executive Summary
This is a vital cog to your fashion business plan. It essentially becomes your pitch and should in length be a maximum of a page.
An executive summary acts as your business overview and will incorporate all aspects of your plan but in a concise manner; considering key factors and points.
You should be able to easily real this off to anyone who asks about it or is interested in your business in a succinct and exciting way. For example, a future investor if you decided you needed investment.
Include your products, services and relevant experience that you bring to the business and how that will drive growth. Not forgetting to include the part that upgrading technology and vital equipment such as commercial embroidery machines will play.
The Overall Goals and Objectives of Your Fashion Business Idea and Plan
This section is where you outline your main ideas. What makes your ideas different? Are they unique from your competition?
You want to be able to showcase your vision, objectives and goals here and bring to life your ideas.
It’s prudent to research your target market to ensure that you create a strategy that will work within your chosen niche. Think about what your target market will expect from you and how you’ll achieve it with your approach and branding.
You’ll need to be able to specifically answer:
- What is your segment?
- Who is your intended customer?
- What pain are you resolving for your audience?
- Why is your audience going to want what you’re selling? Why should they care?
For example, are you in the contemporary fashion business? Are you in luxury? Or, perhaps you want to close the gap between value and price? Don’t necessarily look at the high end if your product is better suited to the affordable market and could perform better in a different segment.
It’s important whilst putting together your vision and mission that you look to provide details of how far your expansion is planning to go. Include your location and your intended reach and scale. For example, are you intending on being a national or global brand?
The structure of your plan should match the core values of your business. Although your executive summary comes first, it’s likely to be written last after you have fulfilled the other aspects of your business plan.
Understanding Your Fashion Market and Competitive Landscape in Depth
This section requires depth and understanding to your fashion business plan. You’ll need to identify how big your target market scope is and how quickly it’s growing. Here you should promote confidence in those that are going to be with you on your journey.
For these people, not only will they commit to their role but they’re an extension of your business and fashion brand. They’ll be your team members, directors, consultants and suppliers of resources. If you’re looking to grow organically without outside investment, then you’ll want to ensure that everyone is behind your vision and can approach your growth from the same motivations.
You’ll want to then think about:
- Your competitive advantage in the fashion business: have you identified one?
- Your target audience: can you surpass your customer’s expectations?
- What are you producing: are you looking to produce more of the same or are you looking to diversify your range?
If you’re stepping into a fast-moving fashion market then you’ll be greeted with different opportunities than a slower-paced segment. This is because the available market share will vary and how much of that share you can realistically gain.
It’s important to analyse your competitors within your chosen area. Plan to offer an edge over your competitors in order to make your business stand out. The service you provide and your purpose is just as valued as the product you offer.
What will it Take to Deliver: Implementation of Your Fashion Business Plan
So, you now know what you want to do, but how are you going to implement it? What’s your action plan? This is where you can break down all of the factors into actual specifics.
All aspects at each stage need to be clearly thought out and addressed, such as:
- Staff: consider how many employees, plus, what skill set and experience at each stage will you need? Along with the cost, what will be the roles and responsibilities of each staff member?
- Resources: How will technology play its role here and what additional materials are needed in order for you to complete your fashion process.
- Space: do you have enough space in your current outfit for the staff and resources you’ll need in order to be able to grow?
- Marketing and external consultants etc: what outside expertise will you require to achieve your goals at each point in the plan?
This will be the largest part of your plan. Breaking down each season with careful planning is important. You should look for your outgoings and continued costs to be covered in your plan by gained business accounts.
A SWOT analysis can also be useful here in highlighting any areas that you may need to work on to ensure your greatest opportunity for business growth and success.
The Financing: How You see Your Fashion Business Growing and the Need to Forecast
This is a vital section where outside assistance would be useful if not imperative. This will show how you’re going to grow and finance the venture. If you plan to do so organically you need to be able to provide a profit and loss forecast.
Think about the overall period of time for the profit and loss statement. It should include total revenue, costs and expenses incurred over each specific time period. Your cash flow statement will look at the ups and downs of income of actual cash flow and equivalents into the company.
A long-term plan, especially in the ever-evolving fashion business, will need to be re-looked at as your business scales. You should take into consideration that profitability will occur after the initial stint of reinvestment back into your growing business.
To Conclude: Plan Well for Your Growth and Expansion Within Your Fashion Business
Your fashion business plan is a map of flexibility stating clearly and extensively every detail, including the carefully considered steps of how you will achieve your goals.
The fashion business is a competitive marketplace,so you have to nail all of the fundamental basics of your plan action each phase –– in order to progress and propel your business towards successful expansion and growth.