I met a young entrepreneur who designs and sells clothes. She hires freelancer tailors – housewives in her community whom she pays on a per piece basis, while she focuses on the designs and sales. She opened shop every Saturday in a Flea Market to tourists.
How can this young entrepreneur grow her business ?
Right now, she has done some market research, has a source of freelance tailors and one quality supervisor (herself), seems to have quality under control, can design and ship out products, and knows how to price her products. Her next few steps are:
Build the brand
Choose the brand name, design the logo, get clothing labels and incorporate them on each of your creations. Most individual tailors / wannabe fashion designers consider this a waste of money. However, this is the first step to selling a product in demand, instead of a commodity competing on price, and price alone. Use the brand name everywhere – on your business cards, your car, your packaging, everywhere.
Produce more clothes
The more you produce, the better you get. Produce more clothes (within your niche), for people of different shapes and sizes. For different seasons. For different countries. Of different material. Experiment. See what works best for you.
Get Visibility Online
Start your own website. Make sure its professional. Setup your Facebook page. Your pintrest page. Use websites such as eBay or Amazon to sell. Get a digital marketing expert on your side who can get you higher visibility for branding and lead generation.
Get Visibility Offline
Convince retailers to carry your line. Convince retailers to give you visibility as a brand, for higher margins. The higher initial commissions will pay for themselves over the long run. This way you can reach the existing customer base of a retail store. Participate in local markets. Get covered in local media – television, newspapers. Newspaper and Television advertising may be too expensive for a small start-up, so get smart to get coverage. Provide free style tips to some local media that is read by your target market.
With the visibility and supply of products will come the next stage:
Clothes will eventually sell in different geographies. Since the existing customer base consists of tourists, logically the products will follow their customers to retail outlets overseas. Importers. Mail Order (Online Order).
This will lead her to the next set of problems: Scaling up to meet higher demand.
How do YOU think she can grow her business ?