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Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds I think one of the most fundamental things that people have to get to grips with right at the very beginning is what is it that you want your business to do for you. Is it just a business that’s going to produce a few thousand pounds every year to allow you and your family to go on a holiday? Maybe it’s very much a cottage industry that will perhaps be based at home or in a shed in the back garden. And that’s absolutely fine. But the principles are just the same. You can’t continue to spend money developing something and not have any money coming in. You have to have more coming in than is going out. It’s very, very simple.

Skip to 0 minutes and 37 seconds And you have to understand where you want your brand to be and what it’s going to be in the future. So you have to have a destination. I would say the best advice is if you’re a new brand, you’ve got to find a different way. You’ve got to find your own market. The way to put in quality and detail and time in your product is you choose your market first, and you choose your customer first so it’s completely dependent on what you are. So we decided our area first and then designed for that area.

Skip to 1 minute and 5 seconds If we’re talking about sustainability, your product has to have a reason to exist in this world, because if you’re adding a needless item, then that’s not sustainable. Designers or budding entrepreneurs need to really think about is there a gap, and is there a need for your product. If you think there is a need, and you think you’ve got a really good idea, make it, test it, refine it, speak to people, get feedback, test it, refine it, get feedback, and again, and again, and again, and again.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 seconds Starting small, finding something you’re really good at, that you’re naturally good at, because all the other stuff, you have to learn. It’s hard. So if you’ve got something that’s cool that you do really easily and instinctively that’s like a USP, then kind of stick to it. Don’t feel that you have to grow and add. It’s OK to do one thing– do one thing really well and grow that way. As we’ve progressed Ada and Nik, our USP is increasingly about bringing together that aesthetic with sustainable intelligence and also wearable tech pieces.

Skip to 2 minutes and 15 seconds Pay attention to the numbers. Don’t spend more money than you’ve got. Don’t take risks at the beginning. Get as much advice as you can from people who are always willing. I’m never too busy to talk to people who would like some information and feel as though I might have some information to give them ever. It’s a business. It’s not a hobby. You’ve got an understanding of what you want your brand and your company to do.

Skip to 2 minutes and 44 seconds And in my experience, the most successful brands and businesses that have started out quite small and have got to a particular size and success are those brands who have a partnership of somebody who’s fabulously creative and has a very distinct opinion of their brand, its positioning, and where it should be in the market. And they have a friend who understands none of that whatsoever but does understand the spreadsheet and understands that we have to sell a certain amount. The money side of things is something that I think when people start a business, they’re not going to know. Me and my business partner put in, I think it was 2,000 pounds each.

Skip to 3 minutes and 20 seconds And that was enough to get samples and build a very basic website and just– but we guessed. We wanted to make it as perfect as possible, go to market with it, see if there’s a need for it, and then reassess. It can be fun. But it’s only fun if it’s making money.

Know your market

Watch this video to hear from several fashion entrepreneurs and experts about the importance of finding the right market for your product/service.

Before you even think about creating your product/service, start first by imagining your final destination. What kind of business do you want to be? Is there a market for your idea? Will your product fill a gap in the market? Who would be your customers? What would be your unique selling point? What makes a good product? What makes something sell? Think about these questions as you watch this video.

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How to Build a Sustainable Fashion Business

Creative Skillset

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