A Guide To Setting Up A Successful Clothing Business

The internet is saturated with new businesses, all with the common goal of wanting to become a success. Start-up businesses are difficult to get right, especially in an industry as dominant as fashion. If you’re wanting to start a clothing business and make it a success, there are a few important things that you need to consider. Without a detailed plan, an ethical supply chain, a unique brand and a consistent social media presence, you will find it difficult to succeed! 

Create a Detailed Plan

Your first step will be to create a detailed plan. Your initial plan should discuss in detail what your product or business is, why you think it is in high demand, who your target audience will be and how you will market it. It should also contain realistic financial goals for the next five years, taking into account all of your startup costs as well as your outgoings from insurance and bills to staff costs and packaging. Before investing any money, you need to invest a significant amount of time to figure out if your business is really going to work. Be honest with yourself, as now is the best time to identify any potential issues in order to rethink your ideas. 

Have an Ethical Supply Chain

When planning how your business is going to function, something that will help your business to be a success is to have an ethical supply chain. Not only is this vital when it comes to looking after everyone involved in your business, making the team more productive and much happier, but it is also important to customers. 

So many people prioritise ethics when it comes to buying clothes, as people’s awareness of the issues surrounding fast fashion are increasing. With an ethical supply chain, your clothing will be a much better quality, thus drawing in more customers. Although it might cost more to invest initially, highlighting that your business is ethical in your marketing campaigns will help your profits to soar. 

Make Your Brand Unique

Offering a unique product that your customers can’t access anywhere else is a great way to make your business a success. Unless you have a well-known brand, releasing t-shirts that are completely plain with a small logo won’t interest people. It would be best to focus on something like mens graphic t-shirts, working with independent artists to create exciting and diverse prints for your t-shirts. This will create clothing that is a talking point, rather than just replicating something you like that you’ve seen elsewhere. Whatever your focus is, it is essential to offer something to your target audience that they won’t be able to access anywhere else. 

Be Consistent on Social Media

Once you have an ethical supply chain and a completely unique idea, it is time to show it off on social media. This is the best place to start when it comes to marketing, as you don’t need to spend anything at all to begin with. Perhaps start by sending your clothing out to some relevant influencers who might share it on their social media, which will bring traffic to your page and hopefully website. From there, you can start to offer competitions, give discounts to loyal followers, engage with customers and generally build up your brand. 

If you want to, you can then start to pay for advertisements through social media channels in order to carefully target your desired audience. Your options really are endless when it comes to social media, so it is the best place to start. The most important thing to remember here is to highlight some of the things you have worked hard on, such as your unique branding and ethical industry practices. 

Summary

Setting up your own business requires substantial investments in terms of time and money, so you must be prepared for that. However, having your own business can also come with fantastic benefits, so just take some time to plan properly and make your business as appealing as possible and it has every chance of being a success. Lastly, be flexible and prepare to adapt to industry changes to maintain success over a long period! 

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Look beyond overdrafts to improve business cash flow

This is always the case, but for businesses of all sizes, cash flow is one of the most important success factors.

In an unprecedented year, this has never been truer, and while many companies have traditionally relied on overdrafts to spend less time, COVID-19 has changed goals in many ways.

It is understandable that the pandemic has affected the yields and profitability of some businesses, and with tighter credit in some cases overdrafts have been reduced or withdrawn. This can be challenging and it is important to remember that lenders have the right to withdraw this credit line at any time without notice.

After 44 years in the banking industry, most recently as NatWest’s director of communications for West Norfolk, I understand how global solutions can impact small regional companies. I’ve been through four major recessions during my career, and my experience is that trading outside of a recession is more difficult than trading through a recession.

I mean, while businesses can tighten their belts during tough times, the impact of delays on reduced cash flow can impact a business’s ability to function as orders increase.

I recently worked with a production customer who experienced this exact scenario. Even though the company continued to operate during the downturn, it was forced to invest in cash reserves to pay employees and suppliers and to keep things cool. When restrictions are lifted, the company inevitably sees an influx of orders, but with a 60 day payment term, it is now struggling to make up the difference until the money is returned to the bank.

During my banking days, I could probably offer these customers an overdraft or one-stop loan. Now that we are working with Complete Commercial Finance, we have access to even more options including invoicing, refinancing and special financing. Creditors. In reality, the business world cannot stand still and must be open to exploring other ways to create working capital in the current situation.

The government’s Corona Virus Business Interruption Loan Program (CBILS) and Loan Program (BBLS) are providing support for many businesses this year. In late September, Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economic Plan extended CBILS and BBLS loans from six to ten years and introduced a Pay As You Grow option to provide greater debt flexibility and an interest-only deferred option for six months. Repayment without affecting the creditworthiness of the company.

There are exciting steps out there, but it’s important to think long term. Last month we worked with a client who used BBL but used the funds to buy equipment during the summer. Due to late customer payments, the company suddenly had difficulty with cash flow and needed to borrow to cover monthly operating expenses. Although we were able to obtain business loans, these short-term borrowing costs were higher than the 2.5% late fee for BBL which would ultimately cost the company more.

We are in uncharted waters with COVID-19 and we are only beginning to understand how lenders consider CBILS and BBLS loans when assessing a company’s financial condition.

The examples above show how a short-term outlook can affect long-term outcomes. It has never been more important to seek professional advice and use the ear and deep understanding of trading finance experts like us to get the most out of it.

While unfortunately we live in uncertain times and know that you have taken all the measures to protect your company’s financial future, this is definitely the best way to tackle the challenges that many companies will face in the months to come.

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Video conferencing company Zoom shows how it was cashed in during the coronavirus lockdown

Zoom’s virtual test and party may be out of date, but on Tuesday the video conferencing company will reveal how they made their money during the lockdown.

The California-based company, founded by entrepreneur Eric Yuan, is set to post increasing profits as stocks reach new heights. Many companies continue to use the software while employees work remotely.

Zoom is expected to show a triple gain to £ 62 million in the three months to July, compared with the same period last year after soaring popularity during the coronavirus crisis.

Sales are expected to be around £ 370 million – an increase of about 240 percent.

Friends, family, and coworkers use Zoom calls to stay in touch as countries around the world implement lockdown measures.

The company is paying to use the software, and Zoom hopes to convert more subscribers who use the free service into paying customers in the future.

The company sailed on the Nasdaq in April last year for an estimated £ 7 billion. But stocks rose to new highs last week, valuing the company at £ 63 billion.

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