To start any fashion company you need money, I started two types of fashion businesses, one with £3500 in grants selling digitally printed dresses and the second a personalised kids clothing company for just £250. To learn about both companies read my blog posts “How I started a On-line Fashion Company” and “How to Print Vinyl T-shirts to Sell”.
When you start a company it is easy to get carried away spend money on things you don’t need and to forget about about making profits. To ensure you start a fashion company that will make money you need a good business plan, check out my simple easy to follow guide “How to Write a Simple Business Plan Fashion Company”.
Business grants are everywhere, most are quite hard to get, they are really specific and want companies that have been established a few years. If you are a complete start-up the bodies below you can apply to, I successfully got a loan for £2000 from the Princes Trust when I started my company.
Princes Trust – For people aged 18 – 30, you will attend business workshops and write a business plan. Once you have your grant you will get given a business mentor to support your business.
Heritage Lottery Fund – This grant is only for non-profit companies, so running something like community knitting classes for young mums would get you the funding.
Local Council, Learn Direct, Apprenticeships – If you are a young person out of work and not in education, the government has business grants to help through Learn Direct etc.
Kickstarter/ Crowd Funder
We have all heard the stories about how a unknown designer got thousands by up-loading their business idea to Kick Starter or Crowd Funder, above is my idea that was on Crowd Funder for a “Contactless 3D Printed Keyring” and I got a big fat zero views and zero pledges. To get funding you need a good idea with a great video or photographs to show off your business plan, along with good freebies for investors. However great your idea is, the key is that you already need to be quite established, have a good presence on Social Media, to get your idea seen and bring investors to Crowd Funder or Kick Starter page, so a lot of work is needed before you get to this stage.
Beware, business loans!!!!!!!! Once you have gone down the grants and crowdfunding route, you may consider a loan. When you search on the internet for ways to fund a start-up fashion business loads of web-site for loans will come-up, beware of ever taking out a loan unless you really, really have too, fashion loan companies have interest rates that are the same as credit card to repay. I have never had a loan and have seen how easy it is for a fashion company to fail, for only £250 I started a fashion company, so maybe try and save-up the money first before considering a loan and grow your business slowly.
For more advice about “How to Start a Fashion Company”, check out the rest of my blog section and tweet me @kikugirls for business advice!