The last few months have been very difficult for me to keep going with the business. Keeping your spirits up and having the drive to soldier on is really hard, as most small business and start-ups will know. This is compounded for me by the fact I am doing it all entirely on my own.
The financial side of business is of paramount importance, but being a creative person I know this is not my area of expertise. However, I have plugged away at the financial planning so that I should feel prepared for what I am investing into. After months and months of getting manufacturers quotes and suppliers prices in, I now have informed estimates of what my garments are going to cost to make. However, these costings are higher than your average garments due the premium nature of the product, using organic/eco fabrics and making in Britain doesn't come cheap! After contacted several independent boutiques with a mind to stocking my clothes with them, I checked what their mark-up would be. Adding this 250-300% mark-up on top of my own costs and tiny profit made my prices completely unsellable.
So I have had to completely go back to the drawing board in regards to my route to market strategy. It seems to me that really my only option is to have my own website and retail myself. I have spent weeks redoing all my financial planning to work out whether this will be viable. The garment costings are thankfully now coming in with workable price points but my cashflow and income statement spreadsheets don't look good! The big difference between going wholesale and retail is that I will carry all the risk and have to invest into a large amount of stock to sell on the site without really knowing if anyone is going to buy it!
One idea to help create interest and generate pre-orders is through a crowdfunding campaign. This seems to have worked well for other fashion start-ups so could be worth a try. Although, even with a large cash injection such as that, I am struggling at the moment to see how I can balance the books and be able to ever make a profit.
I am undaunted though and shall keep working at it until I find a solution, through perseverance or expert advice. I really believe in what I am doing and have put so much into it already that I will not let it go to by the way-side. There will be an answer somewhere, I am sure, to how I can set up the brand without completely over stretching myself at the start.
So wish me luck, and please keep reading to show your support and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest too. It all helps!
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