Creative thinking is one thing that is critical to the success of most businesses, but in the fashion industry, it’s not enough to ensure your success. The creative part of the business is what most people want to focus on to the detriment of their businesses and it’s easy to understand why: it’s sexy and energizing, and the possibility of creating something new and exciting is a thrilling prospect.
It’s important to keep in mind that the creative part of the business is just the start of everything. Where it gets challenging for most designers and creative people is when all of the business aspects of starting and having your own fashion line enter in. If you aren’t necessarily oriented toward the business side of things or don’t have any experience with business, it can be particularly challenging to discipline yourself to focus on the all important business needs instead of the creative ones.
In all my years of experience and interaction with highly creative designers/artists, reviewing hundreds of new ideas and proposals each year, one thing is clear, people are incredibly ingenious and inventive and extremely talented and it’s thrilling to see the things that people come up with. Where it becomes challenging is when these same talented people are confronted with the business realities that they MUST attend to.
It is critical for a designer/artist to address the planning, costing, financial, organizational and logistical issues of their business upfront and create a plan that will detail how they will bring their great ideas to fruition. Nothing can be more devastating than to have great ideas that never see the light of day because they were either not viable OR the person ran out of money before they could bring their product or idea to market. This is where the upfront business planning is so critical to a start-up and where the designer NEEDS to spend most of their time. You would be surprised to know that the creative and design part of the fashion business is about 10% of the reality of what you will do in launching your line so it’s critical to invest the time needed to make sure your business is in order.
Remember, they call it the fashion “business” for a reason! To make money in this business, it’s ALL about the business!
For more insight into this business of fashion, check out my book, Fashion For Profit. It will give you the soup-to-nuts, A-to-Z, step-by-step of how you get your idea or product to market and most important, how you make money at it!
Stay tuned for my next post that will address people skills and networking critical to the success of a start-up. You’d be surprised at how critical this is!