Beginner’s Guide on Starting a Fashion Business in the United Kingdom
Do you have an eye on aesthetics and an understanding of dress sense? Are you passionate about fashion and got all that it takes to own fashion business? If that’s the case, then starting a fashion business in the United Kingdom is the right venture for you. In this type of business, you don’t need much capital as long as you have the essential equipment and materials to begin.
However, you have to remember that fashion is fiercely competitive, and well-known brands fight for attention. Before you start the process of company incorporation in the UK, you should check out this guide on starting a fashion business in the United Kingdom.
It is a reality that every iconic fashion business has its origin story. Launching your own clothing line is challenging, but it’s possible to turn your brand into something well-known. The fashion industry is vast, and it consists of different stakeholders from designers to manufacturers and retailers. The fashion designers and manufacturers advertise their clothes to retailers and the media and straight to the customers.
Today, most people wear what can be described as “world fashion,” a modified and very low-cost version of Western clothing. These could often be a T-shirt with pants or skirt which are produced on a large scale. However, we have numerous more minor and specialized fashion industries in the world. As you plan on starting a fashion business in the United Kingdom, you must identify your niche.
As an industry newbie, you must never underestimate how complicated the manufacturing process is. You must choose a suitable fabric that will resonate with your target customers. Within the fashion industry, we have activities from design, manufacturing, marketing & distribution, and retailing of different apparel. These cut across most exclusive and expensive haute couture to designer fashions or regular everyday clothing.
The standard material is textiles with both natural and synthetic fiber often used.
Business Registration Process
United Kingdom company registration could be complicated. As you plan on starting a fashion business in the United Kingdom, you must remember it is a personal journey. Give it a try once you have put your mind on the idea. Here are some of the steps on how to start your fashion business.
Decide on Your Niche
To be successful in this business, you must be creative and offer something unique in a fast-moving industry. Whatever you aspire to have, ensure it targets a specific group of customers. You could be having a particular style targeting children or teenagers or menswear. Even if you decide to introduce many other designs as time goes, you must always stick to the original idea.
Create Your Designs
The heart of your business is the designs, and it forms part of the product development. Start by putting your design concept on paper or screen as a sketch, even if it’s for one product. The moment you are through, you then turn rough ideas into digital sketches. Additionally, it would help if you thought through your ‘tech pack,’ which is essential information to your manufacturer. The pack should include the product’s details and technical specifications, from design and measurements to materials.
Develop Your Brand
As you aspire to be a professional fashionista, having a brand is a step in the right direction. You must first pick a brand name that appeals to your target audience. It would also be great to create a logo for your brand that will appear in all your items. Other fashion business companies have used their names as brand names. Remember that the name must be memorable, easy to spell and pronounce, and unique. More often, customers prefer brands with compelling stories.
Create a Business Website
Having an online presence is essential in this kind of business. And you can only do this through your website. Through your website, you can showcase what you offer to your target audience. Ensure that the information you provide is accurate and precise. The images of your clothing should be clear and reflect the primary intended purpose.
Register Your Fashion Business
Building your name in the fashion industry will only be sensible if your business is registered. However, you must first decide on the type of structure to ensure you scale up as an entrepreneur. We have different legal entities in the UK, such as sole traders, partnerships, and a company. You must have all the legal documents. An expert UK corporate service provider would tell you that getting the right location for your fashion business will influence your growth rate.
Research Your Market
Your demand will determine how much you’ll supply to the market. In that case, before you even start, do your market analysis of the demand within your area. Find out who your competitors are and what they are offering. Remember also that online clothing line selling is now significant; thus, find out more about it. Through that, you’ll be able to know:
- The opening hours of your competitors
- Range of products they provide
- Whether they offer exceptional services
- What kind of customer visit their outlet
- Whether the premises have modern fittings or not
Promote Your Business
You can start by word of mouth within the local area. Other methods may include creating business cards, flyers and distributing them to the target areas. Provide information on what you offer in daily newspapers, radio, and fashion magazines. Again, you can create social media platforms and promote your content on Google or Facebook Ads. Organize your business to have your product catalog where you have a list of items. The sale and marketing plan will cover the creation of a buzz around your clothes and design.
Pricing Your Product
By now, you should have an idea of what prices your competitors are floating area. This may act as a guide on how you’ll price your products. You might decide to go for retail prices or still ignore them altogether. Remember to consider the following when setting prices:
- What are your competitor’s prices for the same items? Remember, most customers will shop around for the best prices.
- Whether you’re aiming to compete on price.
- Whether to offer a discount or not.
The right way to secure your business is by getting an insurance policy. When starting a fashion business in the United Kingdom, you must bear that in mind. For this business, you’ll require professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance, and products liability insurance. These will ensure that you cover yourself if a client makes any legal complaint against you, your business, or your clothes. Strive to get a business insurance package that caters specifically to clothing brands.
Seek the Necessary Permits
As an entrepreneur, you must ensure that your clothes comply with the Sale of Goods Act, the Supply of Goods and Services Act. As an owner, you’re responsible for ensuring that your advertising quality and design are the right ones. You can always check with your local authority about the regulations before proceeding.
Licenses, Permits, and Regulations
As a retail clothing shop owner, you must comply with the legislation under the industry. Here’s an overview of some of the things you should put into consideration.
Do You Need a License as a Fashion Business Owner?
We cannot specifically say that there are licensing requirements for a retail sale of clothing and accessories; there are other licenses that you need to get.
For example, if you’re planning to have music in your shop, you must get a Music License from PPL PRS Ltd. Again, you’ll seek a further license from PPL if you are playing music videos.
- Selling Second-hand Clothes
If you decide to sell second-hand clothes, the local authorities in Scotland will require you to acquire a license or registration to operate. If second-hand dealing is not incidental in the UK, some local authorities will need you to register your business or get a license.
We have legislation that applies to retail outlets and which protects the interest of the consumers. For instance, you must categorically describe the retail price of goods you display at your outlet. All the textiles must be labeled appropriately to show the fiber content. They should also be of good quality and fit the intended purpose. For further information about various elements of consumer protection and fair trading legislation, and textile labeling, check the Trading Standards Business Companion website.
- Online Selling
If you’re starting a fashion business in the United Kingdom and deciding to trade online, you must understand the particular legislation. These legislations cover issues relating to the information you provide on your website, distance selling, and email privacy.
For further guidelines on business registration, contact 3E Accounting at your convenient time.