If you have a passion for fashion or you simply want to be your own boss in the clothing sector, then why not start your own business. You’ll probably already know what you want to sell, where and how – whether it’s an e-commerce website, a physical store or social media sales system.
Do you have a business plan and a financial forecast for how to keep trading successfully? If so, what else do you need to know to make a success of your clothing business?
Marketing and customer service
This may seem obvious, but your eye for clothing and the great deals you negotiate with suppliers, are not going to get you far if you don’t get enough customers.
You need a structured marketing plan that promotes your clothing business effectively using a website, social media, and awareness in your local or online community.
Look after your customers and they will come back to buy more and recommend you to their friends and family. Keep an eye on your competitors to be ready to respond to opportunities and threat.
A clear returns policy covers your legal obligations as a retailer, but also shows that you care about your customers.
This could include, for example, friendly in-store signs and information on receipts about what to do if the customer is not entirely satisfied. Do returns have to be in store or can they be done by post?
Many retailers offer customers the chance to return clothes when they change their minds. This is not a legal obligation but something people have come to expect. In this case, it must be made clear that the clothes should be in perfect condition, still with their tags. But a friendly tone can be key.
Accepting credit and card payments
These days running a successful clothing business means you need to set up a merchant account and card payment machine. Contactless, is popular for speed and convenience in a physical store, so you need to invest in a system that has that capability. You may also want to advertise other digital payment capabilities such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay (if your card machine can accept contactless, it will also be able to accept mobile payments), as well as taking online payments.
This may seem a strange one to add, but look after yourself and make this an adventure. Your own positive and friendly attitude could be the thing that brings customers coming back for more, more often.
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