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Do You Know Your Fashion Business Stage?

fashion business stage

One random afternoon about a year and a half ago I realized that I didn’t know my business. Not on that deep, intimate, enlightening level that makes it possible to get more sales, make more money, craft content that anyone gives a shit about, and create a real community.

I just kind of knew my business. I knew what we built and why we built it, I knew my designers’ business needs, I knew my numbers, and I knew my vision.

But what I didn’t know was whether or not I had done the things that I needed to do in order to advance my business the way I wanted to. This is otherwise known as…

Determining Your Business Stage.

I honestly didn’t know what stage of business I was in and could see how that was really impacting the decisions I was or wasn’t making in the business.

See, when it comes to figuring out where our businesses are, we tend to have one of two mindsets:

“I’m Totally There Already” Mindset

This is where we think that we’re way further along than we actually are. We do things like look for showrooms when we have no real sales plan, try to hire PR when we haven’t created a very detailed customer profile or a just-as-detailed brand identity that covers our mission, our vision, and our brand personality.  Ooo or we start thinking about introducing a new collection when we dumped a whole bunch of money into the last collection and nobody bought it but we don’t know why they didn’t buy it….

This mindset is dangerous. We put the cart before the horse pretty much every day and we make poor decisions based on what we think our businesses are ready for, even though they’re not. And then we wonder why we’re bleeding money or not growing the way we’d hoped and anticipated, and thought we’d planned for.

Or…

“I’m Not Ready For That” Mindset

This is where we have some success in our businesses but for whatever reason we don’t think it’s good enough or real enough. We get nervous about spending money, we don’t add people to our team, and we get scared of trying different and interesting marketing ideas.

This mindset is also dangerous. We become constant worry warts, are paralyzed into making pretty much no decisions for fear of wasting money or making the entire house of cards crumble, and we stunt any opportunity we have for growth in the business.

Whether we suffer from A or B, we are suffering none-the-less. Both of these mindsets create confusion and keep us from reaching the success that we’re working so hard to achieve. Success that involves more sales, increased revenue, hiring help, and ultimately achieving that vision!

But, when we take the time to figure out exactly where we are in business, that feeling of complete confusion, the paralysis, and the tendency to make poor decisions starts to go away.

Because once you have figured out where you are in your fashion business stages, you will have a clear understanding of what you still need to do and what you’re ready for next.

I hope you’ll take the time to learn about your business stage and take the necessary actions to get on track.

It is the most freeing process!

P.S. This feeling of confusion and this need for step-by-step business-building guidance is exactly why we created the Independent Designer’s Community for you. A Community which, by the way, is now open!  Yep, we’re welcoming new members in the Community and we’d love to have you join us. We even have a workbook to guide you through the business stages and help you achieve that growth you’re craving. Get all the details here.

Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online community and support system for independent designers around the world. She’s a traveler, a weaver, and a foodie. A deep love for the craft of fashion pared with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION were she helps independent designers and makers screw the traditional fashion business rules, create their own paths, and build businesses they truly love. More than anything else, she’s in the business of encouragement and works every day to remind makers and designers that they have something special to offer the world and that they can, in fact, do this thing!

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