How to Level Up Your Fashion Business

We talk a lot about starting a fashion business on our website. Which makes sense — we’re called StartUp FASHION after all.  But, we also help a lot of brands that have already started and now want to scale. And the things that you need to focus on when you are working to scale your fashion business, as opposed to just starting your business, are different.

When you’re scaling, it’s time to level up your efforts.

You need to zero in on the key areas of growth and go all in to make them happen.

There are five areas to focus your attention when you’re working to level up your fashion business: Mindset, Marketing, Sales, Team Building, and Systems.

So let’s jump into each of these.

Mindset

Whether you’re starting up your fashion business or leveling up your fashion business, you need to get your head in the right place. This means you need to work to identify the areas that are holding you back.

  • Is fear keeping you from doing what needs to be done? For example, are you scared to spend the money needed to level up a fashion business?
  • Are you lacking the confidence that you’re capable of growing this business?
  • Do you worry about outcomes before taking the first steps to try something?
  • Do you have limiting beliefs?

If you’re answering yes to some or all of these questions, it’s time to work on your mindset. Because it will have a major impact on your ability to grow this business that you worked so hard to start.

Marketing

Marketing needs to be thoughtful and strategic with a process in place that helps you build on the effective and adjust the flops.

The first thing you need to do is create your marketing funnel. Do you have one?

The point of a marketing funnel is to understand what marketing you will do to build awareness, what marketing you will do to create connection, and what marketing you will do to make the sale.

It’s clarity in this area that helps to make your marketing efforts not only more effective but also more fun.

You start to celebrate the wins because you learn that not everything you do to market your business is meant to lead to a sale. And that realization is such a freaking relief!  It becomes clear that there’s a process, a build-up, and a strategy.

The next thing you realize about marketing once you’re working to level up your fashion business is that you need to think about your efforts as “campaigns” with objectives, measurable goals, a strong message, and a call to action. You’re marketing your business in a way that will not only help you accomplish something but will also help you learn something.

You’re not simply “posting on Instagram” or “sending out a newsletter.”  That’s kid’s stuff. You’re a CEO. You need to be strategic, thoughtful, and impactful.

And finally, it’s time to get into the habit of marketing debriefs and monthly funnel reviews.

If you’re not debriefing after your marketing campaigns and reviewing your marketing funnel every month, you’re missing the point. There’s no way to make a decision about future marketing campaigns if you’re not thoughtfully reviewing the ones you’ve tried after you try them.

Ask yourself the tough questions, scrutinize the campaign, assess your funnel, and make your marketing even more amazing next time.

Sales

So of course you’re working on making sales. Otherwise, you’re not in business. Just like with marketing, when it comes to making sales, you need a plan.

But before you can create your plan, it’s important to understand where you are in your business.

Ask yourself, how many visitors does my website receive? Is it a few thousand every month? Or is it less?

If you consistently have a few thousand monthly visitors to your website, then in order to make sales, you will focus on increasing your conversion rate and average order value.  But if you have less than that, in order to make more sales, you need to increase your brand awareness and reach more people.

So take the time to analyze where you need to focus your efforts for making more sales, based on your answer to that question.

Now, that is for e-commerce sales.

If you have a business with various revenue streams (wholesale, drop-shipping, additional services, etc.) then your next step is to make sure that you have a sales and distribution plan.  You should be able to answer:

  • Which sales avenues will you focus on?
  • How much of your revenue do you want to acquire from each avenue?
  • What is your marketing funnel for each avenue?
  • What marketing campaigns will you launch for each avenue?

You’ll stop saying things like “I need to make more sales” and you’ll start saying things like “I need to increase our web traffic by 10% and up our conversion rate from 1.5% to 3% if I want to hit my sales goal this quarter.”

Thinking this way is how you level up your fashion business.

Team Building

You cannot continue to do everything yourself if you want to level up your fashion business. It’s time to accept that you need to plan for growing your team.

Even if you’re not ready to hire help just yet, you will be soon. And you need to prepare for that.

You have to start identifying the roles that you need to fill.  Fill roles that remove busywork from your to-do list. A bookkeeper and a virtual assistant for admin work are two biggies.

You need to start documenting your processes now so that when you hire people, you can direct them to instructions for how to do the things you hired them for.

You also need to start budgeting. What are the going pay rates for the people you want to bring on board and can you afford that now? If not, what revenue goals do you need to implement to get you to that point?

Team building is not something you don’t think about until you’re ready to hire. It’s something you start planning for now so that you make sure you can hire people when you do need them.

Systems

Oh, systems!  So important, so often ignored.  Leveling up any business requires systems to be in place. You can’t keep going with things all over the place and no systematic approach to the various areas of your business. I promise you will feel burnt out and anxious and that is no way to live (or run a business).

So where do you need to apply systems? A lot of places. But here are some big ones that will have a huge impact on your ability to grow your fashion business:

  • Set up regular reviews of your finances. This should be done at least monthly and you should be looking at where the money is coming from, where it’s going, and then using this information to make decisions about growth (new product offerings, new marketing ideas, new team members, etc.)
  • Implement tools that simplify and organize. It’s time for a project management system. No more excuses.
  • Set up automation. Invest resources (money and time) into setting up automation in your business so that you’re not spending precious hours doing the same things over and over. Automating your emails and your social media are two places where you’ll experience a huge relief.

As you can see, once you’ve launched your fashion business, you need to get focused on growing it.

It’s easy to fall into a place of splitting your time and focus, all while doing things that don’t actually matter in long run. Instead, shift your attention to these five areas and I promise you’ll start to see the growth you’re after.

If what you read above is resonating and you’re realizing that these are areas you really need help with, applications opened today for our group coaching and mentorship program, LevelUp FASHION.

Click here to check out how the program works, how it can help you, and submit your application.

Nicole Giordano
Nicole Giordano

Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online resource and community supporting for independent designers around the world with building their businesses.A deep love for the craft of fashion paired with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION, where 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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