3 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before You Start a Clothing or Accessories Line
1. Can you be a business person first and a creative person second?
This is a bit tricky because you definitely need to be both to be a successful design entrepreneur. But what needs to happen is this; the designer has to defer to the business person sometimes. This is what separates a “hobby biz” from a design biz that will pay the bills.
Sometimes this means telling yourself, “I know that I personally LOVE that one but that OTHER one is the best thing for my business”. And that can be a very, very hard thing for a designer to do. I know I’ve made this mistake in the past but it NEVER paid off for me. Not once.
2. Will you get the support you need to run your own business?
Don’t do it alone. You need a support system while you’re starting a business (and afterwards). A family member, colleague, or friend that you can bounce ideas off and who will listen sympathetically to the latest business start-up crisis is very important.
You also want to make sure to get involved with a “community” of like-minded entrepreneurs. Being a small business owner can be isolating sometimes and a group to turn to can be a lifesaver. (My “New Designer Group Consulting Program” is launching soon and could be a good option – I’ll send you all the juicy details in a few weeks! http://janehamill.com/tips.html)
You may also want to consider a mentor, consultant, or coach. I have used a consultant (and now a business coach) for many, many years. It just works better for me and I stay motivated and accountable.
3. Do you have the self-discipline needed to run your own business?
Designing your line, picking out fabrics, draping, photo shoots… this is the fun stuff. How do you feel about getting business licenses, sales tax payments, meeting payroll, going on sales calls???
There are a lot of moving parts in a small business. You’ll be responsible for all of them – especially in the beginning. This can be a blessing or a curse, depending on the person.
For me, it’s a blast! How about for you?
P.S. The “Bring a Friend For Free” for the Chicago January 22nd Seminars ends at midnight this Friday, 12/31/10. After that, it’s back to the regular price (sorry, no exceptions). So if you think you have a business in you, grab a friend and REGISTER NOW.
Here’s the link: http://janehamill.com/seminars.html
Thanks for posting this. I’m just getting started with creating a line. The design part is fun (but a lot of work too!). The business side, not so much! But so important, I know.
I’m glad I found your blog. I’m busy reading all your posts!
Rhonda – welcome! Feel free to submit any questions to “Today’s Fashion Brain Question.” I also have a new designer group fashion consulting session coming up — not sure if you’re at that point yet, but feel free to read more about it if you’re interested.