HOW TO SCREW UP A CLOTHING BRAND

37 mistakes to avoid if you want a successful apparel brand.

 

Since the start of Apparel Entrepreneurship, we have worked with numerous clients around the world, and helped them start and run their own brands. Are there any lessons learned from the mistakes made? We all want successful business, and we all face challenges to get there. To make it a bit easier for you we have examined the mistakes we made ourselves when launching our 2 clothing brands and the mistakes we see people make with their startups. Now we have put together a list of things to avoid, if you want your brand to succeed and grow.

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Here are 37 mistakes you can do, and eventually screw up your apparel brand.

  1. You think it’s unnecessary to do a market research. You rely on your gut feeling that your brand is absolutely needed.
  2. You make everyone your customer. The thinking goes: the wider the audience, the better.
  3. You don’t understand the need of being your own consumer. You can google and youtube information regarding your customer.
  4. You are convinced friends and connections will gladly work for free or for a fancier dinner on your project.
  5. You don’t get the need of writing a business plan, you will decide things along the way.
  6. You don’t have a product launch schedule.
  7. You know what’s best for your brand, there is no need to listen to “experts”.
  8. You think there is no need to do a budget and costing analysis on how much money you will need to launch your brand.
  9. You start with too big of a range.
  10. You don’t plan for collection consistency in colors and materials.
  11. You have no price strategy.
  12. You have wrongly priced products.
  13. You use cheap materials and cheap workmanship, because no one will notice.
  14. You treat suppliers and manufacturers like shit, because they “work for you”.
  15. You think the suppliers and manufacturers can “read between the lines” and that you don’t need to follow up, confirm and double check things.
  16. You think that it’s enough to make the products and then people will come buy it.
  17. You trust everyone and you hope that everybody want’s whats best for YOU and your brand.
  18. You look at what your competitors are doing and you believe that it’s “safer” to copy their stuff and strategy, than to go your own way.
  19. You let your EGO take control.
  20. You talk, discuss, and throw out ideas, but never take action. You don’t do the work and put in the hours.
  21. You think the project will run quickly and hustle free.
  22. You believe that selling online is free and doesn’t involve any sales costs.
  23. You think there is no need in calculating how much you need to sell in order to succeed. And never create an action plan to achieve it.
  24. You start an apparel brand to get rich.
  25. You don’t test your products enough: usage, washing, function, and quality.
  26. You don’t know WHY your are starting your brand and what you’re trying to achieve.
  27. You never determine and understand your core values for the business.
  28. You outsource all parts of the business and in the end you have no understanding what those parts are.
  29. You forget that it is all about the customer and not about you.
  30. You give up as soon as you encounter a problem. You come up with bullshit excuses why it is legit to quit.
  31. You underestimate the importance of design in all aspects of your business.
  32. You wait to get started with social media activities. You think there is no need to let the customer in on your story early.
  33. You borrow and overspend money, and you count on that you will cover the expenses later.
  34. You listening too much to self-proclaimed experts with no relevant experience.
  35. You focus on dumb shit. E.g. you spend a lot of time and money on your business cards.
  36. You ignore lead times and production capacities.
  37. You compare yourself and don’t understand the difference/disadvantage of being a new player in relation to an established brand.

If you keep clear of all the above, you should be fine!

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  • Build a business you love, that generates income and gives you the lifestyle you want
  • Make your apparel brand get noticed and find customers.
  • Avoid costly mistakes. Can you afford to do it all wrong?
  • Get to market quicker and grow your business faster.
  • Tap into extensive knowledge from the apparel industry & learn things they don’t teach you at fashion school.
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