The fashion industry is a pretty ruthless place, as jobs are pretty hard to come by. Whether you’re looking to work as a stylist, fashion journalist, boutique owner or designer, there are lots of challenges to be overcome and plenty of hard graft to put in before you can really congratulate yourself on getting your foot in the door.

However, for those with the talent, the passion and the relentless dedication the fashion business can be an incredibly rewarding place.

Business Fashion

If you’re considering setting up your own boutique or starting a fashion line then here are a few tips on how to get your new venture off the ground:

Get Qualified

Whilst a job such as a designer requires clear practical – often taught – skills, other positions in the fashion industry may not seem to. However, there is a lot to be said for starting out in the best possible position by laying the groundwork for your new venture with a qualification.

Whether you decide to start with an educational course, such as the history of fashion, or a practical qualification in different types of manufacturing processes (digital prints, weaving fabrics etc) or a skills such as tailoring, it will provide a practical basis to getting ahead with your fashion dream.

Be Focused

If you want to get into the fashion business you need to have a very clear idea of where you are going otherwise you’re likely to get left behind. It doesn’t matter whether you are looking to start a shop or a fashion line, you should know what your concept is and what you want to achieve with it from the start.

Crucially, you should also consider your market – who will wear your clothes, who will buy from your store etc – and make sure that when you are setting up your business, it is tailored to meet the requirements of these demographics.

Stay Ahead Of The Trends

Fashion moves incredibly fast and for the uninitiated it can be an uncomfortable world to stray into, particularly given the judgment those who are experienced tend to dish out to those who get it wrong.

Be sure to do your research if you’re opening your own store – find some great new or established designers and buy pieces that you think match the most popular catwalk trends. Be prepared to take advice, be flexible and act fast.

When it comes to trends you will also need to be brave enough at some point to start setting your own – when you feel you know what you’re doing, or if you have an uncompromising passion, then start leading from the front if you want to gain a really prominent profile.

There are many online sites that have good source of inspiration on the latest trends as they merge fashion from high street stores and boutiques in one place. Pinterest is also a great source of fashion trends which haven’t even hit the high street yet!

Make Contacts

Like any industry, fashion success is built on who you know. For a young designer it can be the difference between getting essential buyers to attend an end of year fashion show and for a new boutique it can mean getting your hands on the hottest new lines before anyone else.

Attend plenty of parties, fashion weeks, shows and events and be prepared to network constantly.

Don’t Overstretch Yourself

When starting any new business it’s important to ensure that your outgoings aren’t going to leave you in such trouble that they end your fashion dream before it has even begun.

Without compromising on that all essential quality, keep your initial costs down by negotiating for discounts, using online selling rather than having your own physical store, using the connections you have made and calling in favours. Start small and work your way up to greatness.

If you’re considering a career in fashion then you need to make sure that you’re cut out for the commitment that entails. Once you have a plan then the ideas above can help you take the first steps onto the road to making that exciting fashion dream come true sooner rather than later.