The fashion business is a difficult place to be new in, and if you’re a small start up it’s hard to compete with the prices offered by big box retailers or retailers online.
In order to be competitive besides pricing, you need to be special; you need to give your customers a reason to come to you instead of others. This may mean narrowing your focus to a niche market – give your customer the best quality and selection of something in specific. In fashion this could mean focusing on certain style of clothing, or offering accessories for special occasions.
Choose an area that you love and are comfortable in. If you are the type that is always on the look out for a great edgy modern suit, open a ladies suit shop. Or if you love leather studded chokers and army boots, you could go urban goth. People tend to think that by limiting their audience of potential customers they limit their in store traffic, but this isn’t the case – in fact by offering a specific market segment, you have a larger appeal because you can be identified as something interesting and unique.
Use your experience and passion in your niche to jumpstart your success. If you’re selling suits, get your business in an office building, and offer tailoring and expert advice on fitting. If you’re offering punk / goth urban wear set up a popup booth at a concert and offer custom shirt printing for local bands – your creativity in your field will be fresh and be intriguing to shoppers.
Practical points to think about when deciding your angle:
Take a look around you: what part of town are you in? Is this the part of town that has your ideal customers? Place your store in the area of town where your kind of client is most likely to be.
Are there other shops offering what you want to offer? If there are, offer something they’re not, from better selection, better quality, a better return policy, or free shipping.
Communication and Advertising to your market segment:
The trick to being successful in a niche market that is already small is to make sure that everyone that could be interested in your product knows that you exist, and how wonderful you are. Highlight how you are different from your competitors you are, and the benefits of shopping with you.
You should have a successful business if you choose a niche that no one or few are catering to, if you place your store in an area where your target customers are, and have the ability to get the word out that you offer something extraordinary!