Tips for Becoming a Custom Apparel Fashion Mogul

If you aspire to make money in the fashion industry, whether by pursuing a traditional career path or starting your own fashion business from scratch or through a combination of both, you will eventually need to register and operate a business.

One of the easiest paths is through custom apparel; however, this entails not only finding the right suppliers like R&P Prints Canada for your fashion venture, but also registering your business with the CRA, promoting it, choosing a platform for selling your goods/services, and more. Fortunately, following the guidelines below can help you get off to a good start.

Begin with a Plan

The foundation of any successful business, whether big or small, is a well-crafted and comprehensive business plan. Your business plan should outline why you’re starting the business (its purpose beyond making money, one that resonates with your customers), where you are currently, where you intend to go, and how you plan to get there.

Common components of a business plan include company objectives, an overview of your industry and your company’s place in the market, SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), your sales and marketing strategy, day-to-day operations, your team or network if you’re a one-person show, and your current and projected financials.

Register Your Business

If you aim to generate income by designing and selling custom shirts or accessories, you must legally report your income (as well as expenses) to the CRA. You may also need to register for a GST/HST account and charge tax when your sales exceed $30,000 in a calendar year.

However, before doing any of these, you must select a business structure. The three main types of businesses are:

  • A sole proprietorship. It requires the least amount of startup capital and has the least regulations to worry about. You report the business’s income, expenses, profits or losses on your personal tax return as the owner; owners assume full legal liability for their business operations and goods/services.
  • A partnership. They are also easy to register, and profits or losses are reported on each partner’s personal return. Partnerships also have unlimited legal liability, and control over the company may become disputed.
  • A corporation. Corporations have more protections, including limited legal liability for board members and lower tax rates, but corporations are heavily regulated, expensive to organize and require the most record keeping.

Get the Word Out

Marketing is a critical component of any business, and the fashion industry is no exception. If you’re in fashion, you probably already have an Instagram account for your business. Several online tools are available that suggest hashtags and show monthly search volumes for them. Ensure that you’re posting regularly on the right platforms (where your target audience hangs out) with the right message and that your content is useful, inspiring, or entertaining. Speaking to your target audience is particularly critical in fashion, where the need to reach the right people with your marketing is even more critical.

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