The dream of most fashion designers/brands is to get a “Investor” which will help them get their line in stores, or own a boutique or become a “household” name. The question is, how do you get investors interested in your brand?
HAVE A BRAND
You have to have something for them to invest in. Develop a BRAND, don’t just be a person doing a collection and fashion week shows, are you a brand?
DEVELOP A CUSTOMER BASE
Do you have a steady customer base? How are you making money from your designs, why should someone invest in your business?
SPEAK THEIR LANGUAGE
Learn what the “buzz words” are that investors use. It will show them that you did your homework. Know what brands they have “ALREADY” invested in and research that brand so you will have an idea of what type of brand the investor would be interested in.
HAVE ALL YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW
You may be a FABULOUS designer, but do you have a business? Can you show 3-5 years of growth in sales, do you have the demographics of who your customer is, do you have a 3-5 year business plan and if so, have you followed it to show an increase in your business. Do you have a positive placement on social media? Do you have a Media Kit, do you have a Press Kit (they are 2 different things)? What is the structure of your business, is it a legal structure, do you have legal representation for your business? Do you have an investor presentation ready? These are some of the items that you may want to have in place before approaching an investor.
Keep your Pitch “SHORT, SWEET & TO THE POINT”. Don’t bore the VC with unnecessary details they don’t need to hear. Stay the course, stay on point, keep it positive and on the upswing. Throw in a little humor when appropriate, but not too much, remember this is a business meeting. Your pitch should be between 10-14 slides only.
WHY SHOULD THEY INVEST IN YOUR BRAND? CONVINCE THEM
There are millions of people asking people for money, why should they give it to you? Convince them that you are the one. Explain how you will make it work, how you will get the right people in place, if they invest, how will get a ROI, give them approximate detailed projections. Make sure you have the answers to the hard questions, if you do not, explain what you “think” will happen.
THIS IS BUSINESS
This is REAL business, therefore, if you don’t understand the business or your strength is in the creativity, get someone with a business background on your team to “advise” you. If you don’t have a strength in a specific area, get someone that is strong in that area to help your Brand move forward.
DON’T BE A JACK OF ALL TRADES
Yes, we know you can do “EVERYTHING” but don’t try, why? Because when you are all over the place, you lose focus on what’s important. You cannot give 100% to everything, something will suffer. It’s important to concentrate on what your main area is and then work on the other areas when you get your main area stable. Get your foundation solid, then venture into other areas.
IF THE INVESTOR REJECTS YOUR PITCH
If the Investor decides not to invest in your business, don’t be angry, ask for feedback so you can revisit the areas that are weak or the investor had trouble with. Look again at all areas of your pitch and strengthen your approach. Don’t rule out the same investor, once you have edited your pitch or business model, you may want to revisit that same investor.
HOW TO FIND OUT WHO INVEST IN FASHION
Look for investors portfolio’s on line, Google them, look at designers that have investors and see which investors have invested in their brands. Look at their business structure to see how which investors they have approached. Do your homework.
I hope this has informed you a little about how to get investors for your business or brand.
We welcome your feedback and questions.