Fashion Businesses Need Mentoring.
(25-35). We at The London Pattern Cutter provide affordable mentoring and advice for fashion startups, small business, and new designers.
Our two senior business advisers are Bill Johnston and Emile Carr.
It is the easiest thing in the world to start a fashion business in the UK with no experience and limited finances. But it is almost impossible for a beginner to succeed without expert professional help.
So, how much does a fashion business mentor cost ? Are they worth it ? And just who is a fashion business mentor anyway ? And what do they do ?
It can be a positive advantage to start a fashion business with limited funds. You dont waste a single penny of your budget, because this is all your own money that you are investing in your own business. OK, you may have got a small loan from the bank, friends or family, but you really care how that money is spent.
The failure rate for new UK fashion businesses is notoriously high, due both to the lack of knowledge of the average fashion entrepreneur, and to the poor standards within the fashion industry itself.
As easy as it is to start a fashion business, it is just as easy for anyone to declare themselves an expert business coach within the clothing industry and to charge their clients accordingly. People tend to have an unrealistic trust in anyone purporting to be an expert.
Professional fashion business mentoring is absolutely essential for any fashion startup brand to succeed in the UK. Just try getting funding without expert advisers. But mentoring needs to be affordable for a small business.
Requirements for a small fashion brand are in many ways diametrically opposed to those of a large brand, but mainstream advice seems to be the same for both types of business. In the corporate state that we are becoming, large businesses need to work as much for the state as for their customers, whereas the small business owner needs to satisfy only the customer.
Mentoring frees the business owner to concentrate their own efforts into areas that reflect their abilities, while learning from the professional fashion experts.
Working with fashion professionals greatly accelerates the learning process and assists with the development of the skills necessary to run a successful fashion business.
Fashion Business Support.
The London Pattern Cutter has been mentoring UK fashion businesses for many years, and providing support with full service production facilities. We work with some of the very best pattern cutters. sample machinists and UK factories who specialise in helping small fashion brands.
Any job takes many years of learning in order to become proficient. Running a fashion business is no different. It requires many different skills, each of which requires extensive learning to become proficient.
The two most obvious skills needed to run a fashion business are an ability to design and an ability to run a business. These are two diametrically opposed skills that few people have. Creative people are seldom good at business, and business people are seldom creative.
Most fashion startup entrepreneurs are more creative than business minded. They are inclined to neglect the business side of things. We at The London Pattern Cutter believe in practical learning alongside the experts. We believe in the “just do it” principle.
Dont bother with years of research into marketing and branding. You dont even have to give up your day job. Unless you get some serious financial backing of course. But financial backing makes you lazy and complacent. After all, its not your money, and if you waste it, so what !
Imagine the time it would take just to research fabric and trim suppliers. You would need not just to find suppliers, but suppliers willing to deal with small businesses. To provide samples and sell small quantities to a new fashion business. And knowing where to source cheaper fabrics to get that vital edge for competitiveness and increased profit margins is essential.
Imagine having to find a great pattern cutter – One that has a track record in your field of patterns. One that didnt cost the earth, but can save you loads. Your pattern cutter is your life-line.
Imagine having to then find graders, sample machinists and factories. Should you use one comprehensive service, or should yo divide the work up by having a separate pattern cutter, sample machinist, factory etc. ?
Why Choose The London Pattern Cutter ?
Expertise does not come cheap, and most fashion mentoring services available to start-ups are very expensive. They are generally aimed at established, well funded businesses and designers. There is little available for small businesses on a limited budget.
Often the fashion mentoring professionals are not in fact fashion professionals at all, but just general business mentors. Mentoring fashion businesses requires very experienced fashion professionals who fully understand the fashion business. Our clients just need down to earth advice from experienced professionals.
We at The London Pattern Cutter aim to provide affordable mentoring services using highly experienced fashion industry professionals. We are there to support you and not to run the business for you. We positively encourage you to do as much of the leg work as is reasonable and cost effective.
We are very experienced in the fashion industry. I have over forty years experience assisting fashion startups, while Emile has over twenty years experience. Between us we have an immense amount of knowledge and experience helping new fashion businesses.
Our aim at The London Pattern Cutter is to provide an affordable mentoring service for fashion start-ups on a limited budget. We think that being on a budget is healthy, because it focusses the mind on cutting out waste and inefficiency.
We offer a service tailored to the individual new business owner who needs advice and guidance from very experienced professionals. As every start-up is different, we tailor our mentoring services to each client`s needs.
In our experience there are two ways to approach starting a fashion business :-
- Give up your job and devote all of your time to the new business. This way can be a big risk if you are not financially secure. You certainly cant afford to do it on your own. Unless you are already a fashion professional, it will require a massive amount of learning and trial and error unless you employ professionals. You still need to be involved as much as possible, but It is very important to use your time effectively by concentrating your efforts into areas that best suit your abilities.
- Stay working and let the professionals do the work. It is far safer to keep a full time job, unless you have a significant amount of money to fall back on. This way you need to either just let the fashion professionals do all the work, or you need to concentrate on providing the general direction, along with the design ideas.
How Much Does It Cost ?
We offer a range of mentoring service and workshops for new UK fashion businesses. The cost varies according to the type of service you choose.
Free Initial Phone Consultation
Are you thinking of starting a fashion brand ? Or do you already run a young fashion business ? Maybe you have previously had manufacturing problems , or you just dont know where to start ? Please feel free to give me a ring, with no obligation.
Pay As You Go
We offer a pay as you go mentoring service, available either face to face, or via Skype. This is a very flexible mentoring service and we try to be as flexible as possible with this service. We offer early evening and weekend slots where possible. This service is based on an hourly rate of £80.
We offer an E-mentoring support service through email and phone. This is an affordable mentoring service, useful for clients who may have many small queries that would not require a full hour`s face to face mentoring session. The cost for this is £500 / year. Or if you do not require a whole years e- mentoring, then we can offer anything from one month.
Fashion Startup Workshop
This 1-1 workshop is a completely bespoke introduction to starting a fashion business. Due to its bespoke nature, the content of the workshop would vary depending on the requirements of the client.The cost is £160.
Fashion Startup + One Year E-mentoring
This plan is an excellent way of having expert advice to hand whenever its needed, without paying the earth for it. The plan includes an initial fashion startup workshop plus one year`s support via email and phone. The two formats taken separately would cost £660. Combining the two costs £460.