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For creative types, seamstresses and sewing mavens, starting a prom dress business is a fantastic idea. With unique dress designs, a calculated business and marketing plan, proper financing and other intricacies associated with starting up a small business, developing a successful prom dress company is an achievable dream. If you want to start your own dressmaking business but don’t know where to begin, follow these steps and you'll be well on your way to business success.
Creative and Tactical Plans
Since this business is highly visual, draft a sketchbook of prom dresses and create a few sample gowns. Take pictures of the gowns. Include these images and other gown design sketches in your business plan.
Draft a business plan. This document will serve as a blueprint for your business strategy. It should include a marketing plan, which includes advertising and promotion strategies; business goals, which will help set a precedent for measuring your business in future years; and time lines and budget details.
If you cannot front the start-up costs of your new business, search for some capital. Bank loans, friends and family, or private investors are three of the most common sources for small business start-ups. Pick the source that will be the least cumbersome for you. With bank loans, you will have to pay a monthly fee, and with loans from friends, family and private investors, they may seek partial ownership of the business.
Make your business legal. Choose whether you want your business to be a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation. After you have decided this, file your business within the state government to incorporate and acquire a federal identification number.
Decide where you want your business to be located. Do you want the business operating in your home or in a commercial space? If you are hoping to open your business in a commercial space, find a Realtor or search online for properties, making sure you consider their geographic and demographic data.
Managing Your Business
Decide if you want to hire employees and whether you want to do your own bookkeeping and taxes. If not, hire an accountant. Also consider hiring an assistant to help you manage your workload and assist with marketing tactics.
Continue producing prom dresses so that you have ample stock when your store opens to the public, and decide on pricing for each of the dresses.
Continue marketing your business, producing new dresses and managing inventory.
Allison Gray is a communications consultant based in Chicago. She has worked in communications for five years at Meet Minneapolis, Rasmussen College and New School Communications. Published in USAE and PCMA, Gray began writing professionally in 2007. She received a B.A. in strategic communications from the University of Minnesota.