Strategic planning

It all begins here

Who am I? How am I distinguished from other designers? How will I compete?

Strategy is the big-picture concept that guides everything you and your fashion business will do.

1. Let’s get started…the SWOT

You’re conducting a realistic investigation of industry, markets and yourself, and the process is called a SWOT analysis

Internal factors

Strengths—what will your fashion business offer that represents a competitive strength? (ex: early-stage awards that have achieved ‘notice’ in the fashion industry)

Weaknesses—what limitations or restrictions does your fashion business have? (ex: lack of physical space, equipment or experienced personnel)

External factors

Opportunities—which market or competitive dynamics offer a chance for your business to succeed? (ex: current customer attitudes that may be positive about what you will sell)

Threats—which market or competitive characteristics put your business at a disadvantage? (ex: better-financed or publicized competitors)


2. Let’s move on to strategy

What is the core reason for developing a fashion business? What is the vision that drives it?

What is your unique market position, also called competitive advantage?

What are your long-term goals? What approach will you use to achieve them? (ex: market skimming, undercutting, brand exploitation)

What is your business forecast for the next 3 years?


3. Let’s create the plan

Using the results of the SWOT analysis and your responses to category II, what are your organizational goals in order of priority? (ex: name building, volume sales, selling directly v. mediated retailing)

Which indicators will you use to measure business performance against your goals and track progress, allowing the flexibility to make changes as needed? (ex: KPI, a measurement method that uses key performance indicators)*

As you create your organizational structure, do you intend to create departments or divisions? How will you hire internal staff, use external contractors, or both?

What do you expect your budget to be for the next 1-2 years? How will you support it?


4. Let’s look ahead to implementation…turning the plan into actions

Create a business-performance matrix, including personnel allocation, work schedules, methods for reviewing progress, communicating performance results company-wide and updating actions annually