How to start a fashion business with low MOQ in Vietnam

What is a realistic amount needed to start a fashion brand?

Chris Walker Fashion Start-Up Consultant in Vietnam

Chris Walker
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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Realistically, it takes a lot of money to properly start a fashion brand and be successful. Yes, there are people that say you can start a fashion brand with a $1 and there are people who have but when you look behind the scenes it ain’t that cheap. Let's talk about how to start a fashion business with low MOQ in Vietnam and a low budget.

First consider how much money does it take one person to survive each day. It costs a lot more than $1 a day to pay rent, eat and surf the net. When I do my financial projections I make realistic assumptions and include the owners living expenses. Remember the rule, pay yourself first. From day one of operating your fashion start-up you need to get a pay check, right? How else can you pay your water, electric, internet and restaurant bill? If you are asking how to start a fashion business with low MOQ in Vietnam then first we need to know your daily living expenses.

My opinion is that US$100,000 is the minimum amount of money needed to launch a fashion start-up with production overseas, make it through one year and breakeven. I have created a worksheet to illustrate the basic numbers to consider when thinking about how to start a fashion business with low MOQ in Vietnam.
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Get Your 1,000 True Fans First

Should fashion start-ups borrow money to start their fashion brand? If you have a well thought out business plan and a team of people standing by to work then there are investors or banks ready to invest in you. The assumption is that you will be successful and generate enough profit to pay them back with interest. But what if you don’t earn a profit?

My advice is don’t borrow money unless you have 1,000 True Fans. Accepting other people’s money and promising to pay them back with interest puts a lot of stress on a fashion start-up. Don’t borrow money unless you are sure you will be able to pay them back. Build up your 1,000 True Fans first before you borrow money. That is how to start a business with low MOQ in Vietnam.

Amaia’s comments, “Chris introduced me to the concept of 1,000 True Fans based on an article written by Kevin Kelly. True Fans are potential customers that believe in what you do and why you do it. They will buy from you because they are committed to your cause or simply need what you sell. The article explains that you can earn a living with 1,000 True Fans. If each 1,000 True Fan buys a $50 product or service each year, then you can earn $50,000 revenue each year which is a great start. So in my case I wont borrow money and produce garments I am not sure I can sell, I have decided to create a community of women fighters. I will build my community of True Fans first, use my own savings and think about borrowing money when I need to significantly scale up.”

[Back to Chris] It is easy to produce garments. It is very hard to sell garments. I can say it’s easy to produce garments because I am here in Vietnam and have been through the process many times. I know what the factories need. I know what problems you will face and I know how to solve those problems. But what I can’t do for you is convince your target customers to buy what you produce. So, the question is, can you convince your target customers to buy your garments? I am going to assume the answer is “I hope so.” Do you want to be borrowing money from the mafia if your chance of selling your garments is based on “hope?” No.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

My Best Advice
Value of a Tech Pack
27 Decision Points
Cover Sheet
Bill of Materials
Technical Sketches
Call Outs
Construction
Colorways
Artwork
Labels
Hang Tags
Packaging
Folding
Sample Request
Measurements
Example Tech Packs
Tech Pack Software
Formatting Tips

Vietnamese factories need your tech packs to quote price and make samples.

I wrote this book for you to be able to make your tech packs and understand how hard it is. If you have well done tech packs than half the battle is done.

Best Advice

Start with Tech Packs
Engineer your MOQs
Choose your QC Levels
Look Up Import Tax
Calculate Shipping Costs

Resources

Example Tech Pack
Quantity Breakdown List
Quality Control Checklist
1,000 True Fans
MOQ Engineering
Start-up Decisions
Garment Production Steps
YouTube Channel
Tradeshows
Tech Pack Templates

My Office

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