garment start up consultant in vietnam
Would you like to know how to write a fashion start up business plan in Vietnam? Amaia and I did it and we'd like to share the steps we took. We used Live Plan which is an online business planning software that has a great business plan template that we followed.

Amaia and I wrote her business plan while she was here in Vietnam working for me. In this picture you see us meeting with the manager of Elite Fitness to do some market research.

Below you will see our commentary on:

  1. Live Plan Business Planning Software
  2. Doing Market Research
  3. Is Your Fashion Brand Solving a Problem?
  4. Why, How and What
  5. Brand Universe
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Introducing Live Plan Business Planning Software

Live Plan is an online business plan template and writing-tool we used to write Amaia’s fashion startup business plan. I highly recommend it. Live Plan guided us through a series of logical questions and gave us a thorough 1st draft of her business plan. I’d like to share what Amaia and I learned while writing her fashion start up business plan in Vietnam. I’d like to tell you about the benefits of using Live Plan and know how to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam with me.

Check out the Live Plan default outline.

Amaia came to Vietnam to work with me to create her brand of protective clothing for women fighters. Amaia is a boxer and a business woman. She is from France where she is completing her business administration degree at Kedge business school in Marseille. My goal was to show her how to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam. We used Live Plan as her business plan template.
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Amaia fell in love with boxing when she was 18 years old. She got the idea to start a clothing brand at the Royal Boxing Club where she trained. The owner talked about designing and producing a collection of workout clothes and fighting uniforms. She quickly realized that the protective cups for women were a problem. Protective clothing for women fighters was very uncomfortable and distracting because of the bra and crotch protective cups. Fighters felt limited in movement and annoyed by friction because the cups moved around a lot. She came to Vietnam to get samples made and figure out her business plan. Together Amaia and I wrote her business plan and set out to produce her first collection of 100 pieces. We used Live Plan to write her business plan and we used my network of tech pack freelancers, sample rooms and factories to get her clothing produced.
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I encouraged her to use Live Plan because it is the best software I have found and it has a user-friendly business plan outline. After using Live Plan for a month, Amaia said, “Live Plan software is user friendly and thorough. After answering all the Live Plan questions with Chris’s help I realized the strengths and weaknesses in my original ideas. The best part of the business planning was discovering my why, how and what and building my brand universe. The most difficult part was the financial planning because of unforeseen expenses and scary sales targets. The financial planning really opened my eyes to how difficult it would be to earn a profit in three years. Live Plan is like a teacher. For every Live Plan question, there is a Live Plan video that explains the question and gives advice how to answer. I recommend using Live Plan and having someone like Chris who has amazing connections in Vietnam. Chris showed me how to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam quickly.”

As a fashion start-up consultant, I like Live Plan business plan template because of the Pitch/Plan/Forecast structure and the financial planning module. It is all very intuitive. I like the way we can customize the sections of the plan. The financial spreadsheets update without any bugs like well-done macros in Excel. I have used other online business planning softwares like Enloop; Live Plan is the best. My favourite feature is the financing module that shows the monthly principal and interest payments you have if you borrow money from investors. This module taught me how the interest payment is an expense but the principle payment is a liability. Business planning is much more than designing and producing something. We have to manage money well and Live Plan focuses on managing your money - your profit. Allow me to show you how to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam.
 

How to do Market Research for Fashion Start-ups

Market research is important to position your fashion start-up brand for success. How do we do market research on a tight budget? How do we include market research in our business plan? Amaia and I did market research for her fashion start-up brand and we put it in Live Plan. Live plan is an online business plan writing tool with an intuitive business plan template. Her brand Fight Focus produces protective clothing for women combat fighters in Vietnam. Here is how to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam with market research on a tight budget.

  1. Survey Target Customers
  2. SWOT Analysis
  3. Quadrant Analysis
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Amaia employed three basic market research methods. She studied her target customers. She did a strength, weakness, opportunity and threat analysis of her competition. And she did a quadrant analysis. Let’s talk about the details, how to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam doing market research.

Amaia’s target customers are women fighters who need protective clothing that meet regulations and are not distracting. She found three countries with the highest number of women fighters: Thailand, USA, and France. She contacted women fighters through their social media profiles to ask if they had the same problem as her: uncomfortable protective clothing. She analyzed their answers and confirmed that there is a market for her product.

Amaia then identified three existing brands who are producing protection clothing for women fighters. She read through their websites and social media pages. She collected information and did a SWOT analysis. Here is what she said about one SWOT analysis she did.

"I researched a French brand based in Paris called Budo Fight. It was founded in 2011.They are producing chest and crotch protection for women and they also sell other gear for fighting. I currently use their chest and crotch protection for fighting.

Their Strength is their diversity. They sell their brand BudoFight but also more than 40 other brands of martial arts clothing and gear; like LEONE, FAIRTEX, WIKEDI, EVERLAST… They have a very wide range of products.

Their Weakness is the crotch protection design. It is too big and uncomfortable. It is not washable because it is made in leather and compressed foam.

Their Opportunity is that boxing is booming since 3 years now and MMA has recently become legal in France.

Their threat is that they don't have a strong social media community. They only have 400 followers on instagram. In comparison, Shock Doctor has more than 50K followers."

Finally Amaia did a simple quadrant analysis where she compared her product features and contrasted them with her competitors’ products. Then she plotted the features in a two-dimensional quadrant graph for visual comparison. She looked at three sets of features: price/number of layers, price/size of cups, and price/brand likability/affinity/clarity. From the graphs she could see where her features gave her a competitive advantage to win new customers and gain market share.

Doing market research can lead to interesting discoveries. Amaia learned that professional boxing was prohibited in Sweden in 1969. Therefore she should not spend any effort to advertise in Sweden. On the other hand, she discovered that boxing is very popular in Thailand and therefore must advertise and expand into the Thailand market. Amaia learned well how to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam using market research.

She had to think outside the Live Plan business plan template because Live Plan does not specifically include these three market research tools.

We documented all of this market research in her business plan. The information is valuable for her investors, marketing staff and sales team. We wrote her business plan in Live Plan which is an online-business-plan-writing tool. Live Plan has a section called Opportunity/Target Market. Amaia was able to easily insert tables and graphs showing the surveys results and the quadrant analysis that she did. There is also the competition section that includes current alternatives and advantages which is where you usually describe the competition and your unique selling point. Amaia modified these sections to reflect the way she did her research. She added three sections: target customer surveys, SWOT analysis of competitors and quadrant analysis. She improved their business plan template. Live Plan is great because you can easily customize the default business plan outline. Join me and learn how to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam starts with using Live Plan.

 

Is Your Fashion Brand Solving a Problem

How to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam includes solving a problem. Yes, you should be solving a problem and here is why. People go shopping because they need something they don’t have. Their need is a problem. Your brand solves their problem. I recommend you explain your problem-solution in your fashion start-up business plan. Allow me to explain how to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam in a problem solution format. Live Plan business plan template specifically calls for a problem solution explanation which is one of many reasons I recommend it.
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The problem can be either a fashion problem or it can be a functional problem. For example, if bell bottoms are trending but no brands are selling bell bottoms, that is a problem. Consumers want bell-bottoms. Your fashion brand can solve the problem by designing bell bottoms and getting them to consumers. On the other hand, an example of a functional problem could be designing a golf hat with a golf tee holder so golfers can keep track of their golf tees easily. Does your brand focus on solving a fashion problem or functional problem? Is this how to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam? Does your business plan template have a problem solution section?

Amaia is a fashion start up from France; the name of her brand is Fight Focus. Amaia and I have been writing her fashion startup business plan during her internship in Vietnam. We focused on the problem solution and recorded it in her Live Plan business plan. Live plan is an online business plan writing tool that we highly recommend. Being able to solve a clearly defined problem is important to satisfy your customers and get investors interested. Allow me to explain using Amaia as an example.

Amaia discovered a problem with women combat clothing. She solved the problem by designing better protective clothing for women fighters.

Amaia is a amateur fighter and she discovered a problem with her bra and crotch protection during her first fight. She was distracted by the bulky design of chest and crotch plastic protection. She was irritated because of the multiple layers of clothing, the shapes of the cups and the way the cups moved around. The uncomfortable protection clothing distracted her. She could not focus 100% on her fight. This is why she considered creating her own brand called Fight Focus to solve this problem. This is why she knows now how to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam.

She designed a top that is a tank top and sports bra sewn together with integrated protective cups that achieves three objectives. The top reduces layers, offers protection and is comfortable to wear.

She also designed a boxer short with two integrated layers and crotch protection. The inner layer of the short is made with stretchy knit fabric and fits like a compression short. The outer layer is made with woven fabric and fits loosely like a normal boxer short. The plastic cup is inside a pocket in the compression short which protects the crotch.

In both garments she solved a problem for combat women fighters: they get protection with minimal discomfort.

Amaia's brand Fight Focus solves a functional problem, not a fashion problem. She figured out how to include plastic cups in combat women clothing so that fighters can focus on their fight, she emphasized this problem-solution in her business plan which we wrote using Live Plan. Live Plan is an online business-plan-writing-tool we used to write Amaia’s fashion startup business plan. I highly recommend it. Live Plan guided us through a series of logical questions that focused on solving a problem. Check out their business plan template and you will see the problem solution section front and center. Live Plan guided us to write down the problem and solution in our business plan in the pitch and executive summary. That is how to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam.

In retrospect Amaia had this to say about writing her business plan and discovering her problem-solution. “When I started thinking about my brand, I was just thinking that the designs would be more comfortable. I did not define “a problem.” Thanks to Live Plan and working with Chris, I realized that I was solving a problem and we spent time dissecting the problem. We defined the solution clearly and wrote it down in Live Plan. This process motivated me during design and development. Live plan is great because it asks quality questions and guides us. Today I have a solid business plan based on solving a problem for my target audience thanks to Chris and Live Plan. I know how to write a fashion startup business plan in Vietnam.”
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1. Which styles do you want to manufacture first?
2. Do you have tech packs?
3. Do you have any special factory requirements?
4. Have you produced before? If yes, then in what country?
5. What quantity per style per color do you order?
6. Does your company have a website?
7. Do you want to work with an agent or directly with the factory?
8. Do you plan to visit Vietnam?

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Chris Walker

Fashion Start-up Consultant
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Author and Dad

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