Successfully running a clothing retail business or clothing store franchise requires consistent time, and attention to detail. This entails managing the high costs and logistics of operations, negotiating shifting trends, and staying ahead of the competition. Clothing retail finance and clothing store loans can really empower clothing franchises in South Africa to manage the arduous task of running a successful outlet, as well as cover vital aspects of their business dealings; from managing their basic needs to cherry-picking worthy investments that will help their businesses thrive.
The basic needs of a fashion business
Whether you rent or own the property that your business runs from, it's vital to consistently generate the fees required to fund rent. Did you know that in an ideal world, a business owner should have enough capital to cover rent and levies for approximately 2 years! Even with online stores, there will be regular associated running costs and these costs need to be consistently accounted for.
Fixtures for your store
This refers to shelving, lighting, displays, and furniture requirements. The merchandising flow of any store will account for how customers perceive the product around them and will dramatically influence buying behaviour. Meaning that great shop fittings and display is a must. Not to forget storage facilities which are also essential to keeping a well-balanced business.
In fashion, timing is everything. At any given time a clothing retailer needs to hold stock for 4 months’ worth of trading. As a business that is heavily influenced by seasonality, store owners will also need to hold stock of next season’s trends just before they hit the stores.
This includes anything from insuring your property and store assets to liability worker’s compensation for both yourself and your staff. While this is a grudge purchase, it is a necessary evil to protect the business from potential issues and threats.
Trends and worthwhile investments
All fashion businesses need the listed essentials above, but they also need to access investments in order to stay ahead and continue to serve their customer’s expectations. These include the following:
Fashion and technology go hand-in-hand in the digital age. Not only does a clothing retailer’s operation require top-of-the-range and technically creative setups. But it also needs to be integrated into financing equipment with effective online capabilities.
Website and eCommerce
The fashion consumer has evolved and eCommerce is now a heavily entrenched part of the buyer’s journey. Particularly in the retail sector where customers expect to be able to ‘visit’ any store virtually first before they enter in person. They also expect both fast and responsive websites as well as a beautiful, seamless user experience.
The idea of “impulsive social media buying” is a very real thing. In fact, social media can be one of your most cost-effective advertising tools. But it requires both strategy and consistent attention. This can be done by buying adverts, partnering with influencers, or commenting often on current trends.
AR, AI, and engaging customers
Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an innovative way to engage with fashion consumers. It is well worth investing in the expertise that can bring your fashion business into the future-present with AR and AI. Offering cutting-edge usability like inviting customers to virtually try on your product, switch styles and so much more.
But innovation costs money
Yes, it certainly does. But a retail capital loan can offer both the short-term cash injection required to cover the basic needs of the business, as well as help fashion retailers, take advantage of innovative opportunities. In fact, a business loan for retail stores which is spent on growth-enhancing opportunities will, in time, more than pay for itself. For more information on how we can fund your clothing store’s ambitious growth, contact Merchant Capital today.