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:
Introducing Live Plan Business Planning Software
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.
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
- Survey Target Customers
- SWOT Analysis
- Quadrant Analysis
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
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?
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Fashion Start-up Consultant
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Author and Dad
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