How to Define Your Fashion Business Goals

Congratulations! You’ve finally decided to start the fashion business you’ve been dreaming of for years. Whether you are working on a business plan or want to tweak your approach, you have to set appropriate business goals.

Goals provide direction, offer motivation, and give you an opportunity to measure your progress. And, let’s be honest, achieving a goal brings an immense amount of personal satisfaction. Knowing how to define and set your fashion business goals can help you get the most out of your startup.

Learning about SMART Goals

Before you start defining business goals, discover the concept of S.M.A.R.T. goal setting. This practice allows you to set clear and reasonable expectations to maximize your chance of achieving a business goal.

SMART stands for

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

Specific — “sell more products” is a nice fashion business goal, but it’s hardly detailed. Your goals must be as specific as possible. “Sell (X) pairs of shoes in one week” is much better. Details give goals valuable power that helps drive your actions.

Measurable — numbers are essential for your business. Make sure you can evaluate your efforts by setting measurable goals. “Sell 10 items my first month” is a measurable goal. By the end of the month, you can definitely say whether you’ve achieved it.

Attainable — being realistic is an integral part of fashion business success. “Sell 100 items in one week” is a goal that can boost your revenue tremendously. But is it realistic? How many items did you sell last week? If it’s eight, then “Sell 10 items in one week” is a more attainable variant.

Relevant — while creating a goal, you should keep the current market conditions in mind. During a recession, selling 100 shoes per week may not be relevant. Meanwhile, selling 100 coats per month mid-summer may be impossible.

Timely — each goal should have a deadline. Without it, it’s nearly impossible to measure your success. Define a realistic timeframe for the scope of effort you are planning to provide.

Going from Big to Small Fashion Business Goals

As a fashion designer with a dream, you probably have a huge variety of goals dancing around in your head. To make sure you achieve all of them in due time, you need to break these fashion business goals down.

1. Start with a Broad Goal

Take all the big goals you have in your mind and write them down. They don’t need to be realistic or seem possible to achieve today. Brainstorm for loose ideas and wishes. Choose long-term ideas if necessary, but short-term goals work as well. Try not to go overboard and stick to about three initial broad goals.

Before going to the next step, choose one of the above goals to work with. You can repeat the process for each goal on your list.

2. Break it Down

Each big goal can be broken down into three to five supporting goals. What can you do right now to start getting closer to the big goal? For example, if your big goal is to start a fashion business, you would write down:

Each of the above goals is separate. You can take one of them, work to make it fit the S.M.A.R.T concept, and go on to the following step.

3. Identify Steps

Each of the smaller goals you have can be broken down into the list of steps to take for achieving them. For example, to create a marketing plan, you could have:

And so forth. Suddenly your broad and long-term goals turn into small actionable steps, which you can start taking today. If you use this process for all your goals consistently, you are bound to achieve most of them in record time.

Identifying Resources

While you are defining your goals, it’s important to understand which resources you need to achieve them. In some cases, you won’t have sufficient resources to work toward certain goals. This may require some reassessment on your part.

The key resources that most fashion designers struggle with are time and money. You may want to beef them up before trying to achieve big goals. Otherwise, you could find yourself struggling to go from one step to the next.

Consider evaluating new delegating and financing opportunities to make sure nothing keeps you from achieving your goals. Meanwhile, a proper evaluation of your resources can help you narrow down your goals.

Reviewing Your Goals

Goals need regular reviewing. The reason is simple. As you start working toward achieving a goal, you can easily be sidetracked by other tasks. In about a month, you can suddenly catch yourself going toward a brand new goal while leaving the old one behind.

Stay on track by completing one action at a time and keeping your initial goal in mind. Allow the top goals to impact your immediate planning.

Examples of Fashion Business Goals

Are you at a loss about which goals to choose? You can use these goals for inspiration.

Defining Your Fashion Business Goals Today

Proper goals are an integral part of business growth and development. Defining them up-front can keep your fashion startup on the right path.

Becoming too focused on setting and achieving fashion business goals can take the enjoyment out of the picture. Allow yourself to have fun with your achievements. After all, this joy is one of the reasons you started this business in the first place.

You are on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Start defining your fashion business goals today!


StartUp FASHION is an online community where independent designers and emerging brands are coming together, helping one another, forming friendships, collaborating, letting off steam, sharing victories, and belonging to a network of people who get it; who are doing it too. We’re a place to access and discover the tools and information you need to build your fashion business. We help you define your path and give you the guidance, encouragement, and resources to follow that path.

    • Casey Cline

      I’m glad you liked it, Sylvia!

  1. Ayanfemi Victoria

    Thanks for this always Nicole it’s always very helpful

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