New York City is considered, among other things, the fashion capital of the world with famous names such as Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, and Calvin Klein calling it home, as well as numerous other fashion design, production, wholesale selling, and manufacturing operations. For fashion companies who are looking to grow, and especially those in startup mode, the “ready to wear” option – temporary office space – is totally en vogue. When you look past the couture and glamour you can see that these businesses are actually some of the hardest to start and successfully operate for a myriad of reasons. Here’s what to look for if you’re the next fashion mogul on the runway looking to snip through those obstacles and get the Duchess Effect going on in your business.
Fashion Company Challenges
Fashion seems like a fun type of business – what could be so hard about it?
The list is long. First, there is the overall level of competition in marketing a fashion business. With so many contenders in the fray, getting your product noticed is no simple task. It requires a deep knowledge of the competition and a unique idea that can translate into a brand that customers will pay money for. Then there’s the cyclical nature of the industry. When recessions hit, the clothing budget is the first to get slashed.
The logistics of running a fashion business are no cake walk, either. Getting a bank to lend to you is difficult unless you are an established operation with a stable revenue stream. This is because from a financial standpoint, fashion companies are high risk; their sales are seasonal and cyclical.
Fashion companies are capital intensive operations because they deal in physical materials. Startup costs are high. If you’re a new fashion business, how do you get the $20 grand you need to start producing inventory so you can have a product to sell? You may have to tap your own savings or even rely on a credit revolver.
Once you get up and running, how do you operate a successful fashion business? It’s way trickier than you would think. Many fashion experts are exactly that – skilled technicians in the way of styling and production but not necessarily savvy business people. How do you hire your first employee, or deal with the never ending HR issues that come up when you have a staff to manage? With an unstable revenue stream, how do you find a landlord willing to rent you a space big enough to accommodate your physical needs? Moreover, how do you furnish that space and get access to amenities such as wireless internet etc. on a shoestring budget? It can be more than a headache.
Many new fashion companies are challenged by gauging demand. Knowing how much inventory to keep on hand is critical. Mismatches between supply of your product and the demand for it can create huge problems. You may end up with customers who paid for a product that you don’t have the ability to ship. Or, on the other hand, you could find yourself with an overstock of inventory because you overestimated buyer interest in your product.
It can also take some time for companies to comprehend supply chain logistics. If you’re not a veteran with a ton of experience dealing with manufacturers, how do you know if the price you’re getting is the best one? Shipping costs can be hefty, and being close to the manufacturing operation is a huge bonus. Knowing how to time shipping is a delicate art that takes a close relationship with the manufacturer so that you can correctly estimate the lead time for each order.
It’s clear that running a fashion business can be overwhelming. The good news is that temporary office space can provide some answers and can be a huge source of support for fashion companies in NYC.
Leverage A Killer Peer Group
Many coworking companies, such as Corporate Suites, cater to the needs of fashion companies with their 1001 Avenue of the Americas at 37th Street temporary office space, located near Midtown’s Fashion and Garment District.
With so many companies from various industries collocated in the same business center, you’ll have access to a peer group that you can survey to gauge demand for your product. Unlike family and friends, they’ll give you a totally honest opinion of your product and you may even get some sales out of it!
Your staffing issues will be solved as you will be surrounded by pools of talent that you can tap as 1099 workers. You won’t have to worry about benefits, managing holiday breaks, or HR issues as these employees will be arms length freelancers. But if you ever do decide that you want to go the permanent route, with many recruiting firms calling this Corporate Suites center their home, you’ll have access to the pick of the litter. You will also benefit from the expert advice that your community of peers can offer you, from law to accounting and finance and even technology. Have a question about the pay electronic payments application, or the best way to file your taxes this year? Look no further than down the fall, or you could leverage our community managers who will match you with a Corporate Suites client that can help.
Get Ready-to-Wear Office Space
Being located in a temporary office space is a great way to offload some of the administrative and operational aspects of business that creative fashion types may not be exactly ideally suited for. You won’t have to worry about securing a long term lease and putting forth a huge down payment, or having to bite your nails worrying if your revenue is going to allow you to afford the space in 5 years. There are short term office space rentals available in many serviced offices in New York, or you can rent on-demand desk space in a quiet and professional coworking area.
Corporate Suites, for example, provides fully serviced offices in New York that are furnished, cleaned, and upkept without any participation on the part of the client. Outsourcing the administrative tasks like these, as we’ve said in other blogs about maximizing business revenue, is critical for business owners who need to stay focused on growing their client base. Best of all, it provides easy access to short term office space without signing a lease.
Choose the Best Runway
1001 Avenue of the Americas is one of the most conveniently located NYC temp office spaces, with excellent access to transportation at Penn Station via the LIRR, NJ Transit and Amtrak railroads, and Port Authority Bus Terminal.
But aside from the shorter commute time, being located in the heart of the fashion district will allow you to integrate with the supply chain and solve some of those manufacturing issues. You’ll be way more in tune with the industry from being around the facilities that are actually producing the inventory.
This sentiment was echoed by Ted Nathan of Frameless Asia Pacific, a button and trim company that is a Corporate Suites client at 1001 Avenue of the Americas. Ted’s company has operations in Europe and Hong Kong, and opened a New York office to service US customers.
The biggest advantage for Ted has been the location, being centrally located in our NYC temp office space on 6th Avenue in the garment district. Ted is able to meet with major manufacturers in his office, or if it’s a big meeting then he can use a Corporate Suites conference room. According to Ted, “It’s a nice atmosphere and a great way to get them out of their office and in front of you.” If he needs to meet at their office, it’s a quick run down the block.
Ted was initially attracted to Corporate Suites because it had enough of what he needed (office furniture, professional staff, phone and internet service) to allow him to run the company’s satellite office. According to Ted, “I had the look of a larger company because I had all the facilities available to me.” He says that his clients are made to feel comfortable by the practical, no frills appearance of his office space. Like many other Corporate Suites clients, Ted values the ability to socialize at planned networking events while enjoying the privacy of an enclosed office as opposed to being in a glass walled “fishbowl.”
“It’s just a great place for a fashion company to be, located right on 6th avenue. Anyone interested in doing this should check it out.”
Tie a Bow on Fashion and Temporary Office Space
For fashion companies, the unstable revenue streams and supply chain challenges encountered in the course of growing your business can be daunting to overcome. Temporary office space offers a peer group that can assist fashion companies in overcoming supply chain and staffing issues as well as provide a level of general support to the business operations. The flexible nature of temporary office space is also highly desirable for companies in this industry.
For a private tour of Corporate Suites’ 1001 Avenue of the Americas temporary office space, email firstname.lastname@example.org.