By AAT Comment Run your business Five essential business skills for fashion designers 28 Feb 2015 Essential business skills for fashion designers As London Fashion Weekend kicks-off, we share our top five tips for success when setting-up your own fashion enterprise. Every year thousands of students graduate hoping to make it big in fashion, an industry worth £40bn. Whilst the rewards are high, success isn’t easy and most new labels tend to make a loss for years, even Stella McCartney took five years to turn a profit. Tips for success: 1) Be realistic. Many businesses that succeed don’t make a profit for the first couple of years; if you are hoping to get “rich” quick then you may need to think again. 2) Expand your knowledge. Consider a short course on the fundamentals of finance. Courses such as AAT Essentials provide practical, straight talking training on how to manage business finance more effectively. Training will be one of the best investments you’ll make and you’ll use your new skills and knowledge on a daily basis. 3) Be aware. Tax legislation changes at a never-ending pace and it’s important for new businesses to keep up. Websites such as www.smeweb.com provide a great hub of information for business owners. 4) Have a plan. Implement an accounting system and make sure it works. The law requires all businesses to have proper accounting records. By doing this you’ll manage your business better and help stimulate business growth. Start-ups that don’t do this put themselves at a serious disadvantage. 5) Talk to an expert. Train up and read as much as you can but at the end of the day, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional accountant. AAT Comment offers news and opinion on the world of business and finance from the Association of Accounting Technicians.