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    8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 4, 2010 11:50 PM by mismatched77

    Would like to sell or merge my clothing business. Help!

    flafashion Newbie
      Hello, I have a clothing line that I am looking to merge with a larger company or bring on an investor. It is about 2 years old and has been featured in national magazines, photographed on celebrities and appeared on television shows. I know this brand could become a household brand if just given the correct partnership or opportunity. Major retailers have approached me about my line and I know it is only a matter of time before this line takes off. Unfortunately I do not have the financing to bring this company in the direction it needs to go and I am much more talented with design (I am a fashion designer by trade) than I am with business development. I am looking to take this company in a new direction, but I am not ever sure where to begin. Has anyone had any experience in this area or can anyone offer some advice. It would be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance.
        • Re: Would like to sell or merge my clothing business. Help!

          If you have a strong and viable business model and opportunity, there are ways to accomplish your objective. But those ways all start with having a good foundation from which to begin with. The first thing to do is to be sure that you have yourself lined up properly with the right documentation about your business.

          Here's some questions for you:


          1) Are you currently producing revenue and you have prepared financial statements for the time that you have been in business?


          2) Are you profitable?


          3) Have you collected documentation to show where your company/product line has been featured or reported on by the media (any media, local, state, regional or national)?


          4) Do you have any testimonials from noteworthy clientele (celebrities etc.) or video clips from TV appearances?


          5) Do you have copies of letters of interest from the major retailers (those you mention in your post)?


          6) Do you have a business plan that includes the following?


          • Executive Summary


          • Market Opportunity


          • Vision & Objectives


          • Management


          • Competition


          • Risk


          • Financial Plan / Capital Requirements


          • Summary


          • Financial Projections Addendum (both actuals from your 2 years of operations and projected for the next 3 years going forward).



          The above are the things that immediately come to mind, that you need to have pulled together. Once you have that, and it has been shaped into a professional-level package for presentation then you would begin your search for investors or a merger partner. By being prepared like that, you put yourself in a much better position to have a discussion with them about your business. You never want to go off "half-cocked" or unprepared because that will lead to a weak perception of the value of the opportunity you are trying to present.


          I hope the above helps you or gets you thinking about what to do next. If you like, feel free to let me know about the above questions and your level of readiness, and then I will give you some ideas to explore that will help you further.


          Dennis Lowery


          Adducent, Inc.
            • Re: Would like to sell or merge my clothing business. Help!
              flafashion Newbie
              Thank you for all of your help. The answer to all of your questions is yes. I have prepared everything in a very professional way (even spending extra money so it's a beautiful presentation). My issue is I have no idea where to go next. I am thinking about targeting larger companies, but do not know where to begin. I have also thought about targeting investors, but again I have no way of connecting to them. I would greatly appreciate any input. Thank you.
                • Re: Would like to sell or merge my clothing business. Help!
                  You're welcome.

                  Let's take the next step then in preparation to address a question that many entrpreneurs and business owners have. That question is:


                  What Do I Initially Tell Investors About My Business?


                  There are 4 simple things to start with that can be presented in a way that is virtually 100% certain to be read.


                  Once your business plan is complete, the first thing that you should do is to create a one-page profile document on your business. You need such a profile on hand to send to prospective investors or funding resources. That way you do not disclose too much information and most importantly, people won't mind receiving and reading something that is only one page. That is what you want to accomplish ... get them to read something about your business or venture. That gives them an opportunity to be interested (and want to know more).

                  Do not send anyone your complete business plan unless and until they ask you for it. Even then, I recommend that you start out simple to gage their level of interest and to make sure that what you send them will really be read. Send them your one-page profile first.


                  The truth is that your business plan when sent to a busy investor or business professional, may not be read but a well-written and formatted one-page profile is almost 100% certain to be read. A profile is also usually, what you want available to post on some of the online venues where you can advertise that you are seeking funding so that investors see it and can reply to you. You want to give them just enough to get their interest so that they ask to see your business plan.

                  Following is an list of what a company profile document should consist of (you can email me at DMLowery@Adducent.TV and request an example of a finished, professionally prepared Company Profile format that has worked well for my clients):


                  1) Business Description and market opportunity & funding required:


                  A brief summary of the business description (what you do, products/services etc.), market opportunity and how much funding you are seeking.


                  2) Competitive advantages over other companies offering a similar product:


                  Your competitive advantages. Talk briefly, about how you feel your company can compete against other companies serving the same market as yours.


                  3) List at least recent positive news or significant accomplishments of the Company:


                  Briefly discuss recent positive news you have for your company or your accomplishments (what you have done so far with your business). If you are a start-up or pre-revenue company, it is important to show funding sources and investor prospects that you have accomplished some level of "proof of concept" for your business. That shows them that there is a basis of business viability and that you as the owner have put some effort into the business to get it to its current stage.


                  4) Briefly describe your background, experience and capability to effectively manage and grow the business:


                  You and your abilities will be one of the key factors in an investor(s) decision whether to put money into your company or venture. Its crucial that you show them that you are a capable and effective manager and that you have the skills and vision to make your company (and their investment) grow.


                  Finally, be sure to add your contact information to the profile. It should consist of the following:


                  • Name
                  • Email address
                  • Website address
                  • City and State where you are located
                  • Telephone # (where they can reach you or at least leave a message)

                  I think preparing a concise 1-page profile document is a good "next step" for you. Let me know if you put together one and I'll send you a link to an article on my website that goes into some detail on how to find and contact the "Angel Investors" out there and also can guide you through contacting potential merger partners.

                  Dennis Lowery
                  Adducent, Inc.
                  • Re: Would like to sell or merge my clothing business. Help!
                    ApparelBrand Newbie
                    Hey there. How isnyour business going? If you haven't done anything about it yet I am very interested in your clothing business