Discover the essential tools for successful entrepreneurship in BoF’s Start-Up School: a resource comprised of a practical guide on topics ranging from fundraising and finding product-market fit to planning an exit; along with supplemental tools, templates and frameworks. Become a member to access.
LONDON, United Kingdom — This week, BoF launches the complete Start-Up School guide: a compilation of tailored how-to articles, taking aspiring and established entrepreneurs through every stage of the start-up lifecycle — from defining your business model to planning your exit strategy. The essential guide to modern fashion entrepreneurship, BoF’s Start-Up School is accompanied by a toolkit of materials, reflecting leading entrepreneurs' tried-and-tested business structures and strategies. This step-by-step guide will help demystify the process of starting a business today — collated in one location on BoF Education.
“If you try to do everything, you’re not going to do anything well. You can blow through a lot of money by trying to do too many things at once,” said Yael Aflalo, founder and chief executive of sustainable clothing label, Reformation — last estimated to have a revenue of $100 million in 2017. “In the years we tried to do too much, we were unsuccessful. In the years when we were measured and focused and had fewer goals, we succeeded very well.”
The toolkit features insight from fashion’s leading entrepreneurs representing different facets of the industry, including José Neves of online luxury marketplace Farfetch, which encompasses over 1000 brands and boutiques and valued at over $5.8 billion following its IPO last year; Chris Morton, founder and chief executive of fashion search platform Lyst, which has raised about $120 million in funding to date; and beauty’s Bobbi Brown, who sold her eponymous brand to Estée Lauder Companies in 1995, stepping down as chief creative officer in 2016 — the year the brand hit $1 billion in annual sales. Enrolees can expect distilled advice from their exemplary entrepreneurial journeys — combined with BoF’s market-leading business analysis and award-winning journalism.
“The beauty of the internet is that barriers of entry for new businesses are lower than ever before, and you have so many entrepreneurs with [a] vision, but the downside is you tend to have a lot of brands that are not differentiated,” said Rachel Blumenthal, founder and chief executive of children’s clothing brand, Rockets of Awesome, which has raised around $49 million in funding since its launch in 2016 — with $12.5 million invested by Foot Locker in February 2019.
Crucially, the Start-Up School experience has been designed with practical business application in mind and divided into seven accessible chapters. Learn how to: define your business model; fund your business for growth; find product-market fit; identify your target customer; build your culture as you grow; scale your business carefully; and plan your exit strategy.
The toolkit also provides tools and methods to assist with ideation, strategy, consumer, brand and operations, such as the Scamper technique for ideation and Kapferer’s Prism for brand identity, as well as templates for supplier information and charts to help you assess the right funding route for your business.