How to start your own clothing Business

How to start your own clothing line: A complete guide
Apparel industry is most competitive yet profitable in terms of revenues. We see emerging clothing businesses quite often. If we see the history, we learn that every successful business today was once started with a small startup, then gradually they started to grow and now earning incredible profits plus reputation. If you are interested to start your own clothing line and you are pondering from where to start, then take a sigh of relief as good news for new startups is that internet and eCommerce has made it easy to do a business without extra expenses, like you can save hassle of renting physical store or hiring of a sales team initially by keeping your stock at home and start selling them with eCommerce website.

Steps to start a clothing

You can do clothing business in two ways, 1) as a designer and 2) as clothing entrepreneur. In either way clothing business is not just about designing clothes or buying stock for sale, if you are doing business just do it like a business as you need a proper planning before actually stepping into market.
Clothing need sampling, manufacturing, packaging, relationship building, master marketing, retailing, eCommerce presence and a lot more.
Identify the need in market
You are ready to work on your own brand so you need to have a niche to hit your target with. Tip is to define your niche is to find your area of interest. Once you decided your target market then you need to do research for specific niche, for example, you are interested in manufacturing product for youth, you need to do research on likes and dislikes of youth related to clothing. If there are any gaps that youth want to wear and clothing lines have not already manufacturing, you have got your lucky charm and you can proceed with idea but remember market research in right direction is must.

Write down a business plan

It is always beneficial if you document all your ideas and outline of work on a sheet of paper at start of venture. It helps you in road mapping your journey. But it does not mean that you will strictly follow your initial plan. Your plan must be flexible and able to adopt changes during evolution of your journey. Because future is unseen and apparel industry changes trends so fast so you never know if demand of market changes and deviates your way. So always make an adjustable, flexible and a strong foundation business plan in terms of investment and adopting new influences.

Understand the market

Once you have defined the need in market, now next step is to understand market trends. This needs quite a lot of study and research you need to focus on two aspects.

1) Customer behavior

2) Competitor behavior

For customer behavior, you will keenly observe the customer actions like their way of spending, trendy fabric choices, your budget management in production and sourcing etc. for competitor’s behavior you need to study your competitors’ to-be dealing with their customers. How they are adding value to their customers shopping? What branding and marketing strategies they are using? Etc. don’t worry about how you will get insight in your competitor’s strategies, social media and internet has made it quite easy. All you need is to do research from social media profiles of other companies in market, magazines, competitors’ websites etc. and you will get enough information for your cause.

Complete Legal formalities

At this stage you know the market requirements, your audience, you have designed initial map to start your journey. Now is the time to bring your business into notice of state to avoid any future problems cause by legal formalities. So at this step you need to officially register your business with state. To register your clothing line you need to follow below mentioned steps.

Opt a business type entity: you need to define which business structure you will follow while working. Either you want to keep it a sole proprietorship or you want to create an LLC with multiple workers capacity. Just decide an option and register your company according to decided business model.

Register your business: If you are well aware of company registration process, you can register it yourself by official website of your country or state. But if you feel hesitant you can always take help from a professional who can guide you in a better way about required information, documents and procedures.

Start designing and sourcing of your stock

Congratulations! You have completed initial steps successfully. Now you need to focus on your designs and sourcing cost and this might be proved trickiest part for you especially if you are novice in clothing industry. Because “first impression is the last” so you need to be careful about first call in market and at the same time you need to focus on cost effective sourcing according to your resources as well. Here are some main points you need to worry about during production and sourcing phase of your products.

Find a clothing manufacturer

If you are designer yourself and you want to cut, sew them you may not need manufacturer at start but you will need fabric supplier. In other case, if you want to be entrepreneur and do not know cutting and sewing yourself then you need to hire a manufacturer for your products. If you belong to an industrial area and can find local manufacturer it may be convenient for you, you can go and see product samples and design and then order stock according to your need. But if you are not able to find any nearby manufacturer, still you don’t need to worry, we have covered you up here, as this is reign of internet and eCommerce, you can find manufacturers in other countries who are specialized in manufacturing through different platforms. For example, you can find manufacturers through and you can place your order there.
1: Define your product pricing according to your budget
Once you have found manufacturers list either online or nearby, you can start making list of manufacturers who are offering production cost according to your budget line. For online searching you will find minimum order quantity (MOQ) and prices of each supplier at website and can be further negotiated after doing detailed conversation with supplier’s representative. But for local suppliers you need to so R&D manually.
2: Finding the right material
At this point you should have information about qualities and types of fabrics that you are going to use to manufacture your brand’s clothing. For this purpose you can study relevant materials, watch tutorials, find a friends who is already working in field, buy their time to have conversation sessions with them over dinner or Hi-tea, they can connect you with relevant people. Or you can buy your desired manufactured products from your competitors and check the material yourself, then order sample from your desired manufacture and compare the quality. Remember quality matters most in any business launch, if you cut cost by compromising on quality, there are higher chances that you will lose the battle and customer will not trust your label to shop again. So conclusion is, you should keep room in your budget for high quality production, even in start if you are not making much profit or you are working on break even point or might facing a little loss, still you need to focus on quality and once you win in impressing your consumer, it will ultimately lead to higher prices and profits in future.
1: Choosing the title and logo for your clothing line
Once you are done with production order, while manufacturing is in process, now you should focus on your brand’s public appearance so start selecting title and logo for your clothing line. You need to find a unique and attractive yet simple name for your business so people can pronounce and follow your brand easily. You also have to register your brand name and logo in your country so it should be unique as well to avoid any legal conflict with other businesses selling in same country.

To create logo for your brand you can hire a professional graphic designer either on online freelancing websites (like Fiver or Upwork) or you can ask someone personally. While creating logo you should tell your designer not to copy from any other brand. If you like any design you can communicate to him/her accordingly.

1: Price your products
When you were making business plan you had an estimated figures of cost and prices, but once you have gone through the practical experience you can see some differences either negative or positive. If you did good market research you will see little deviation. Calculate your costs till now and set selling prices of products accordingly. But remember to set prices realistically, as you are new seller in market and you need customers at start so keep your prices bit low, when customer will find good quality product along with reasonable prices, he would definitely consider your brand. Once your brand is established you can enjoy your desired profits.

Execution of project

So you worked hard till this stage, now you are done with manufacturing and you have decided selling market while creating business plan. Now is the time to actually start selling your stock. Give your supplier your desired shipment address and start working on selling channel. If you plan to sell them on your store, do your preparations to get it ready. If you want to work as ecommerce store, start building and marketing your store. Once you are done with initial selling point, you can diversify selling platforms by managing social media platforms and on third party websites like Amazon, Ebay, Walmart etc. too.

Marketing plays a crucial role in increased sales

Marketing works as pillar in making your brand known and reputable. It is said that right marketing contributes major role in building your brand and helps opens doors for increased sales marketing can be virtual or physical both. It is not necessary to spend more on marketing, in start you can use your free social media accounts like facebook, instagram, twitter etc. to reach handsome quantity of people. You can also boost your marketing with minimal amount to reach more audience by Facebook and other social media ad running option.

Either option you adopt to market your brand, be it virtual or physical but remember consistency is key. You need continuous hard and smart work to help your brand established soon. An additional tip is to work on customer’s persona, what triggers your targeted customers to buy more. What are their buying preferences and what are their pain points, Get opinions from relevant people as well and you will soon end up with something beneficial.

Building business relationships and partnerships

You might be a very good planner and business person but since you are novice in field and this is your first launch so it is better to seek help from professional consultant who has right knowledge of field and who can help you in taking right measures at right time, correcting your flaws and mistakes according to his precious experience.
Once you have successfully established your business, now you can scale up your business and for this you will need investment. So it is better to build strong business relationships in your selling industry during your journey, so when needed you can start joint ventures with collaboration of any reputed brand leading to the ultimate benefit for you both in terms of reputation and revenues as well.

Management of business

Once you are done with foundation of business now you need to hire a competent team to manage your finances and operations. You want team to supervise your suppliers, manufacturing of future orders, planning of sales and costs incurred in upcoming events. You further need to add value to your brand with making of business cards and opening a business account for your company. I hope this guideline article has helped you breaking down messy business idea. Patience, consistency and hardworking nature will surely make you able to achieve your dreams.

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