Business • Brand
5 Tips for Starting a Clothing Business
A lot of people aspire to own clothing businesses because it seems reasonably easy to set up and manage it. However, maintaining a clothing line involves more than having a supply of high-quality fabrics. The ability to effectively advertise your products is essential, as well as selling them at a profit. Successful clothing businesses thrive mainly because the owner behind it is a fashion enthusiast that has a passion for clothing. The method of manipulating the forces of demand and supply needed to make the business profitable is just as crucial as the production of high quality and attractive clothes.
1. Create a clothing brand
According to Technasite, a good name and brand is very important for a clothing business. This will be the basis of the entire business, so; this step should not be played with. Ideally, the brand should symbolise the enterprise. The clothes people wear define their style; hence, your branding will determine the type of customers you attract. Furthermore, your brand should be original and not a clear copy of an already successful brand.
There should be a thought towards what customers would benefit from your business that they are unlikely to obtain elsewhere. Also, you should develop a picture of the kind of people you want to put on your clothes because these are the principles your business will be built upon. The brand logo, name, and website theme will be birthed by your decisions here. A person will likely get overwhelmed while processing all these thoughts due to the vast number of ideas a clothing business can be developed. Seeking public opinion is a fabulous way to know what people are more receptive to.
2. Develop the business structure
It is essential to know how far you are prepared to take your clothing business before you even start. Do you want to be a sole proprietor, partnership, or something larger? The choice is yours. If you seek to retain control of every operation and asset of the business, then Sole Proprietorship is the way to go. However, this decision comes with the responsibility for any financial hits the clothing business might take. Ordinarily, this is the most convenient way to start up the business and is the route most people follow.
Opting to be a Limited Liability Company is a more sophisticated approach, albeit safer. This business structure is similar to the one found in a corporation. It would be best if you decide the way you want to go early. Some research would be helpful as well as the services of a business lawyer to avoid mistakes that could harm your business in the long run. After determining the business structure, it should be licensed by the appropriate authorities.
3. Understand the finances involved
Before any business can get off the ground, it will need capital, and clothing business is no exception. Several things like license fees, brand logos, advertising, infrastructure, working tools, fabrics to work with, rent for the workspace, websites, etc. have to be paid for before any operation can begin. If you decide against working alone, you have to budget wages for your staff.
Estimate the amount needed to start-up and create a plan to bridge between that and what you currently have. However, this might mean seeking investors, getting an interested partner, or seeking loans from a corporate body. Whichever way you decide to go, have a fool-proof plan for offsetting the debt. If you choose to start small, it would be great to find out the amount of fabric needed for each dress so that you buy adequately and avoid wastage. Getting a wholesale supplier with reasonable prices is excellent if you want to pre-make clothes and sell them.
Since the goal of your clothing business is to make a profit, you should note the average cost of production of each dress and use these as a guide when setting the selling prices for them. Ideally, setting prices between 30 and 50 percent of what they cost to make brings in healthy profit and makes the operation worthwhile. Although, you should note that you have competitors, so taking a look at their price tags and comparing them to yours will give insight on the right prices to set.
4. Having an online presence
Nowadays, the average person is just a phone tap away from accessing the internet, so developing a significant presence online is the right way to go. Firstly, you have to create a website that will showcase what your clothing business has to offer your potential customers. A lot of people tend to research whatever they want to buy online before proceeding to make a purchase. Opening and maintaining a high-quality website would drive traffic to your brand.
The layout of your website should display a representation of your brand’s values. An average person should have no hassle accessing, navigating, and understanding the contents of your platform. The logo should be visible, and the background colours should be the same as that of your brand. Headlines and images should be attractive and alluring to prospective clients.
5. Create your debut collection
It is essential to define the kind of clothes you want to produce – whether sportswear, business, children, sleepwear. Also, you should know your target gender. The model your business would take should be known before any designs of your first collection would be released. There are a couple of widely-used models.
- Cut & Sew
This is when the designer orders raw fabrics and manually sews them into the finished product. This approach is the most common.
- On-demand printing
This is the most comfortable model to manage because it makes use of a third-party manufacturer that sells already made clothes. The designs in demand would be created and printed on the apparel before supply. They will be shipped to clients upon delivery.
- Custom production
This could either be ordering apparel from a third party and printing on custom designs yourself or hand making each dress to fit a particular individual.
Owning a clothing business is profitable and worthwhile if you are a fashion enthusiast. Although business knowledge is also helpful as it will help you manipulate the economics involved in running the brand. Furthermore, the enterprise should be licensed with the government, and tax should be paid regularly. Having a fantastic online presence would do a lot of good and would bring in more customers. Know your niche, advertise correctly, and be patient while your business grows.