It is no surprise if you are pumped to open up a clothing store because apparel stores simply bag multi-billion profits annually. However, starting your clothing brand is not a walk in the park. You should regard several factors, and having a successful store relies on the niche you select, the branding you establish, the quality of your products, and the customer service you administer. So if you are still eager to be a part of the growing apparel industry, this article is just for you. Here are the things you should do before launching your clothing brand.
Determine Your Niche
You are probably a creative individual with something new to offer the fast-paced clothing industry or already have a brilliant design in mind for your target audience. Whatever is your reason for starting up, it is essential to determine your niche from the beginning.
For example, do you want to start a sports clothing line? A maternity clothing brand? Or do you want to focus on children’s products? Do you want to promote cruelty-free and sustainable clothing for babies?
In essence, you need to define your niche and stick to it. Even if you tend to branch out onward and introduce several other clothing styles, the original idea provides you a legacy, and a reason to be remembered.
Create a Business Plan
Whether you are starting big or small, any type of business must have a well-thought business plan. Keep in mind that the fashion world is difficult to forecast. Thus, your objectives should be flexible, yet there are no guarantees, so you must be up for the challenge. Here are some of the things you should list down to your plan.
Draw Your Budget
You can start with one design you like. Focusing on one thing before jumping to the next will help you decide how to spend your budget while keeping in mind the goals you want to achieve. Still, you need to have room for flexibility since you may not know the price of particular materials yet.
Moreover, your funding will also rely on whether you plan to design and make clothes yourself or purchase clothes from other designers at wholesale. Either way, you can simply seek professional help for sourcing materials or products to help you get what you need. You can check MatchSourcing to help your company.
Create a Business Analysis
You will also need to structure your business analysis to understand your target audience and competitors. This data does not have to be concrete and data-oriented. As long as you determine your business overview, operational standpoints, and financial budgeting, then you have something to keep on going forward.
Persons Involved in Your Business
Your business plan should also outline the people involved in the company and what their roles are. For instance, you will need to indicate the individuals involved in your products, branding, sales and marketing, and even the operations.
Organize Your Business
Even if you are not writing an all-out business plan, there are things that you need to apply or do to organize your business. Since you are already investing time and effort to achieve your goals in the future, it would be best to put down in writing your business ideals and answer the following questions:
- Where is your business location?
- How does your business work?
- Who’s running things?
- Do you have a product catalog?
- How are you going to market and create a buzz for your clothing designs?
- Do you have an insurance policy?
- Do you have a financial backup?
Create Your Designs
For any type of clothing enterprise, the most exciting stage is the product development phase. Once your design concept is ready, it will be turned into digital sketches using a computer program, such as Adobe Illustrator, and this app can do the hard work for you.
When it is done, you can forward the important data to your manufacturer. It should have your product’s information and technical specifications – from design and precise measurements to materials and other necessary features.
Establish Your Brand
As a clothing professional, you are likely creative. This trait will help you in developing your brand for your startup apparel business. Branding your business is essential because it will convey your company’s ethics, goals, and values.
So pick a brand name that should be appealing to your target market. Also, it should be unique. It can be your name, just like the Hugo boss or Tommy Hilfiger brand, a catchy phrase, or based on the age of your audience or your product material, such as Fish & Kids and Old Navy.
In this stage, you should now be decided if you are the one who will manufacture your designs or you will need to outsource? If you choose the latter, you need to start looking for the ideal manufacturer who can meet your requirements.
Once you picked your supplier, it is time to get a sample. Have your selected manufacturer run a small batch of your creations. From this point, you can check right away if there is a need for alterations. If everything seems alright to you, then you can give a go signal for mass production.
Take It to Market
After the clothing production and testing their quality, you are on to the next stage – selling them to your target market! It is time to get serious in terms of selling your clothes. Moreover, you will have some decisions to make before boxing up your first garment. Here are the things you need to consider:
- The price of your products
- How to market your brand?
- Are you planning to create an online store?
- Organize any good deals or promotions
- How will you deal with product returns or customer issues?
And that concludes our step-by-step guide! The key to any successful clothing business is the ability to tap into the intention of buying apparel. This is why you need to penetrate a specific niche and separate your brand from your close peers, then follow it up with quality clothes, cool designs, and good customer service.