Starting a clothing company is a challenging experience, especially in an industry as competitive as fashion, yet many aspiring designers and fans of fashion often dream about starting their own clothing companies. Thankfully, with the right strategies, any fashion-forward entrepreneurs can launch their own retail business. Read on for key tips on how to start your own clothing company.
1. Create a Brand
No clothing company will ever be successful if they aren’t a memorable brand. As you are in the beginning stages of putting together a plan for your clothing company, think about your brand identity. This brand identity is the public identity of your company.
Your brand should communicate everything you hope your clothing company will be. This brand identity will eventually be represented through the designs you create, the clothing pieces themselves, and the connection that your customers build with the clothes and your company.
Research shows that customers are more likely to support a brand they have a real connection with. Thus, the more you are authentic in your endeavors to build your brand, the better. By creating a brand that gives customers an “experience”, you’ll be able to guarantee that your company will be memorable to your audience and will likely become one of their favorite brands
2. Make Your Business Plan
Once you’ve defined your brand, start analyzing the important details of funding your new business. This is the point in which you need to put together your business plan. This plan should cover everything from your business structure to permits, licensing, and all the expenses involved in starting and running a clothing company.
As you run the numbers and put together a budget for building your new business, keep in mind that you also need to have a plan for supplying all your inventory as well. For example, if you hope to sell screen printed tees in your new business, you’ll need to find a cost-effective supplier for the product that you’ll print your designs on. Not sure who to work with? Consider an ethically-minded company that can produce your shirts in bulk.
A company like the RibbedTee has undershirts for all climates, which is perfect if you are making clothing for all seasons of the year. Choosing a similar company as your manufacturer simply makes sense when building your new clothing brand. Working with a product from a quality manufacturer will guarantee that you are able to keep the production of your inventory sustainable, as well as affordable.
3. Build Your Budget
After making a working business plan, it’s time to determine the amount of money you’ll spend on your business and what your new budget will be. This budget should include everything from branding related expenses, rent for a physical workspace, operational business costs, designing tools and equipment, and the fees for any additional employees and contractors.
While your expenses will vary greatly depending on the type of clothing you intend to make, it’s very important that your budget allows your company to operate comfortably. As it will likely be a year or more before your company becomes profitable, your budget should leave room for your business to exist without being dependent on sales.
4. Create Your Website
Many clothing companies today are completely based online. Whether or not this will be true for your company, it’s essential for you to have a working website for your brand. Your web presence will help you better connect with interested visitors, potential buyers, and curious investors. With a website that is interactive and engaging, you’ll find that you’ll be able to make most or all of your sales online.
When building your website, make sure you have a design in mind that will completely embody your brand. All visitors to your site should be able to understand what your business is, what the brand is about, and where they can go to purchase your product. As you build your website, make sure to use high-quality visuals and effective design techniques. The easier a website is to navigate, the more time visitors will spend engaging with a website.
5. Plan Your New Collection
Once you’ve ironed out all the details for your business, it’s time to plan your new collection. This first group of clothing will feature your designs and creativity, solidifying your brand as a fresh voice in the fashion industry.
At this point in the business building process, it’s time to bring all your design dreams to life. Once you’ve determined the type of clothing you’ll make, refined your designs, and created a plan to manufacture the entire line of clothing, start creating and growing your inventory. Depending on the type of audience you’re catering to, you may have a fairly large collection or a small selection of clothing for your first pieces–whichever is the case for you, make sure these items truly reflect what your company stands for.
6. Promote Your Brand
With your new collection freshly produced, you’ll be ready to start making strides as the owner of a clothing company. Start putting your sales plan into practice by deciding where you will sell your new clothes. Once you’ve figured out where people will be able to shop for your looks, it’s time to start promoting.
Promotion and marketing can take on a variety of forms. Find the most effective means of promoting your brand and launch creative campaigns to spread the word about your company. The more people you attract to your company and clothing, the more you’ll improve your brand awareness, leading to an eventual increase in sales.
Many clothing companies take to promoting on social media, as well as targeting people through email marketing. By taking advantage of digital marketing efforts, you’ll have a better chance of targeting your niche audience.
As an entrepreneur in the fashion world, it’s important to do all you can balance your love for fashion and the best business practices. Regardless of what type of clothing you hope to create, you’ll find that this guide will help you start your new business. Keep applying these six strategies as you work to make your fashion dreams a success.