How to Start a Clothing Line

Everything you need to know about starting your own clothing line

Every well-known brand has a backstory. A clothing line that now dominates department shops may have started as a small business conducted out of the living room. While creating your clothing brand is challenging, with the help of internet marketing, it is possible to turn an unknown brand that you created in your bedroom into a nationally recognized clothing line.

Fewer barriers to entry

Before the evolution of the internet, the fashion industry was notoriously difficult to enter, let alone survive in. The big clothing companies spent millions on advertising to create brand awareness to keep their market focused on them. It was and still is very hard to get a retail chain to stock your range. Their trading terms made it difficult for the small business to make a profit as the chains forced down your price and offered less than ideal credit terms. It is not unusual for a big retail chain to take ninety days or more to pay its invoices.

The internet allows you to sell directly to the customer, and you can charge the total retail price. Your chances of survival are much higher when your product can return a good margin.

Make it legal

You will have to register your business when you start up. In this case, you should register an LLC (Limited Liability Company). This will protect you from your trade creditors in the event of bankruptcy. Employ a bookkeeper to manage your monthly accounts and your tax obligations. It is worth paying the extra money for this service so you can concentrate on launching your clothes line.

To keep on top of the day-to-day running of the company, use Quickbooks. This app will keep all your receipts and invoice in order so you can present them to your bookkeeper at the end of the month.

You might require a license for your clothes if you decide to import them. Ensure you have all the necessary permissions to avoid complications when your shipment arrives at the port.

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Your target market

When starting your clothes line, you will have to define your market. You will not be able to sell to both male and female, child and adult. The production costs would be prohibitive, and your brand will lack a real identity. If you decide to target the young adult female market (eighteen to twenty-five), you can create a product and marketing plan specifically for them.

Name and brand

Your name and brand should be the same as your brand name, featuring an eye catching and market-relevant logo. Your name is vitally important to attract customers to your website. It should be easy to say and read and internet friendly. It would be best to come up with a few names you like and then see what the professionals say about it. Business Name Generator will provide you with a name that will satisfy you personally and optimize your company when people search for clothes in your selected market.

Making a Website for Your Company

You’ll need to have a strong web presence when it comes to visibility.

The global women’s wear business generates $621 billion in annual revenue. The amount for menswear is $402 billion. The sportswear market is worth $90.4 billion, and children’s fashion is worth $186 billion every year.

These are big markets with dozens of small and large participants. The fashion and garment industry is a tricky business. Making your debut against so many well-established players can be practically impossible if you don’t find your niche.

A well-designed website can help your clothing brand achieve a few key objectives.

  • Reach out to a specific group of potential customers.
  • Increase brand awareness.
  • Create a positive image for your company.
  • Demonstrate that the company is forward-thinking, engaging, and welcoming.
  • Provide self-sufficient e-commerce selling options from the clothing retail network.
  • Make excellent marketing decisions.
  • Send out announcements to loyal consumers about upcoming events (sales campaigns) and new product launches to generate some buzz.

It’s almost as if your firm doesn’t exist if you’re not online these days.

It makes no difference if you’re aiming for a younger or older audience. A website allows you to express yourself authentically. As a result, in the event of future growth, you may boost customer loyalty, develop a brand persona, and reach out to new audiences.

Establishing a website isn’t as complex as it appears. Several hosting companies have specialized in providing their services to small enterprises that may lack technical expertise. We recommend BlueHost for website hosting because they offer a simple, one-click WordPress installation tool, a 60% discount on hosting, and a free domain name.

Adding a blog to your website is also a perfect idea to increase organic traffic and grow your business.

Company philosophy

Sustainability and environmentally friendly clothes are popular with your selected market. Finding a local manufacturer would be a good choice in these uncertain political times. If you have decided that you should make your clothing in small batches with organic cotton and fair labor practices, then go out and find a manufacturer that can supply these clothes for you. Have a look at this website for inspiration.

Plan your finances

Your clothing business will require more start-up capital than a standard internet business because of your branding and initial stock order. If you don’t have this capital, you can look to apply for a bank loan or look for a partner. When your business grows to a certain level, you might attract the attention of venture capital companies.

You will have to have a comprehensive business plan to present to the bank to get a loan. If you don’t know how to write a business plan, this article will help you.

Minimum order quantity (MOQ)

Arrange a meeting with a few production managers to discuss your needs. Please show them your designs and specify the fabric you want. If they can produce the garments for you, they will have an MOQ for each style, color, and size. You should be prepared for this, and your first order will probably cost in the region of $20,000. It is not worth it for the clothing manufacturer otherwise .as their machines need to be recalibrated every time they make a new item of clothing.

Seasonal planning

When you have chosen your manufacturer, you will have to plan your production. If you want to launch your first line in time for spring, you will have to factor in the lead time of your manufacturer. If the lead time is eight weeks, your order should be in sixteen weeks beforehand to allow for delays. The same applies to the summer, fall, and winter seasons. You will have to plan your marketing campaigns and cash flow analysis well before placing your first order to see if it will be feasible.

Don’t compete on price

You will not be able to compete on price with your clothing line. There are many reasons for this.

-Your organic fabric will cost more than other fabrics

-Your commitment to fair labor practices will increase the cost of your garments

-The relatively small initial orders will mean you will not qualify for any quantity discounts.

You will have to price your clothes at the upper-end of the market and hope that your customers appreciate the quality and design of your clothes and the eco-friendly and fair labor philosophy of your business.

Negotiate credit terms

When you make your first order, your supplier will ask for an upfront payment with the balance paid on delivery. This is standard practice for a new company. After the first order, you will be in a position to negotiate credit terms, and your supplier might grant you thirty days’ credit. This will help the cash flow of your business considerably. If you have a good payment record with the supplier, your credit terms will improve over time.

Limited run

You might decide only to make a certain number of items in a particular style when starting off. This will give your brand exclusivity. It will also keep your first order volume down. The customer will be able to see on the website how many items are in stock.

Monitor your stock

After you have launched, record what items are the most popular. Find out why they are so popular and build on this information. In contrast, investigate why some items sell slower than others. Try and find a way to improve them. If this is not possible, you should discontinue that style. Over time you will be able to streamline your range to maximize profitability.

Marketing

Marketing a clothing line can be prohibitively expensive. You will not be able to compete at the top level at the start. All the top-level clothing lines spend millions of dollars every year on fashion magazines in particular. It is essential to remember that clothes are not always about the physical make-up of the product. The hype surrounding it is just as critical. There are ways you market your product that can excite it and, as such, increase the demand for it. These are other ways you can sell your line at the start-up stage.

Facebook and Instagram

These two social media platforms are free and can be very effective in marketing your product. Facebook can direct your followers to your website. Instagram can show off your product to your followers. Start by wearing your clothes on your personal Instagram page, leading your followers to your business page afterward.

Fashion show

You can put on a fashion show for your friends and local fashion writers. This does not have to cost you a lot of money. Your friends can model your clothes for the audience. This fashion show will allow you to get feedback and increase your brand awareness. Invite the local paper and fashion magazine, and you will get free advertising.

Influencers

Influencers are a very effective way of marketing your product. Celebrities like Kendall Jenner make millions by wearing certain products. The new generation identifies with influencers and can be an effective way of gaining brand awareness and increased sales. If you can get an influencer to buy into your business philosophy, you can collaborate on the marketing of your clothes line. Of course, they will charge you for the privilege. This may be in the form of a one-off payment or on a commission basis for every item of clothing sold. It might even be a combination of both.

Working with an influencer that your target market can relate to will expedite the growth of your business. Everyone wins with this partnership. Your sales and brand awareness increase, the influencer gets paid, and the influencers’ followers get a discount on your product by using a promo code explicitly offered to them.

Conclusion

The chances of having a successful clothing line have increased because of the internet. It is now possible to sell your product directly to your customers through your website. This cuts out all the middlemen and allows you to maximize your profit. You can market your product on Facebook and Instagram. If you find an influencer that suits your target market demographic, your line will increase its brand awareness which will lead to increased sales.

Stick to your product philosophy of an eco-friendly product with fair labor practices. This will make your cost of production more expensive, so you should not and can not compete on price. Your product should be targeted to the upper end of the market. You might decide to offer your styles in limited quantities.

You will be able to negotiate good credit conditions from your supplier if you pay your bills on time and prove to them that you are trustworthy. This will improve your company’s cash flow situation, which is essential if you want to grow the business. When the business reaches a certain turnover, it might be time to look for a business partner to inject extra capital. This partner could be a venture capital company, for example. With this fresh capital on board, you can build your company and achieve the success you deserve.

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