If you are creative and have a thing for fashion, you can consider starting a clothing line. In reality, there are many ways to venture into the clothing line business. For instance, you can begin by designing printed T-shirts. There are different processes involved in starting a clothing line. These processes are broken down into steps in this post.
Why You Should Start a Clothing Line Business:
a. Not Capital Intensive: The good thing about a clothing line is that it is not capital intensive. Whether you are starting with a small budget of $50 or a bigger budget like a million dollars, there is room for you in the fashion industry.
b. Profitable: The fashion industry is generally a billion dollar industry and a profitable industry at that.
c. High Demand: Clothing is one of the basic needs of humans. There is a high demand for clothing of any kind. You are sure to build a successful business out of the fashion industry with smart work and dedication.
The downside of Starting a Clothing Line Business:
a. Competition: Despite all the benefits of starting a clothing line business, there is a downside to it you should know. The side of venturing into it is that there is competition in the industry. Starting a clothing line means competing with other fashion giants. The way out of this is to create a niche in the industry creatively.
How to Start a Clothing Line Business In 8 Steps
Step 1: Decide on an Apparel Line:
It was mentioned earlier that competition is quite stiff in the fashion industry and the way to survive is to become creative. The first step to take even before drawing a business plan is to decide on an apparel line. What kind of clothes will your company manufacture? If you can’t figure out this from the onset, you may find it difficult to carve a niche for your business in the saturated industry. Some options available are shirts (long sleeve and short sleeve), shorts, gym wears, jeans, formal clothing, dress, underwear, T-shirts. It is advisable to start with a particular apparel line and branch out to others as you build your market base.
Step 2: Draw up a Business Plan:
The next step is to create a business plan. The vital details of business are contained in a business plan. That includes short-term and long-term goals of the business. For a clothing line business line, details you have to include are; your competitors, how you intend to carve a niche in the industry, what makes your brand unique, the unique need you plan to solve with your product, how to build a brand for the company.
Step 3: Source for Funds:
Funds are important requirements in starting any business including a clothing line business. You have to figure out a way to source for the funds for your business. Since starting a clothing line is not capital intensive, you can use your savings (if you have any) to start the business on a small scale. Other places to source for funds are from banks, peer-to-peer lending and finding investors for the business. Most times, investors do ask for a business plan when pitching your idea to them. It’s best to have a business plan handy before going to pitch your ideas.
Step 4: Incorporate Your Business:
The next step is to handle the legal aspect of your business. You can run your clothing line business as a small business, but there is a need to register it as a company. The first step is to choose a business structure. The business structure you choose will determine the management structure of your company and also the tax mode that applies. For instance, if you intend to run the business as a sole proprietorship, your business tax will be paid together as a personal tax. This post outlines different business structures available to help you make an informed decision. If you are going to be working on unique designs, then you have to consider registering a trademark for your patterns.
Step 5: Obtain Licenses:
There are some registrations and licenses you have to obtain to run a business in the fashion industry. The license you obtain will depend on your state. For instance, if you intend to start the manufacturing of apparels in states like New York, California or New Jersey, you have to apply for the Garment/ Apparel registration certification. This certification can be obtained from the department of labor or similar departments in the state. Make inquiries in your state’s labor department to know the licenses you need to run a clothing line business in the state. Also, remember to apply for an Employer’s Identification Number if you intend to run your business as a partnership or a corporation.
Step 6: Handle Production:
The next and crucial step is in the production. How do you intend to produce your apparel? Will the production be done in-house or will you outsource to an external company? These are options you have to figure out before you start your business. Each option has its pros and cons. For instance, setting up for in-house production can be capital intensive and labor intensive too, but it’s a cheaper option in the long run. Outsourcing to a third party manufacturing company makes the entire process less time consuming and its good for large-scale production. The downside is that the cost of production will cut into your profits. Also, you have to decide if you are going to produce on demand or produce in wholesale quantity. In-demand production is suitable for apparels like printed T-shirts and low scale production while wholesale quantity is for upscale clothing lines.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Manufacturer for Your Clothing Line:
If you intend to outsource production to a third party manufacturer, then you have to consider the cost or production. The cost of production should be low enough to help your company make a sizeable profit after logistics. Also, you consider the manufacturers track record with previous jobs.
Step 7: Branding:
Branding is essential to building a successful clothing line business. Your brand is not just about your company logo. Your company branding should be reflected in the unique designs of your clothing and the quality of your clothing.
Step 8: Advertise Your Business:
Gone are the days when the build it and they will come saying works. You need to go all the way to showcase your products.
Ways to Market a Clothing Line Business:
Marketing your clothing line business will require creativity.
a. Blog: You can start a blog and make updates on the latest happenings in the fashion world. The will help you build an organic audience that you can convert to buyers.
b. Influencers: You can engage social media influencers to help create massive awareness for your products.
c. E-commerce Platforms: Creating an e-commerce store will help you reach more buyers than having an offline store.