Starting any business, much less starting a clothing line, is a huge, difficult challenge. Fortunately, while any business takes a lot of hard work, getting started doesn’t have to be so complicated. Below are nine things you must do:
1. Do your research and come up with a marketable idea
Don’t start a company merely because you are passionate about the product or service. Every idea may be a good idea, but not every idea can sell. Brainstorm and write down everything you can come up with. Read all you can about the industry and make sure you know everything you possibly can before starting.
2. Prepare a failure-proof business plan
Don’t be among those who start a business without drawing up a plan. A business plan may be difficult to prepare, especially if it is a good one, but once you do, you have a much higher chance of success and the basis of what you will present to potential investors and partners.
In your plan, you should define your concept; anticipated cost of production; pricing plan; how to raise the capital; a marketing plan etc.
3. Define your target market
Who do you intend to sell to? Your business cannot and must not be for everybody. Knowing your target market helps in determining the niche you should go into or vice versa.
4. Choose a niche and focus on it
There are so many things you can do under the name “clothing line.” Do you want to produce women’s suits, men’s shirts, underwear, or babies’ pants? What kind of brand or collection do you want? Do you want to produce color tee-shirts, plain ones, or tee-shirts with designs? Do you want to print pictures on them, make them plain or write on them? What is the current trend? How can you fit in?
5. Set feasible business goals
Don’t start your business without setting any goals. A goal will keep you focused. It will help you to measure your success or failure, too. Set your goals before you start. For instance, how many t-shirts do you plan to sell in a year, a month and in a week?
6. Identify and observe your competition
Before you start your clothing line, look out for the people that have been in the business before you; they are your competition. Study them and find out what they are doing well and what they’re doing wrong. Look at their designs and let what you see inspire you to come up with better designs. One easy way you can do this is by visiting their blogs.
7. Handle finances wisely
Starting a clothing line is going to cost you money. So make plans on how you can raise money for your new business. There are so many conventional ways you can do that. The unconventional ones include getting an Angel investor to invest in your idea, crowd sourcing, or even by selling off a couple of things you no longer need.
Either way, you may need to make some sacrifices as you get the money together to pursue your dream venture.
8. Avoid pricing mistakes
When I started my first business, one of the major challenges I faced was how to fix the price. It took my asking a lot of questions, and doing my own research to learn how to fix my prices. While fixing your price, you should consider the actual cost of production. And this includes just about every expense you made including labelling, marketing and advertising, screen printing, shipping costs, and labor etc.
Now this may seem a little tricky because you also need to consider what your prospective customers can afford to buy. So you have to strike a balance. The most important thing is to make sure that your price will allow you to make a profit after you must have covered all the costs.
9. Develop a good promotion and marketing strategy
The first way you can promote and market your brand is by wearing it. After that, you need to figure out how you can spread the word as far as possible. You can do this by taking your business online, employing social media advertising, making press release to blogs, posting comments, and exchanging links with other blogs.
Last but not least
Decide today not to quit at the slightest opportunity you get. Keep your spirit up by surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people, reading inspiring books, and attending seminars. Even if you make a mistake, correct it, learn your lesson, but don’t give up.
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