Starting a clothing brand is hard. Starting a successful one is a one in ten shot. Here are some tips to success for new apparel brands.
Establishing your own business is no piece of cake and when the success rate of your industry is less than others, you ought to be more careful and well planned. The reason pertaining to this low success rate might be attributed to the high rate of competition, changing fashion trends and lack of prior business experience as the owners are mostly designers. But among all this hardships and obstacles, if you have designed proper steps for your business, you are definitely going to succeed. Take a quick look at 10 steps to success for clothing industry startups.
Research about your industry
Before jumping on the bandwagon to start your own company try doing a research about your industry. Look out at what the successful companies in this space did, the strategies they followed, etc. Following are the best ways we think you can do to have a proper research for your industry-
- Read out research journals, blogs, publications, etc. related to your industry which can help you get the perspective of current scenarios as well as future trends.
- Try contacting a veteran of your industry for mentorship and guidance.
- Join various discussion board and groups related to your industry. Try participating in the discussion and ask your doubts in these groups.
Look out for competitors
Knowing your competitors is the key to a successful business. Try finding who your direct and indirect competitors are. Suppose you have custom t-shirt business, then you ought to look for other players in this space. Try studying about their business model, target customers, advertising strategy, etc. Also, try to know what are the things your competitors are planning to do. This can be easily done by visiting your competitor’s blog and subscribing to their newsletter.
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Therefore, plan everything in advance from manufacturing to branding to advertising, etc. The better you have planned, the more are your chances of getting success.
To plan effectively create a business plan that has your brand’s values, objective, sales plan, etc. that can serve as a guideline to operate your business.
You might have created an awesome line of product, but are people going to buy it? This is the most important question you must ask yourself. Get an opinion from your potential customers, friends, and people in your industry.
You can create a form using any online survey sites like type form and share it in relevant group, pages, etc. You may give the people who submit the complete form an extra discount once you launch a product. Keep in mind that these surveys are very effective as only genuine people would take the pain to fill up the entire form and as such you might be getting your first few clients.
Get a Business Partner
Having a business partner is a boon. You can easily divide the work among yourselves, discuss on important issues and most importantly there would be a person you can look upon during the ups and downs of your business.
First, try to get a business partner from your contacts as this way it would be easy to build trust and most probably you would be knowing the person. If you cannot find anyone from your contacts who you think can be of help in your startup, try using co-founders site like cofounderslab.
Managing your Finance
The most important thing for opening your startup is knowing your finance requirements. You must plan out the expenses that you are going to incur in the course of running your business. Also, do not forget to add an unexpected fund which might come in use in case any such event happens.
Create a 3 years revenue plan denoting your expenses and probable income. This would prove highly useful when sourcing fund for your company.
Manufacturing and Deciding Pricing Structure
You need to manufacture your clothes and as such you need to plan where your manufacturing unit would be. Get familiar with the local laws and rule for such setup.
One of the most difficult decision is to set up your pricing structure. Think again of the custom t-shirt design business we discussed above. Since you would mostly design personalized tee shirts, you must set the minimum order, the price per order, etc. Thus we would say that you should decide on your pricing structure only after carefully considering the expenses and profit margin you seek.
Marketing your Business
Marketing is the key to success for a clothing industry startup. As such you need to devise an amazing marketing strategy for your company to attract and retain your target customer. Keep in mind that most of your customer are digital, so you must have a proper plan for your digital marketing.
Come out with innovative ideas to market your product and at the same time do not overlook traditional marketing. One of the most popular traditional marketing trend followed by clothing industry is giving t-shirt with their company logos inscribed on it.
Set up Goals
Goals help a company to track whether it’s on the right path or not. Create a small achievable goal for your company and give it a time frame. From time to time review your goals according to your current business scenario. You can use various online tools where you can list your goals and set up a reminder for the same.
Do not Lose Motivation
Do not lose motivation if your company does not get good sales in initial days. Everything needs a proper time to reach and create buzz among its audience. Thus give your business a little time.
In the end, we would say that with a better planning and hard work, one can definitely create a market for their product in the clothing industry. What do you say, guys? Do share your views.
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