If you love clothing and have always dreamed of being your own boss, the time may be right for you to stop dreaming and take action. With the world more connected than ever, it can be easier to connect with manufacturers, collaborators and potential clients around the world. Starting your own clothing business might seem intimidating, but with a little hard work, you can become successful in the fashion industry. Working for yourself doing something you love can be much more fulfilling than working at a business in another industry where your efforts help to make someone else rich.
Here are some of our top tips to help you find success with your clothing business launch.
Don’t Forget The Business Side
If you are an artistic, creative person, it’s easy to get caught up in the fashion part of owning a clothing line . Drawing up fashion designs and posting about what you are passionate about online is a vital part of your future business, but in addition to coming up with clothing that people will love, you also have to do the work of operating your business. Figuring out things like how much money you’ll need to start the business, how long it will take you to prepare enough sample pieces, and where you’ll market your clothes to potential customers should be done long before you start trying to sell anything. With a plan in place, you’ll have a better idea of what needs to be done and what order you should complete tasks in to keep everything flowing smoothly.
Research the top things to avoid when starting your clothing line so you can learn from the mistakes others have made. Planning is a key component of your success or failure in the industry, so it is well worth your while to spend just as much time on your business plan as you do on creative elements like your designs.
Zero In On Your Niche
Sewport CEO Boris Hodakel says that one of the biggest mistakes that potential clothing business owners make is starting too big. Instead of trying to offer clothing for every type of consumer, it’s important to focus on what you are good at and showcase that. This allows you to save on costs in multiple ways:
- Fabric and embellishments can be used across the line to create a cohesive feel, which saves on supplies
- Marketing costs are less when you focus on one type of consumer instead of trying to reach everyone
- Design can be handled in house by focusing on your expertise allows you to handle design yourself instead of bringing in assistant designers
After you reach success with your first collection, you can expand to include more collections for other markets you want to reach. With an established following, it will be easier to reach consumers in new markets. The fans and followers you already have can act as an advertising network to help refer new clients.
Make Yourself Stand Out
While your clothing line might seem unique and distinctive to you, it needs to stand out in a crowded marketplace. There are many existing clothing brands on the market and new ones coming out each day, so finding points that make you stand out is vital to your success. In addition to your own opinion, you’ll need to get unbiased opinions from people within your target market. This will help you better understand the perception of potential customers with no sentimental attachment to your clothes. You can conduct this research yourself if you are starting out with a small budget, by recruiting people online or at local small business groups to participate in a focus group . Show them samples of the clothing and any marketing materials you have prepared, and have a feedback form where they can express thoughts and reactions. Review these after the group participants have left to avoid making them nervous, but ensure that you have contact information so you can get clarification on comments that are unclear.
These are just a few of the steps that you should take to get ready to launch your clothing business successfully. As your business continues to grow, you’ll learn much of the new information you need to be successful through trial and error. Learning from your experience will only help you be a more well-rounded and successful girl boss.