Starting a clothing business from home can be a daunting prospect.
However, there are 30.2 million small businesses operating around the country right now. That’s almost 1 business to every 11 people!
Hopefully, those statistics provide reassuring proof that starting a business is more than possible. If they can do it, then you can too.
All the same, it pays to have some guidance from the outset. Rushing into the process without necessary forethought is a recipe for costly future mistakes. Taking the time to understand the requisite steps is key to success.
We want to help! Are you thinking about starting your own home clothing business?
Read on for 7 essential steps to making it happen.
1. Conduct Market Research
You’re excited, raring to go, and sure your ideas will be a hit.
It’s tempting to jump straight into the design work.
You never know- you might be right! You could be in the right place at the right time with the perfect product. People may snatch your clothes off the shelves quicker than you can make it.
However, that eventuality’s far from guaranteed. You’re more likely to end up with stacks of inventory and nobody to buy it; you’ll have wasted time and money in the process.
A better approach is to conduct extensive market research before anything else. All business owners need a solid understanding of the market before they enter it. You have to understand the competition, as well as the (potential) gaps and opportunities.
You may discover a hugely underserved market that’s just waiting for you to create clothes for them. That’s where you’d focus your efforts.
2. Pick a Niche
An understanding of the market will help you pick a niche.
Now, you might wish to create clothes that everybody will love. Alas, there are already 100 other stores satisfying that demand. Narrowing down your target audience to a particular niche can allow you to gain greater traction.
Targeting a specific pocket of demand means you stand out from the start. You’re addressing a need that few others are. Equally, deciding upon a niche will help target your efforts as well. It’s like a mission statement that focuses your attention on a particular course of action.
The niche itself will depend heavily on the market research you’ve conducted. It could be anything, from broader areas such as boys’ outdoor clothing, men’s underwear, to smaller niches like accessories for big babies!
3. Create a Business Plan and Budget
With your niche and market research finished, it’s time to create a plan of action.
A business plan is an important step in the success of any new venture. The plan lays out your goals and charts a course for achieving them.
It’s also an opportunity to think about potential problems and to plan how to overcome them. You should also think about how you’ll advertise, promote and actually sell the products you’ll create.
Set a budget too. You want to know how much money you’ll need to bring your ideas to fruition.
Your market research will facilitate this. You’ll know about the competition and understand the target market, with data that backs up intentions and ideas.
4. Get Practical
It’s time for some practical planning.
There are all sorts of things to think about here (many of which you’ll have covered in the business plan).
For example, where will your business operate? Sure, it’s a home business, but will you sell products online or in-person? Will you need a store or warehouse to hold inventory? What licenses and permits do you need, and what regulations do you have to satisfy?
Then there are the official factors to consider. You don’t want any legal issues down the line. Consulting with an attorney could be important to avoid them. The business structure, accountancy, and tax situation must be settled as well.
Finally, there’s the matter of funding. How will you get the money together? Without savings, you’ll need investment. Bank loans, angel investors, venture capitalists, and loans from friends and family are all possibilities.
5. Design Your Clothes
Time for the fun to start!
Designing your clothes is where you get to satisfy your creative spark. The development of your products will be vital to the success of your business too.
Remember to keep your niche and target audience in mind throughout. You must solve their problems, satisfy their needs, and plug the gap you’ve found in the market.
Similarly, consider your brand and label. Effective branding will be a vital step to standing out from the competition and becoming a recognizable label. Think about the style of your clothes and the image you want your products to hold in consumers’ minds.
Everything from your website (which you need) to the packaging and the clothing itself inform your brand. Ensure there’s a cohesive and coherent branding strategy throughout.
6. Find Resources and Manufacturers
With the designs ready, you need to find somebody to make them.
Again, you may have highlighted prospective manufacturers in the planning section. Furthermore, you might be making the clothes yourself! This step obviously doesn’t apply to you if that’s the case.
The best manufacturer will depend on your specific needs. Everything from their location, to speed of delivery, cost, and ethos could factor in your decision.
Ask around for recommendations. Do more online research to assess your options. Oh, and don’t forget your brand! The quality of materials and manufacture will inform how people perceive your label.
7. Start Selling!
You’ve now got everything in place to start selling your products!
Whether you’ve created a single item or an entire catalog, it’s time to bring it to market.
It can pay to prepare for this step ahead of time. Get yourself a website and social media accounts in advance. Start developing a following through content marketing and outreach. Post examples of your designs to generate a buzz around the coming launch.
A ‘pre-fabricated’ audience to advertise your new clothes can make a mighty difference.
Time to Start Your Clothing Business from Home
There you have it: 7 key steps to starting your very own clothing business from home.
The thought of launching your own clothing line can be both exciting and daunting. Thankfully, though, it’s more than possible. Indeed, millions of new businesses launch every year. There’s no reason why you can’t do the same.
Hopefully, this post has provided some useful insight into the process of making it happen. Good luck!
Want more articles like this? Check out similar posts in the business advice section of the blog.