According to statistics, the amount of sales from e-retail amounted to approximately 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars, worldwide in 2021. Fashion was listed to be the largest eCommerce market segment with a 9.1% yearly growth rate and is expected to reach 1.2 billion U.S. dollars by the end 2025.
Clearly, eCommerce businesses have evolved dramatically and more people are trusting the web to conduct business and purchase goods online.
So if you have the passion for fashion and have always been dreaming to make your own clothing line, this is the right time. Starting a clothing business at this time is easily setup, and we will guide you through with that.
Who Can Start a Clothing Business?
Clearly, anyone can start their own clothing business but you’ll definitely succeed faster if you have the following motivation:
- You love fashion and design. Always starting with what you love and what you do best will make it easy for you to start and maintain a clothing business.
- You want to make a difference. Do you have a better solution for the fashion market? Want to offer a more sustainable product? You can start a clothing business if you’re able to provide greater value for a specific market.
- You have a relationship with style and fashion. Are you fashionable and want to educate people about fashion? You can start an eCommerce website as a platform to earn money and share your insights about fashion.
- You know how to sew and make videos about it. If you’ve always loved sewing, designing patterns, and making clothes for your family or friends, you can start your own online clothing business.
- You want to earn more income. Any eCommerce business will give you an opportunity to earn extra income. If you want to venture into the clothing business, you are free to do so despite not having enough knowledge about fashion as long as you are determined to learn.
Yet, even if you have none of the above, you can start with your own clothing business. All you need to have is the decision from yourself that you want to put up a business.
It all starts with the intent. If you have the grit to do so, then why not?
Here are the steps to help you start your clothing business.
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Start Clothing Business
Step 1: Do Research on Your Target Market
Before starting your small business clothing store, consider that putting up a business requires you to know your niche, capital, and your business clothing line feasibility. That is how you start.
Here are the things that you should know when doing your market research:
- How old are your prospects?
- Where do they work?
- What are their gender preferences?
- What will make these people happy when they buy your clothes?
Make research ranging from different clothing business industries such as men’s clothes, women’s clothes, and children’s clothes.
Don’t forget to add trendy clothes to your store. Research says that a small clothing business may earn more when adding trendy clothes to its store.
One more thing, you should also research other clothing stores too to get to know your competitors. Study what your competitors do, how they engage with their clients, and what products they offer.
Step 2: Develop a Business Plan
“If you plan to fail, you fail to plan.” In doing business, start with a business plan. You plan about the niche you want to pursue, what market you want to include in your portfolio of clothes, and how you will start your business. Having a clear picture in your mind about the path you are taking is beneficial for you on how to create a clothing business.
Plan your business and be flexible. That is how you start your clothing business. If your first plan failed, that means you have one failure. Get right back on track and look for a solution. Failure is inevitable in a small business clothing store, yet there is always room for improvement.
Step 3: Find Out Where to Source Out Your Products
Knowledge about different options where you can source your products can help you with your small business clothing store. Check out which ones best fit your values and personality. Big companies use business models that are convertible to profit, which works.
The options to where you can source your products are available on the following:
- Produce your own product. If you know how to make clothes then this model is built for you. You know your forte, so why not work with passion and technology. You may need a sewing machine for this model. To add, a talent for taking videos and photos to make this work.
- Source out from manufacturers. No worries if you don’t have the skills to make your products. Find a partner who can. You can work with manufacturers, the good side here is you can have control over the product’s design. Take the wheel in making your product line.
- Reselling from others. Do you know someone who sells clothing who shares the same vision as you do? Collaborate with them and become their reseller.
- Dropshipping. This model is another example of a low-risk business model. Though it won’t allow you to control the design of your product, the third party holds the stocks for you and fulfills the product orders on your behalf online.
- Print on demand. talking about working smart. This model is a trend nowadays. You will work with a third-party service to print your design for ready-made products such as t-shirts and mugs. You don’t need to think about logistics because they will accomplish the customer request and ship the product to your customer.
Print on demand is a low-risk model with a small profit. The good side is that you don’t need to buy and store your products inside your house.
Also, while checking the source of your products, you should know the fabric you will use or be used for your clothing products. The comfort and satisfaction of your customers matter a lot.
There are mainly two types of fabrics: natural fabrics are made from nature, such as plant parts like seeds or stems, while artificial materials are made from other plants, such as fiber from a branch of a tree but are dipped or soaked with chemicals.
Here are the types of fabrics that you can choose from:
Wool: the fibers have tiny crimps that make this fabric warm. This fabric came from sheep and goats—best for the winter season.
Cotton: This fabric makes you feel fabulous because it allows the air to circulate. Best used during warm weather. It came from the cotton plant.
Silk: this is a fabric made from insects such as silkworms, beetles, and honeybees. This fabric is of luxury because of its softness and elegance—another product from insects. Hurray, Mother Nature!
Linen: This is a fabric that came from the flax plant. It is heavier than cotton and is excellent for products you can wear.
Polyester: This fabric is ideal for sports clothes
Spandex: this fiber is artificial and very elastic.
Nylon: are synthetic and stretchable materials best used in sports activities.
Rayon: This fabric came from a plant but with a mix of chemicals to make a thread.
Acrylic: this fabric is vital too.
Most sustainable entrepreneurs use eco-friendly clothes. So make sure to consider that when selecting the material and your product sources.
Step 4: Decide Where To Sell Them
The next step is to find a location where you want to sell your finished product.
There are different platforms that you can choose. Here are some of the online platforms you can choose from:
Wix: this platform is best when the online store is small.
Shopify: This platform is for big businesses.
Squarespace: This platform is best when you want more value for your money
SquareOnline: This one is best when you intend to sell for free
BigCommerce: great platform solely for online business needs
Big Cartel: the best online business platform for artists.
Step 5: Buy a Domain & Setup Your Store
When you want to get an online store, you need to have a website so people GLOBALLY can see your products. That is how to start a small clothing business from home if you never want to go to another office again.
There are different ways on how to obtain a domain. There are free websites such as GoDaddy, Wix, and WordPress.
Take note that you have limited options if you use a free website and you’ll achieve better chances and conversions if you choose a nice domain.
Step 6: Build Your Brand
Your brand will speak about you. You tell people what you do and why you are a brand. Small clothing businesses became successful because they have a brand that communicates to people what they do.
Choose your color, font, and style that stands out using simple tools such as Removal.AI to take off unwanted background.
Step 7: Arrange a Photoshoot
When selling clothing products online, you need to upload their pictures so people can see them. How you present your products through your images will help People see your promotions online. seem to forget that starting a clothing business means you need to take great images. Take a lovely photoshoot of your product.
Learn how to remove backgrounds to remove the unwanted eyesore from your background for the perfect social media photo.
Step 8: Make Your Product Photos Ready for Web
More people will draw closer to your photos. So make it web-ready. Learn how your photos look stunning both on a desktop computer and mobile phone.
The clothing business is a challenging niche, but it is rewarding seeing your photos on the web. You can use the following tools to make your photos ready and easy to find on the web.
- Removal.AI – a tool that you can use to remove unwanted backgrounds.
- TinyPNG – this will make your photos smaller and accessible to the web.
- Canva – a tool that you can use while mobile and in front of the desktop. This tool has hundreds of templates that you can choose from when editing your photos.
Step 9: Know How to Market Them
Engaging in social media marketing is usually the best strategy to build your brand. Social media is widely used by people and it will help you reach out to your prospects easily. Social media ads can also help you convert your visitors to users of your products.
There are also a lot of other strategies on how you can market your products online. Here are more examples:
- SEO. Search Engine Optimization will help you get better rankings on Google. The higher your rank, the more chances you’ll get conversions.
- Email Marketing. Reach out to your customers in a more personalized way through email marketing. This strategy can help you promote your products, help your customers with their concerns, and connect with them in order to gain more trust.
- Content Marketing. You can never promote your products without content. It might be in a form of blogs, videos, images, etc.
Knowing how to market your products will help increase the visibility and awareness of people about your clothing business. So make sure that you learn them and see what fits your business best.
Step 10: Find Tools to Automate Your Business
You should use technology to your advantage to reach your global market and earn more.
In this era, working smart is the new trend. If you plan to go global, use technology’s tools. Invest in learning the platforms that you need for your online store.
Add automation to your daily task. In automation, you can save time and money. One thing about automation is that you can do the recurring task using technology to work efficiently.
Not only that, you jive into the more critical task of sacrificing personalized customer service.
A better customer service experience can retain your users because it makes them feel valuable to your business. They are.
There are several tools that you can use when you automate your business.
Here are the following tools you can use
Mailchimp is one of the tools that can help you automate your emails to your users. You can add your personalized message to your users.
Hootsuite is a handy tool for your social media promotions and marketing. This tool will allow you to schedule your posts for a month.
You know that you are an entrepreneur when you are a solution maker. Trying to find a way to make people’s lives better is one heck of a ride, but it is rewarding in the end. It starts with knowing how to start a clothing business.
It takes seven years for your business to flourish and bloom, so from day one to the end of year seven onwards, give your best and learn new things. Who knows what your future will look like, but you are already starting your journey.
Trust the process of learning and failure. Every business encounters such. All you need is a clear direction and a strong media presence.
So, get up and start your clothing business! Start learning and build your empire in the clothing industry. You should also try and learn how to sell on Amazon FBA aside from building your own website to expand your options. The journey will be barriers along the way, but your journey to your dream is your path to take, not others.
Remind yourself this quote, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu.
Miguel Davao particularly loves to write content on social media, design, photo-editing tools, and content writing tips.
He works as a full-time writer at Removal.AI – an AI tool used to remove bg from images for social media, eCommerce, web, app development, and marketing automation.