You love clothes, you have ideas, you love fashion. Perfect! Yet the most important thing you need to have settled before you even start your clothing line is to develop a solid business plan. In order to make this work for both you and your potential customers, there are things you need to take into account.
You hear the word business and immediately think of numbers, right? Well, although creating a plan such as this entails a large amount of number crunching abilities, it is not only that. We will break it into several categories so you can start wrapping your head around it!
Crunching some numbers
Costs: You need to project how much it would cost to get your business going for a whole year. In fashion terms, that would be four seasons. You also have to think of profitability. Are you planning on doing this as a hobby, something that can slowly grow? Or are you planning on making this your sole income?
Fund it yourself or through a bank? : You have to take into account that if you do need to apply for a loan, you might need collateral as proof, and that’s not always an easy matter to come across.
Do you need extra hands? : will you be making the clothing yourself? Do you need employees? If it turns out that the business scale that you are thinking of is a large one, you might find yourself needing help. Will that help be part time or full time? How many hours a week? How much do you have to pay them?
Materials: will you be buying materials from your own country or will you outsource them? Many companies that are overseas tend to have a minimum for the purchase, so consider that beforehand and ask as many questions (and save the replies in written form for guarantee) as you can before you buy the fabrics and materials.
Knowing what’s out there
You need to get your research going. Get to know your competition, their product, what they charge for it. Figure out how much would your particular product retail for. Also think of the eventual wholesale price. Selling in large quantities is something that people don’t always think about.
Think of your target market. Where do they buy clothes? How much do they spend in clothes? How do they find out about what’s new? Do they big name brands or are they more inclined to new independent designers?
Who is that?
You need to figure out a brand. Yet, a brand is so much more than name: is how you portrait yourself, how people see you. You develop a series of values and principles that define you and you have to make sure that they come across to your customers through your brand.
Branding through your name: make sure you pick a name that really represents you. It can work to use your own name. Sometimes it can be a concept, a foreign word even; and then register it for trademark.
Branding through your product: you can add details to your product than can directly be related to your brand in your costumer’s minds. Use a clever label, tag or packaging.
Branding through your logo: you need to choose a font and/or icon that represents you. Think of this very well so you don’t need to change it. This is how you will be recognized at first glance. Make a choice and stick to it.
As far as business plans go, you have plenty to work from! We hope you found it useful and start your clothing line as soon as possible!