Starting and managing a clothing company is no easy feat. If you need some advice, here are the top 10 smart tips you need to know before launch.
None of the top names in fashion got to where they are overnight or by chance – so why should you?
Whether you’re trying to create a new fitness clothing company or enter the high-end fashion market, the most important thing to remember is that these things take time. Launching a business is a lot of work, and trying to do so in a highly competitive and fast-paced industry is even more challenging.
But, it’s definitely not impossible! You have as good of a chance as anyone to become the next fashion sensation. You just have to go for it and act intelligently as you do so.
If you’ve decided it’s finally time to launch the clothing company of your dreams, keep reading for 10 tips to help you make this vision come to life.
1. Do Some Serious Market Research
The first step of starting a business is to do market research. You have to get a feel for who your biggest competition is going to be, what people really want, and how trends in fashion and beauty are expected to change.
Information is your biggest resource going into your launch process. The date your research provides is what will guide everything from how expensive your products will be to the styles they represent and the people they’re going to be targeted for.
2. Choose a Niche
Once you have an idea of what the biggest opportunities for you to enter the fashion industry are, it’s time to choose a niche. Decide what kind of clothing you’re going to make and for whom.
Maybe you decide your clothing company is going to be all about fitness and strength, or maybe you want it to be a crossover of street style and casual wear. There’s also the opportunity of entering the high-fashion market by designing ball gowns, wedding dresses, or men’s suits.
Whatever you do, though, you have to hone in on one part of the fashion world and create your clothing company’s unique style. From there, you can then expand into new niches in the future.
3. Define Your Ideal Customer
Choosing a niche helps define your target audience, but it doesn’t give you all the details you need to succeed. You need to know who you’re dressing.
Imagine if you were going shopping with your best friend or your mother. You’d know exactly what kind of style they like, the brands they draw their wardrobe inspiration from, and the amount of money they’d be willing to spend.
Defining your ideal customer works in the same way. You need to understand how they think when they go shopping. You should know everything about them from how they like to dress to the kind of home they live in, the salary they make, and where they’re wearing their new outfits out to.
4. Identify the Retail Setup You’d Like to Have
This part of the launching process has a huge effect on how your business operates. Are you trying to open a retail store that people can come into and physically shop in, or do you want to launch an e-commerce clothing company?
There are pros and cons to each.
A physical location will require more overhead from the get-go, but it can pay off in the long run as you create strong relationships with your regulars and make a name for yourself. A digital clothing company, on the other hand, has a much lower barrier to entry and it does have the potential to create loyal customers if you do it right.
5. Start Creating New Designs
No matter how you choose to sell your clothes, you have to create clothes that people actually want to buy! This part of the launch process requires you to think about manufacturing operations, shipping procedures, and inventory management.
You’ll likely find yourself partnering with various vendors in this step. As you’re comparing different opportunities and establishing vendor relationships, you also have to set aside time to create new designs.
Think of the season in which you plan to launch and what your ideal customer will be shopping for during that time. Pay attention to upcoming trends, and draw inspiration from clothing companies like Morning Lavender that are known for making beautiful designs.
6. Test Your Products and Get Feedback
You can have a beautiful clothing design on paper and still end up with a product that’s average at best. That’s why it’s so important to find the right manufacturers and to test your products before you launch your company.
This helps you understand the quality of the clothing you’re offering. Testing products helps you decide which fabrics to use and what kind of designs look best. it gives you real data to go off rather than just guessing what works and what doesn’t.
To make sure you’re on the right track, consider doing a soft launch with friends and family or letting loved ones wear some of your clothes for free. That will give you a better idea of what needs to be fixed and what’s already doing well.
7. Hire a Professional Photographer
Another reason to test products before the company’s launch is to have enough items on-hand to do a photo shoot.
This is your chance to get product shots of all your designs to put on your company website. It’s also a great opportunity to create marketing material.
8. Market Your New Business Like Crazy
That’s right – you have to start marketing your business before you launch it. That’s the only way to get people to start buying your products from the very first day you open for business.
Some of the best marketing opportunities to take advantage of are digital campaigns and pop-up events. Digital marketing is fairly inexpensive and it helps you reach a lot of your audience at once. Pop-up events work amazingly well for fashion companies because they give people a chance to actually try on your clothes and get to know what you’re all about.
9. Think About Hiring Brand Ambassadors
Speaking of marketing, have you considered hiring brand ambassadors?
This is one of the best ways to generate a buzz about your clothing line.
Brand ambassadors are people who wear your clothes and share your products with people on social media and in real life. They help you gain exposure and build trust with your market, which is huge as a new business.
10. Consider Offering a Few Sales
The final thing you can do when you’re ready to launch is to kick things off with a sale.
Putting items on sale for the first week or just a few days helps to get a lot of people’s attention. It can build your brand awareness with potential customers and convert a good number of people into customers from the start.
How to Keep Growing Your Clothing Company
It’s one thing to have a successful launch for your business and another to ensure it does well long-term. This is why many of the tasks mentioned above are worth taking your time with and getting just right.
The last thing you want is to launch and realize you haven’t defined your audience as well as you could have or that your clothing isn’t as high-quality as you expected it to be. As far as continued growth goes, the key is to use the momentum you gain from your launch to keep expanding. Smart marketing and good customer service make a big difference, too.
For more entrepreneurial tips and tricks to ensure your clothing company does well, click here.