Hi-Fella Insights

A Journey of How to Start a Clothing Business 2023

Fashion is one of the cultural products that shows the development of the times. From time to time, fashion has evolved, changing models and tastes according to our needs. Surely launching a clothing business is such a perfect choice nowadays. Clothing business combines creativity, entrepreneurship, and an understanding of consumer preferences. As styles and trends continue to shape the way we dress, the prospect of starting a clothing business is high. But how to start a clothing business?

How to start a clothing business?

It might be difficult to launch a business from scratch but don’t worry as we are gonna uncover how to start a clothing business step by step. According to Forbes, there are 9 steps you can do to start a clothing business.

  1. Know what type of clothes you want to sell
    There are so many types of clothing out there. Casual clothing, classic, retro, vintage, sporty, and so on. There are also traditional clothing, modest clothing, or even graphic design on a tee. Deciding your niche could narrow down your target market. You can make a solid brand if you stick to one niche.
  2. Know your audience
    After you decide what you want to sell, it’s important to know what type of audience your niche holds. Try to imagine who would wear your clothes and where they gather. You can try to ask yourself a few questions to determine your audience like who they are, where they shop, do they care about trends, what are their preferences of pricing, and what influences them to buy something. For example you sell cosplay costumes. The people who would wear it must be someone who likes movies, TV series, or even comics and novels. They probably gather around conventions about movies, TV series, comics, and novels.
  3. Make a marketing plan
    Marketing plan is a must when you want to start a clothing business. There are a few points you might want to add to your marketing plan. First is the market and competition of your business. Find the similar brand that suits your niche and watch how they work. Second is distribution channels. Where do you want to sell your products? Is it online like Amazon or Etsy or is it direct? Or do you want to make a boutique? Decide it. Third is marketing strategy. How do you want to market your product? From mouth to mouth or make a social media account? Fourth is marketing and advertising channels. You could try to advertise your product in your social media or even make an ad out of it so that people know you’re selling clothes. Fifth is the marketing budget. You need money to sell your goods. That’s why budgeting your marketing is important, either it is only a simple content on social media that you can make or a complex campaign on your platform.
  4. Name your brand and create your brand assets
    Brand name and assets are the two of the most important things when you want to start a clothing business. How do people recognize your business if your business doesn’t have a name? Try creating a name that is catchy, easy to spell and pronounce, and also have meanings. After you decide the name of your clothing brand, you can try to make a logo and brand color scheme. Look for someone who can design a logo for you. Freelance platforms might be a good choice. You can also create a slogan for your business.
  5. Register your business
    To make it official, don’t forget to register your business. Registering your business so that you can receive your payment. Search for the official matters about registering your business. It usually depends on the place you live and the local regulations regarding business registering.
  6. Design and source your products
    If every plan and legal matter is already in its place, now it’s time to design or find your products. In the clothing industry, there are three main ways that you can try: buy products from wholesalers, design your own product and get it manufactured, and design and sew your own product in your own house. Keep in mind that your choice might also affect your plan. For example if you choose to design your own product, you’ll have a more unique product than the other so you don’t have to put much effort into the marketing. But it’ll cost more to make a product on your own compared to just drop shipping the products.
  7. Decide the price
    Pricing in the fashion industry is largely decided by two factors: cost of goods (materials and labors) and the niche you choose. The average clothing business uses what is called keystone markup strategy where the price of your products is doubled the cost of production. There are a few key costs to consider when deciding the price for a product: cost of materials, time, marketing and advertising, packaging, and shipping.
  8. Distribute the products
    At this time, you basically can sell your clothes everywhere. From selling directly via website or offline store to selling it at an e-commerce store. To maximize your exposure and sales, you can try to sell your product at different places. And even if you sell your product offline, you still need the website for basic information about your business and the catalogues of your product.
  9. Market your clothing brand
  10. This is the last step and the most important one. You need to market your clothing business so that it can reach your target market. There are numerous ways to market your product. You can market your clothing business on social media, forums, sponsorships, local events, or even local news. Or you can pay to make your ad of your business appear on one platform for example Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads, Google Ads, Amazon Ads, and many more. Or you can pay an influencer to market your product.

How to start a small clothing business from home?

Basically, starting a small clothing business from home has the same steps as starting a regular clothing business. You have to find your niche first, decide what to sell, find your audience, make a marketing plan, create a name for your business, register your business, design or source your products, decide for the price, distribute it, and then after that you can promote your business. However, there are some simple steps you have to pay attention to when starting a small clothing business from home.

  1. Find a room for your work
    You need to determine which room in your house that is dedicated for your work. Whether it is for your formal business such as inputting products and prices or for designing and sewing your product if you decide to design and sew it yourself. You can use the room for displaying your product too so that when the customer comes to your house, you can bring them straight to your work room to see your product. Treat it like a studio for your product.

    Consider a room that is bright and has good circulation so that you can feel more productive to work there. Consider also the location of the room. You don’t want your customers to find out about your messy dishes in the kitchen or laundry that is scattering around in the laundry room. A room in the front of the house might be a good example.

    You can also find another room to turn into a display room for your products. So that your work room, your studio, and your display room are separated.
  2. Consider starting a clothing business online
    It is easier to sell your products online if you own a clothing business from home. You don’t need to worry about the display room, you don’t need to worry about customers coming to your house. You just have to focus on getting customers. But how to start a clothing business online?

How to start a clothing business online?

If you already know the basics of starting a clothing business, it’s time for you to step up the game. Especially if you start a clothing business from home. Online clothing business has the same starter steps as regular clothing business, the difference is only you sell and market your product online. Now the question is how do you sell and market your product online?

  1. Create a website
    Not only for the catalogue of your product, you can also use websites for selling your goods. There are numerous ways to design and customize your website. WordPress is one of them. But if you’re not familiar with it, you can use an e-commerce platform such as Shopify.

    When creating a website, these things need to be in your website: high-quality product photos, clear and concise product descriptions, looks good on all devices, payment processing, blog to show brand’s personality, and SEO-friendly.
  2. Market your online store
    There are numerous ways you can try to promote your business online. SEO (search engine optimization) could be a good way to make your website have a higher rank in search engine results pages. So that your website can stand out. Another example is paid advertising. You can try Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or Instagram Ads. You can also make content to promote your business. You can post your content in your blog on the website or in your social media.

How to start a clothing business with buying wholesale?

When you have already decided if you want to open a clothing business offline or online, it’s time for you to search what to sell. Sometimes in the clothing industry, you’re not only selling your own handmade, sewn, clothes. You can sell clothes that are made by others. You can find a wholesaler who sells it. Now the question is, how do you find good clothes wholesalers and where do you find them?

The easiest way to find wholesalers is from the Internet. Websites for companies that represent multiple clothing brands or websites of a clothing brand you would like to sell could be a choice. Or you can find wholesale suppliers on e-commerce. When choosing a wholesale supplier, keep in mind that the supplier has a good reputation, reasonable price and shipping times, and has an excellent product quality.

After finding a supplier, you need to contact them. Find out about their rules of supplying, qualifications, order minimums, pricing, and terms. Other than finding and contacting, you also need to develop a good relationship with your supplier. Be respectful towards them, pay invoices by their due date, and if you and your supplier have a problem, solve it nicely and coolly.

Now that you already know how to start a clothing business, it’s time for you to jump straight into the game. Open your clothing business with Hi-Fella. With just creating an account and downloading Hi-Fella apps on the App Store or Play Store, you can get your preferred clothing suppliers from around the world with a wide variety of clothing styles that suit your niche. Come and join us now!