How To Start a Clothing Brand: 7 easy steps to Follow

You are interested in starting a clothing brand but you aren’t sure what starting a brand implies. Then, it’s a good thing you’re here. We created this small guide about how to start a clothing brand.

With the help of these 7 easy steps, you can be a proud owner of a small clothing brand in no time. Let’s check out the steps.

1.  Research the market and decide on your business model

Researching the market and choosing a business model go hand in hand. That’s why this is one of the first steps you need to make when planning to start a clothing brand of your own.

Identifying and understanding your target market will help you start your business right. By determining who your core customers are, you’ll be able to better fulfill their needs and create products that can solve their problems – products they would actually buy.

Beautiful Disaster, a mega online clothing brand, is a good example of a brand that knows exactly who its target audience is and who has capitalized on that knowledge.

As for a business model, we can easily say that choosing the right business model is the basis of a successful business. There are several business models that you could go for, but once again to be able to choose it you’ll need to identify your customers, know which problem you want to solve for them and offer a solution.


2. Decide what you want to sell

This brings us to our next step which is deciding what sort of products you want your clothing brand to create and sell. Now that you’ve done all the research, you know exactly what your customers are missing, and you know how to solve it.

For example, a good idea would be to delve a bit deeper into custom clothing options. The custom apparel market is on the rise, so it can be a good idea to create your business around clothing customization. You can offer unique custom sportswear to different types of teams  - both professional and recreational.

There are also many other directions that you could follow, but it mostly depends on your target customers and the niche you chose.


3.   Create a brand strategy

Next up is creating your brand strategy. Brand strategy can be defined as an important part of your business plan that can help you connect with your customers and beat your competition.

A brand strategy is really important for your whole business. This is why you need to really work on it. Most successful online stores are successful thanks to their great brand strategy.

To develop a winning brand strategy, you’ll need to understand the purpose of your business, be consistent with your brand, know what your competitors are doing at all times, and build brand identity and brand awareness.

Take Gymshark as a perfect example. A small sports store that became one of the giants in the fitness apparel industry thanks to its connection to its customers and a good brand strategy, as well.


4.  Work on building brand identity

Since we mentioned building brand identity, it’s time to tell you more about it. Brand identity is, simply put, all that makes your brand unique. It includes your brand’s values, story, how you to present your brand, and what you want your customers to feel about it – it’s your brand’s personality if you will.

POP fit is a clothing brand with a great brand identity. The brand has a great message, and values and the brand knows exactly how to get that message across to its customers.

If your goal is to do the same, you’ll need to create great quality clothing for a reasonable price, design a good brand logo, connect with and engage the customers, advertise your brand, and get your brand’s message across.

5.  Costs and funding

It would be great to be able to just start your business after all we discussed above, but that’s not how businesses work. Unfortunately, to be able to start a business, you need money.

You first need to do some financial planning. Review all the costs you’ll have as a clothing brand. Some of the most common costs include clothes designing, manufacturing, storage, packing, shipping, the legal side of the business (contracts, licenses, permits), website, marketing, and other additional expenses.

After you’ve done that, you can go looking for funding options in case you don’t already have money saved for starting your own business. Today, there are many different funding options for start-up businesses, so you can find something appropriate.


6.  Write a business plan

You should only start a business with a clearly defined and written business plan. This document will help you run your business and stay on track further down the line.

A business plan should contain a company description, a list of the types of products you plan to design and sell, a detailed market analysis, a financial plan, a marketing plan, and a description of how you plan to manage your business.

While all this may seem overwhelming, making a business plan is crucial if you want to create a successful clothing business.

7.  Make a prototype of your product

Once you’ve done all the possible research and analysis, made all the plans, and gotten the funding, you can go ahead and start designing and manufacturing your products.

A smart idea would be to start by creating a prototype that will tell you if your product is good or if there are things that are lacking.

You can make the prototype yourself, or you can create it with the help of designers and manufacturers. All in all, try not to skip creating a prototype since it will help you get the feel of the quality of the product, how fast it’s produced, and whether or not you’re satisfied with it. Creating a prototype will also save you a lot of money and headaches.

Starting a clothing brand, just like starting any other business, is a process. A process that shouldn’t be rushed. Every entrepreneur's goal is to create a successful business and to be able to do that you need to follow all the above-mentioned steps.

About the author

Morgan Rose Elliott graduated marketing from The University of Sydney. Hobbies include yoga, reading, home renovation.  Rookie blogger who loves writing about business and lifestyle equally. She is happily married, stay at home mother of three.

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