Want to start an online clothing business but not sure where to start? Here are the basics you need to know.
Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Come up with ideas and test them
Your clothing business has to have a unique perspective. Otherwise, it is going to get lost in an already crowded space. Maybe you want to create clothes for a specific body type or target a specific size. Or, maybe you only want to create one article of clothing with great designs.
Your idea may be great on paper, but to really test them out, you need to know that your target audience loves it as much as you do. Instead of taking the plunge and creating clothes from scratch, you can use a print on demand service.
A print on demand service allows you to upload your design while they take care of manufacturing and shipping. You can spend your time making custom t-shirts online and marketing them instead of worrying about how to source material and what method of printing you should use.
Test out designs that you think your audience likes, and only when they place an order, the print on demand service will charge you.
Step 2: Find the right ecommerce site
One of the most obvious choices is Shopify. You can set up your ecommerce store without needing to know how to code pretty easily. If you choose to continue with the print on demand, Shopify also offers the option to integrate with a leading print on demand service, Printify.
It is so popular that more than 10 thousand Shopify stores have integrated Printify.
This way, you don’t even have to worry about taking orders. When customers place an order, Printify gets notified and starts processing the order.
Step 3: Set a budget
Once you have a fair idea of what works and which platform you might use, you have to start thinking about a budget or capital that you can invest in your business. Even with a small working capital, you can get started with a print on demand business and eventually use your profits to set up manufacturing and find a warehouse to stock inventory.
You should also think about the people you might want to hire one time, like a designer or a web developer, and in the long run, you will need a support team, sales team, and a marketing team.
If you decide to start selling fast fashion, you will also have to factor in the costs of the overhead and supplies that you will need since designs will change rapidly. This is a more intensive role since you will also have to ensure the quality is top-notch.
Step 4: Create a marketing plan
Without a marketing plan, even a great product cannot survive. If you are not familiar with marketing, you should think about taking some crash courses or attend workshops and webinars that can walk you through the exact steps to market your clothing business.
Remember the 4 basic Ps of marketing – ‘product, place, promotion and price.’
It also helps to look at your competitors and analyze what they’re doing well and what they are not. You also have to monitor clothing trends to see what is selling to help you accelerate your business.
Once you have a working knowledge, create a macro goal – sell X amount of product by Y and then break it down into actionable items to help you stay on track.
Step 5: Build your website or platform
If you plan to stick to social media to sell your clothes, you should get started on Facebook and Instagram since there are integrated shopping options available for creators.
But if you want to drive people to your website, you should take some time to make sure you are offering the best customer experience. You should also optimize it for mobile and ensure it loads fast to support mobile-first shopping.
Step 6: Go live
When you have all the pieces of the puzzle in place, the final step is to go to market with your business. There will be a ton of initial hiccups, and if this is your first business, you will also have a lot to learn from this experience.
Start taking feedback from customers from the beginning and implement it to offer a better experience to newer customers. You will end up figuring out a lot of things on the go, so it is advisable to join a community that has other entrepreneurs like you that are going through similar issues.
Starting a clothing business can be overwhelming, but an experience worth having if your interests are aligned with creating unique clothes or meeting an unmet demand. There are easier options with print on demand and dropshipping that didn’t exist before but are great because it allows you to test your design before deciding to go it your own way.