Starting a business can be as terrifying as it’s fascinating. This is especially true when the field you’re opting for has clothes involved.
If you were to wonder how to start a clothing line on a budget a few decades ago, the answer would’ve probably been to do it after you’ve saved up more money.
But thanks to this little neat thing called the Internet, it’s possible to start a successful business such as a clothing line with limited funding. It’s even possible to grow the said business into a household name with some tech and marketing knowledge.
In today’s guide, we’re walking you through the requirements and steps of starting a clothing line with a tight budget.
First things first, you need to better understand your target audience and the market you’re trying to get into. This is a must to be able to appeal to potential customers and compete with other sellers out there.
Research your target audience by conducting surveys on social media and browsing through the current trends. Study the display and marketing strategies of other successful clothing brands to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t.
Next, you need to sit down and put together an efficient business plan with a suitable business model. This includes determining your goals, prospects, timeline, expenses, and expected profit.
Since you’re starting on a budget, we recommend that you base your business on a print-on-demand (POD) or a dropshipping model.
You can read more about them here, but know that these two models will save you the cost and hassle of manufacturing, inventory management, and shipping. You’ll either need to come up with designs or choose ones that are relevant to your target customer demographic.
This means your “main” job will be focused on the administrative and creative side of the business.
This step is all about deciding on the general aesthetic of your clothing line and what sort of designs your products are going to showcase.
For example, if you’re going to sell sports clothes, you need to determine whether your products will rely on colorful and bright patterns or tend to the basic, practical look.
Each side has its fans, so it’s better to concentrate on establishing your brand in a certain direction if you’re on a budget. As your business grows and money comes in, you can always branch out to other areas of design.
With a vision for your brand firmly set, your next step should be coming up with a name that captures its essence. The name should be unique, catchy, and relevant to what you’re offering.
You can try looking up related words and terms that you think best describe your clothing line and play with them until you find something you like.
Now comes a crucial step in your journey, which is looking for a trustworthy supplier that manufacturers quality items.
The success of your brand depends on the customers liking what they wear in terms of feel, durability, color, design accuracy, and so on. This will make them come back to buy more and recommend your brand to people they know.
If you’re opting for a POD or a dropshipping business model, you already know that the 3rd supplier handles everything from after an order is placed until it’s fulfilled.
Another key step in launching a successful clothing line is to put proper and fair prices on your items. Look for competitors for pointers but also refer to your business plan for an acceptable cost-to-profit margin.
Some brands resort to pricing their products slightly lower at first to attract customers. However, we believe a smarter way to do things is to offer free shipping on the first few orders or provide discount codes and vouchers.
This helps you seem more credible because you won’t have to raise the prices shortly after to make a profit.
The final step is for you to put your products out there for the world to see. Marketing is how customers will know about your line, so you need to actively invest in this aspect.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you should spend a lot of money — advertising on social media platforms can do wonders for a clothing line. Just scroll through Instagram or TikTok and you’ll see for yourself how lots of clothing brands are marketing products from leggings to lingerie to dresses to hoodies in right on your feed!
While our guide on how to start a clothing line on a budget seems simple enough, you should be aware that launching a business doesn’t happen overnight.
Give each step enough time and don’t skimp on research. This is the only way to ensure your efforts won’t be wasted and your brand will be successful.