Running a clothing business takes more than having the passion for posting designer tees on one’s status or owning a boutique.
There is a lot to consider. From choosing a supplier to getting customers, it is easier said than done. The clothing niche looks really promising lately. Let’s see why.
Why Clothing Business?
The clothing business is a highly profitable business to venture in. If you are not yet convinced, these are reasons you should take up this business.
1. Clothing Is A Need: You could take a day off working, but you can not take a day off wearing clothes. Or could you?
People buy clothes daily not only because they want to, but because they need to. There’s a need for it.
We all need more clothes at some point. There is just a continuous need for clothes and, in turn, demand for it.
2. Clothing Is A Want: These days there’s so much ‘want’ for good clothes. People are catching on to the phrase ‘looking good is good business’ and don’t mind paying so much for quality clothes.
I bet you will agree with me that there’s recently been a high demand for designers clothes recently. Even in thrift wears, you will make lots of money selling high-quality clothes.
Starting A Profitable Clothing Business.
It could get frustrating later on if one does not take necessary steps from the onset.
Here, I’ve outlined a thread of questions you could ask yourself when starting out this business.
1. What’s Your Plan?:
This is a step most people trivialize a lot. I advise that you take a day or two to carefully plan out your business.
A business plan is very important for both small or big businesses, even if you are not getting a loan. It will help you focus on a particular area and drive your resources to that path.
You should be able to pen down a 3-year timeline for your business. So what’s your plan? Is it a boutique? Will you sell thrift or new clothes or both? Does it have an age range? Is it unisex? Are you starting your own brand? Who are your supplier(s)?
You should also plan out the location of your business, your marketing strategies and what your business will offer your prospects (your brand). Don’t forget, it’s never a plan till it’s written.
2. What’s Your Budget?:
Capital is a serious topic when starting any business. The size of your clothing business will depend on your capital.
Though sometimes the capital dictates the type of business. Starting a clothing business will range from hundreds of thousands to millions. You should also not mind starting out small then scaling from there.
To start out with almost zero capital, you could offer to resell (dropship). This is only if you can get a cheap supplier really close to you. With time, you can gather enough to buy in bulk to make more profit.
3. Who Are Your Potential Customer?:
You should also learn who your customers are and where they are. Don’t forget, there’s no business without customers.
Know the differences between their wants and needs. It will be a mistake to assume your customers’ wants and preference.
If you are a fashion designer, you need to make sure people will want and pay for your designs.
Offline, Online Or Both?
So you know who your customers are and basically what they want and where they are. The next step is how to get to them and what to do when you get there.
There are many clothing stores around. This imposes the need to tread uniquely and strategically.
We talked about business plan earlier and deciding if you are going to sell offline, online or both is something you should consider.
Selling offline (onsite), basically entails owning a store in a location with good traffic. While you may or may not need to hire a staff, it is very capital intensive.
Selling online is much cheaper, and can be done from the comfort of your home. You could even sell your clothes while doing other business.
It is also an opportunity to meet a large amount of prospects and get ideas for your brand. Another advantage is that it is less capital intensive. You basically need a good camera and creativity to shine out there.
A problem here might be getting customers exact size when you need to far location.
If you are just starting out, I’ll advise you to leverage on social media, online stores and marketplaces. Then, when you’ve grown to an extent, you can now get a store because you will definitely get customers asking for a physical location.
Platforms To Sell Online
1. Online Stores and Marketplaces:
Getting an online store and marketplace is a good way to sell online. Platforms like jiji are free, though they have premium packages. It is definitely a good way to get a good number of customers. There’s also Jumia, Olist and lots more.
2. Social Media:
This is a popular way to sell your clothing. You can promote your wears on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and the likes.
These are also a great places to brand your business. Just create a good profile and make sure you always show up with engaging content. Don’t forget to add tags and customers’ feedback to turn leads to customer.
There’s a feature on Facebook called the marketplace which you can get few sales. And you can run ads on Facebook and Instagram to reach more people and make more sales.
You could also leverage on social media influencers to market your clothes.
Bottom line is, it takes a lot of time and effort to run any business.