If you are someone who thinks that starting your own clothing brand requires a lot of investment, you need to hire expensive models and spend a lot on professional photoshoots, along with having an attractive website, and lots of inventory.
All these are common misconceptions about starting your fashion label. There is actually a possibility to not spend money on the above-mentioned things and still be able to build your brand and that too in 1 to 2 months.
Before you start this journey, answer this question
When Should I Start My Clothing Brand?
Before you invest any of your time, effort, and money into launching your brand, you need to take time and Self Evaluate.
You need to analyze and ask yourself these questions.
- Why do you want to start a clothing business?
- Do you have any knowledge?
- Do you have any fashion design degree?
- Do you have any experience, or you have worked with a fashion designer or a tailor?
- Do you have an understanding of tailors and fabrics?
- Or is it a family business?
- Do anyone in your family do a clothing business or even a fabrics business? and you have some understanding of the business.
- Or you are working for a clothing brand and you know the ins and out of this business and now you want to start something of your own.
If you fall into any of these buckets then without any doubt you should attempt it.
If you have no relation with clothing or fashion or don’t have any experience with it, then this business is probably not the right choice for you.
I will tell you why, because it is a cutthroat business, and that is why the scope of margins is very less. Only big brands are able to earn decent margins, and we all know that you cannot build a big brand in 1 or 2 months. It takes years to build a reputable brand.
So if you don’t have any leverage in this industry, then you should reconsider your decision. I am not trying to demotivate you, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
But don’t get upset. If you lack any knowledge or experience, there are many other options out there if you want to start your E-commerce business. If you want to explore them then reach out to us for a consultation.
Or you can check out our crash course on how to start your International Ecommerce business, and sell your products in the USA and earn in dollars.
How To Start Your Clothing Brand In 8 Easy Steps
If you have even a basic knowledge or some experience with fashion, then you are the right fit for this business. It’s time for you to pay full attention to these 8 steps.
1. Get Your USP Right
Ask yourself What is the USP? Which means your unique selling proposition. In simple words what makes your product different? Why will somebody buy your product?
Do you have a different fabric that is rarely available in the market?
Or your brand is sustainable, which is positively impacting the nature or environment. e.g., Alia Bhatt’s brand Ed-a-Mamma does not use plastic in their production or packaging.
Or your brand is backed by a social cause. E.g., the ForceIX brand of Akshay Kumar donates 9 rupees from each garment sold to ‘The Bharat Ke Veer Charity’, which goes to the family of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for India.
Or are your designs supremely unique, because of which you can set your identity in the market?
You will have to figure it out when you launch your brand. Have a clear idea about what will customers see in your clothes because of which they will purchase from your band.
Think about this deeply, once your USP is clear, in your and your team’s mind, then you will be able to target the right customers and have the right messaging on your landing page, website, social media accounts like Instagram page, and even on the notes that you send to customers.
You will find our blog on Akshay Kumar’s clothing brand quite helpful.
2. Be Super Clear About Your Target Audience
The truth is that you cannot sell everyone, everything. When you launch your business, you should be crystal clear on who will be your target audience.
Is it a college-going Gen Z?
A work-from-home millennial?
Are you creating a brand of oversized clothing?
Are you making clothes for kids in that case your target audience will be the parents.
It is important to figure out your target audience, because when you figure this out, then your brand, design, and style of clothes, all these things will be decided by the audience.
Because you will create clothes for those people and not your own personal use.
Once you get this straight, then comes a very interesting step, for this, you can take the help of friends, family, and social network.
3. Make A Mark With Your Brand Name
While it is important to have a unique and creative brand name that stands out, sometimes people get too involved in this step, even before being clear about the USP and understanding whom they want to sell.
Don’t get too romantic thinking about your brand name. This is one of the biggest mistakes that people tend to make. Know that your brand name is not as important as your business clarity.
If you have good business clarity then choosing a brand name will be a no-brainer.
Your brand name needs to be aligned with 2 things:
- Your product and services.
- Your target customers.
For e.g., if your brand is kids’ wear, your brand name has to be relatable for kids, because your customers will be the parents of kids. Like Firstcry, MotherCare, etc.
If your customers are GenZ then your brand name should be like Urban Monkey, Urban Vertical, Four in AO, etc. The name should be cool and urban, such a name will be relatable to the college-going crowd.
If you intend to sell suits and Tuxedos then your vibe will be different and the brand name should reflect that e.g., Raymond and Blackberry.
If you are starting an ethnic wear brand then your vibe should be desi. Like Manyavar, Rangoli etc.
Once you figure out your brand name then you have to do a research exercise. So that you don’t face any trouble in the future. In short, find out whether the brand name that you have chosen is not registered by anybody else.
For this, you can run these 2 tests.
- Do a Google search and see if you get any results.
- Go to the Go Daddy website, and search for your brand name with .com or .in extensions. This way you can ensure whether someone else has not already purchased it or not.
Finally, a very important step is to do trademark research. Make sure that another company has not already registered it, or else they will be after you to close your business.
If you want to do trademark research, then let us know through comments, and we would love to write a step-by-step blog and help you out.
4. Get Your Designs Sorted
Now it is time to make clothes, If you have design skills and you know how to make clothes, then initially you can do this on your own.
In case you have no knowledge of manufacturing or designing the product, you will have to outsource this step or collaborate with someone.
Depending upon your budget there are 3 ways to collaborate.
- Work with Agencies that can help you design your clothes, if you have a big budget.
- If your budget is less, then you can work with Interns, who have a fashion designing background, just sit with them and give them a brief about what you have in your mind.
- The cheapest option will be to find a good Tailor in your neighbourhood and tell him that you want his time for the next two-three days. Pay him for his time, sit with him, and ask for his help with the design.
But make sure while designing that your USP, the fabrics that you intended to use, and what you want to create, are clear in your mind. This will help you land exactly at that place where you had your imagination from the start.
Watch the episodes of Project Runway, it’s a US-based reality TV show for fashion designers. This will give you great ideas for designs.
After some hard work and some hustle, when your products are ready, then you can go to the next step.
5. Hunt For Manufacturer And Fix Your Inventory
This is the tricky part. Manufacturing sounds complicated, right?
And it sure is complicated, but not as complicated as it is in your mind. Let me explain.
When you start to manufacture your products, then there is no need to spend lakhs on your manufacturing unit. You basically have to source it to another manufacturing unit, by giving them your designs.
What Are My Options?
- Option 1– If you have a high budget, you can work with a clothing manufacturer, who is already manufacturing clothes for different brands. But there is only one problem here.
When you work with a manufacturer, they will not give you 4 or 10 pieces, they will have a thing called MOQ. Which is called minimum order quantity.
This basically means that you will have to give a minimum order size. Only then the manufacturer will make your designs.
For e.g., the manufacturer’s MOQ could be for 100 pcs, per design, which means that you have to give that much order per design.
- Option 2– If you have less budget, then you can go to a small tailor or small-scale manufacturer who will give you 10, 20, or even 30 pcs.
List of Manufacturers that Work with Start-Ups
6. Step Up Your Marketing Game
I would suggest you start marketing and sales before you start your manufacturing. Ideally, as soon as you decide on your brand name you should start marketing.
So that people will become aware of your brand name, even before you launch your clothes.
It is also possible that because of your marketing, you will start getting orders beforehand. In this case, as soon as your pieces are ready you can immediately ship them to your customers.
This way you can get quick feedback from your customers. You will also come to know if you need to make any changes or how can you make your consumer experience better.
It could also be that your product is very good and people love your products. If that happens then now is the right time to spend more on your marketing.
Let’s Address these Important Questions on Marketing
How to start marketing?
How to promote?
Where to promote?
How much will you need to spend?
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a bomb on marketing because most of you will start your brand with a tight budget.
Instead, put your time and effort to come up with creative ideas so that you can constantly push out content on platforms like Instagram and youtube shorts so that your brand name and awareness in the market increases.
And to launch your fashion brand you don’t need a fashion model, you can take help from your friends, family, and extended social network, and start photoshoots of your products. Initially using your mobile camera will also give you good enough results.
You can also go one step ahead and approach small influencers too.
Note– A very important thing many people think is that to start a clothing brand you will have to start a website from day 1.
This is not needed, just with a good Instagram marketing strategy, a WhatsApp number, and Instagram direct messages you can interact with customers and talk with them.
For Initial 100 or 200 orders, you can fulfill them by direct messages on Instagram, Whatsapp, or Facebook. Have one-to-one conversions with customers, coordinate, get orders, and deliver them.
You also must be thinking how will I accept money?
Well, If you can establish trust, and if your vibe is good, then customers will trust you. Then you can take money from customers in your private account. Do this for the first 100 to 200 orders. After that, you can formalize your business.
There are 3 different types of businesses.
- private limited companies,
- partnership companies,
- Proprietorship companies
It depends upon you what you want to do. If you are starting an individual business then going with proprietorship is the best option, Don’t go with pvt. Ltd. or partnership companies. Because there are a lot of steps involved in this compliance.
When your business becomes big and when you want to take funding, or you want to sell your shares, or give your shares to your team members, then you will need pvt. Ltd. company, but for an initial 1 year, you should be fine with a proprietorship company.
You might also be interested in reading our blog on How To Sell On Amazon Without GST.
Time To Go Big With Marketing
When Your Product is Market Fit. This means customers can find you, you can sell your customers, and your sales are increasing gradually, At this stage, you will have to do a very simple thing which is critical. This will take your business to the top.
I am talking about Performance Marketing Ads
This is basically a fancy term for paid Instagram, Facebook, Google, and youtube ads. Now it’s time to start spending on these ads. Once you reach this stage then just teach yourself the basics, about how to do it, and how people are doing it. Watch 10 or 20 videos. Spend 1K to 2K or 10K,
After you get a hang of it, you can also hire a Digital Marketing Agency that can run ads for your fashion retail business.
Once you start running performance marketing ads, you could go from earning thousands to lakhs or even crores also.
Before Signing Off
You must have noticed that the sequence of the steps that I am talking about is quite unusual. The reason is that I myself am an entrepreneur and I know how an entrepreneur thinks. Many people think that first, we have to choose a brand name, then incorporate the business, and then open a current account.
But in reality, an entrepreneur does not start a business like this. Usually, these steps come far behind.
Now, the entire process of launching and growing your business wont be easy, you will face a lot of problems. Keep in mind that all problems have a solution, Don’t let any problem come your way.
If you brainstorm enough, you will come up with cheap and creative solutions to all your problems. Focus on taking your business forward and don’t think about excuses.
I hope you found a lot of value in this blog. If you have any questions then feel free to reach out to us through comments or our website.