Have you ever dreamed or thought about starting your own clothing or t-shirt line?
It may seem far too overwhelming at first, despite how much (or lack of) planning you’ve done. Transitioning your idea to reality is a far different story, but through careful planning, timing and decisions your idea can turn into the successful clothing line you envisioned and hopefully exceed expectations. We compiled tips that will hopefully bring your idea to life and jump start your confidence on starting your own business.
FIND YOUR NICHE
The clothing and apparel industry typically no matter where you’re located is highly saturated. In order to better align yourself with success, finding a niche in your industry is key to differentiate your brand and get noticed.
niche: denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.
Specializing your brand can be anything from: brand message, region, color palette, style/season of clothing, price, age, and ultimately a combination of these.
Imagine your brand as a person. Is he/her masculine or feminine? What are their hobbies? Where do they live? What is their income? What do they look like? After these questions are answered, they will help formulate who your target audience is.
Lastly, pick your niche out of passion, you will be far more invested in a brand you resonate with and are proud of rather than one you want to be strictly profitable.
The most important decision you can make for your brand is doing your research.
Is there a company like this already out there? When do I plan to launch my line? Do I need extra help? What trends are currently in the market? Do I see them dying anytime soon? Would it be wise to follow them? What are my expenses going to be? Are there unforeseeable threats? What is my why?
There is no such thing as being over prepared when investing in a brand and is wise if you do so.
SET ACHIEVABLE AND FEASIBLE GOALS
Start small, build your business from the ground up, and don’t start immediately with your designs (even though that’s the most fun part).
Start with research, branding, fabrics, types of apparel, locations, pricing, and eventually the graphic design for your apparel. Don’t jump steps until you’ve completed the last step in order to create the foundation you need to build your brand.
CREATE A MARKETING PLAN
With so much on your plate already it’s hard to imagine a marketing plan. Afterall, you just want to get this thing off the ground! Even if it pushes back your launch date, creating a strategic marketing plan is crucial to your longterm and initial success.
- Brand Storytelling: Does your clothing line have a story behind? What does it stand for? Tell your story, your why, and people in your niche will resonate with it. According to Headstream, a marketing agency located in New York, if people love a brand story, 55% are more likely to buy the product in future, 44% will share the story, and 15% will buy the product immediately. Like TED talks? Here’s one to learn more about The Importance of Storytelling.
- Gather your friends: Spread the word! Encourage your friends and family to share the news about your upcoming clothing line! Word of mouth can spread like wildfire. If you have a physical location for your brand, strongly consider an opening party and have your friends invite any and everyone!
- Utilize social media: In the beginning stages especially, social media is your brand’s best friend. Social media is the greatest resource to go beyond word of mouth for the initial start to your brand. Hype it up, create a website (even if it say’s “coming soon”), or teasers of products, you want people to be excited!
- Budget: It goes back to planning, but determining your budget for marketing efforts whether that be for social media, print, tv, radio, etc. will help you create more achievable outcomes and future goals.
FIND A MANUFACTURER
Your product is the most important aspect of your brand overall. Therefore when creating your products there’s multiple questions you need to answer on how you want it to turn out. Is quality the most important aspect to your clothing line? What about price? How much control do you want to have in the process?
Answering these questions will help determine what type of product your clothes turn our to be like and how much say you will have. Keep in mind your manufacturer is one of the most critical relationships you can have. They are one of the most important players in making your business what you want it to be.
At MarkIt Merchandise all screen print and embroider is completed in house, allowing more control over production costs, quality and timing. When you order 5 or 500 shirts, we want you to be truly happy with the end product. If you are a new customer mention this blog post and receive 10% off your first order.