Apparel Start-Up Fundamentals
The apparel game changes quickly are there are new entrants coming to the market all the time. Fitness clothing is a new trend that’s taking the market by storm, and there is likely to be a surge in eco-friendly and hemp-based clothing flooding the market soon too.
To navigate this industry and to give yourself the best chance of succeeding, follow these fundamentals for apparel start-ups.
Business is tough, and there are a lot of people who think that their product or service is the next big thing. One of the toughest industries to break into is the apparel industry.
Because the barriers to entry are so low, there are thousands of new apparel, and clothing brands started every year. Of course, on the flip side of this, there are also many that fail because they lack proper planning and funding or just run out of steam.
Conducting market research will help you to define a niche and a way to stand out from other brands. It’s not enough to say you will be selling sports clothing to women. You will need to identify where the gap in the market is or if there is a particular group of people that are underserved.
For example, you may identify a gap in the market after talking to people you know at your yoga class. The gap in the market may be for bright colored yoga clothing for women in their 40’s because the only yoga clothing on the market is dull and boring.
Once you have identified a potential gap in the market, you will need to conduct market research with potential buyers. In the above example, you might choose to ask your yoga class to take a survey you’ve created to validate your idea.
The more responses you can get, the better as this will help to further confirm that your idea could be a good one. Be prepared to make changes if necessary, to your initial idea. If the responses suggest something slightly different then take that on board.
If you are looking to get some type of funding for your start-up from a bank or from an investor you need to make sure you put yourself in the best position to secure start-up capital.
Hopefully you will already have strong business plan and will know how precisely you will get to market. You should also have some financial projections you can call on when you need them.
Many investors will only be interested in seeing your business plan after seeing a pitch. You must, therefore, prepare an elevator pitch and a 3-5-minute presentation that covers all the important aspects of your business.
If you are going to an investment event, then the investors are likely to be seeing a number of different people asking for their money. You need to make sure your pitch stands out so that you succeed.
A more traditional approach is to head to a bank to ask for a start-up loan. Again, there are a number of important things you need to consider before booking an appointment. One area that the bank will be interested in is your personal finances like homeownership or current employment.
Banks will also want to know about any previous or current debt you may have. Medical expenses are a common one, and unpaid expenses often get sold off to debt collection companies, which can be a warning sign to banks that you might not pay back their loan. If this is something you are concerned about you can check your credit report and find out How to Remove with Medicredit From Your Credit Report.
It’s likely that some of your start-up capital will be used for marketing, getting your brand out there in front of the right people. If you don’t have any experience of marketing, it would be a good idea to hire someone or find someone that can help you. Alternatively, you could take an online apparel marketing course.
Marketing is a very important part of any business because it acts as the voice of the customer. During your market research, you will have defined a core market that have a need for your product, the price they are willing to pay and where they like to buy it (online, in-store, etc.) The key now is to work out how to reach these people.
You can create customer personas to identify the different types of people that will purchase your product based on demographics, income, geography, and life-stage.
From there, you will know the TV shows they watch, the websites they visit and will be able to create engaging social media campaigns. Doing this will help to keep your marketing activity laser-focused and cost-effective.