Starting a new business used to be an extremely risky venture some years ago. Thanks to the digital age that makes it relatively cheaper and easier to let your startup dream become a reality.
Here is our step by step take on how you can become one of those fashion entrepreneurs and start an online clothing business.
- Choose target audience of your clothing line
You can’t move a step without a full-fledged plan before you. Of course, when you are on a budget, you will be selling a limited amount of apparel varieties. Know which specific clothing style and the niche will bring out the creativity and potential that you have and stick to it.
Also, specify which age limit of the audience you are mainly targeting and whether your style will fit their demands and present times trends. You must also ensure that you will find a fashion clothing wholesaler offering the type of dresses that you want to sell. If you have blind faith in your unique ideas, there is nothing wrong in taking risks. It might take off and be the next trendsetter. You never know.
On a shoestring, print-on-demand clothing is the least expensive and effort requiring business model. Computer does more than half your work. Your challenge comes in providing a good set of logos and designs to your customers to choose from.
- Not too many products
Keep your clothing products limited. Don't go too big. It will do nothing but complicate the process and add costs at this stage of your startup. Your focus should be on providing quality at the moment. Stick to the policy of less is more. As time will move and your business will grow, you will find increasing products easy with enough funds in your bank.
Utilize your estimation skills to make the soundest and realistic budget worksheet that includes profit and loss statement. Since you are planning for an online setup, you do not need a big management team or a proper office.
Many factors will control the extent of your budget that only you are going to decide. One of these includes your choice to either make and design your clothes yourself or buy from a wholesaler. If you are planning to start in a team of two or more, the investment will naturally be reduced, but so will the profit. However, that doesn’t matter a lot as you need to start from somewhere.
Your savings from the profit should be of a fixed value. Your financial plan should flex to the changes in the level of activities as budgetary variances are prone to occur.
- Competitive analysis
With so much competition ahead of you and so many already flourishing clothing online businesses, you need to make yours stand out with a strategic mindset. Carry a competitive analysis of your direct competitors to assess their strengths and weaknesses. Spot their bestselling clothing item and try to find out through customer’s feedback what made them go crazy about it. Look for criticism, if any, to see what it that audience can’t stand about clothing brand is.
Look for some especial ideas related to customer’s service and website designing that personally hit you. Get inspiration and come up with something better and unique.
- Find an Ecommerce site builder
To have a large customer base, you need to get an online clothing store. Fortunately, there are many reliable and economical online store developers that will do everything for you from building a website to running it. You will be presented with a list of features to customize the website as per your needs. To secure your data and transactions, they will also give you a SSL certificate.
There is a good chance of you falling into unsafe hands when it comes to choosing a developer. Shopify or BigCommerce are some of the most popular options.
As having a website that fits your and your customer’s needs precisely is important to grasp valuable customers’ attention, getting confused onto which builder to settle with is normal. For this, it will be of great assistance to take free trials of a few of them and then decide the one which fits your expectations and pocket well. Remember your brand’s reflection will come through your website’s quality.
Take quality and professional pictures of the clothes. Compromising on this aspect will lose you potential customers. This is especially true in the case of clothing line as no one wants to risk their money for something that already looks ugly and unreal. With appropriate lightings and angles, you can capture the apparels just as good as a DSLR can, so, no need to worry about a new expense.
- Social media sites for free advertising and getting traffic
If your budget disallows you to consider even the least expensive plans on the E-commerce website builders, social media websites are always there for your rescue. Else, you can always use them for brand exposure, therefore, free advertising.
From displaying your clothes to receiving orders through messages, nowadays, social media sites are replacing the need to make an ecommerce webpage at all. Facebook and Instagram are the leading tools for businesses nowadays because of their wide user base. The audience from all interests is found there. Seizing audience for your business is smarter through Facebook, as its Ad targeting game is strong.