Are you planning to have your own online business? We bring you some exciting tips on how to start an online clothing business from home:
Might seems complicated at first, and you will need to give your full efforts, but as long as you have your total commitment and follow these seven steps, chances are you will be successful with your online clothing business.
Starting a company, even a small and online one is not easy, but it has some perks. Here are remarkable advantages to consider before jump in this online adventure.
Online sales are growing
People are getting busier and busier. Shopping in a physical store might not attract people as much as before. Customers are looking for easier and faster purchase options, from the comfort of their homes.
You are open to the world
In a physical space, people would have to pass by your store to “know you exist.” An online store can be available for anyone around the world, and as long as you have resources to deliver your goods, they can purchase from you.
You will need to invest some money but will be much lower than if you started a local business.
No holidays or closing times. Your online clothing business will be available 27/7.
Although it might be simpler than a physical store, some steps are crucial to follow, to ensure you will grow as a healthy company. These are the seven steps to starting an online clothing business from home.
How to Start an Online Clothing Business from Home
Step 1: Do your market research
Before anything, you need to understand the market demand: who would buy your products, your competitors, price range, and delivery.
The market research is vital and will support you through all the next steps. Maybe you find out you have a competitor selling similar goods for half of the price and 24 delivery service. You need to know this and work on solutions to compete.
If you have spotted a gap in the market, you can interview people from your target audience and understand better their needs and what they think about your product.
At this moment focus on qualitative questions. They will be able to provide you essential feedbacks, that will guide you during your journey.
Read also: How to Become a Fashion Blogger and Earn $10K/Month
Step 2: Create a Business Plan
You might not need writing down an extensive formal business plan, but some documentation should be carried out during the early stages of your online clothing business.
A business plan typically contains an overview of your business, the problem, a solution, market analysis, SWOT analysis, execution, and finances.
If you want to know how to start an online clothing business from home and will not need any funding or support, you could focus on your market research and finances.
Have a figure in mind, be sure about how much you can invest and how much you expect in return. Investments will include manufacturing, storage, inventory management, marketing, delivery and so on.
Keep in mind that some business will only bring profit after a few months running. Start small, maybe with just one design or basic types of equipment.
Have a solid plan on how to survive the first months and invest larger as your business grows.
Read also: How Becky Makes a Full-Time Living with Her Shopify Side Hustle
Step 3: Find your resources
If you create and craft your products, that’s great! You will need to manage your raw material acquisition and production time. Depending on your success, be ready to scale up!
In case you don’t intend to create products from scratch by yourself, you can source directly with manufacturers.
Some manufacturers work with dropshipping, which would save you time spent on storage and delivery issues. Screen-printing companies can customize your design ideas into apparel.
If you already have a brand you like and would be interested in reselling, you can reach them out and request a wholesale price list.
Choose your suppliers carefully. They will grant you have enough stock on time to be sold. It is valid to visit your supplier, if possible. In case you have a supplier overseas, try to contact other clients or request reference letters.
Step 4: Build your platform
Some online stores sell through websites, others through Instagram or Facebook only.
Building a site will demand higher knowledge and investment. You can hire a webmaster to assist the project or choose some basic already made templates.
According to Website Advisor, some e-commerce platforms can support in starting your first online shop. The easiest ones are Wix, SiteBuilder, Big Commerce and Shopify.
There are other options in the market; you will need to find the one that best suits your needs. Research all of them, read reviews and check which features they offer.
Remember your business might grow, so your platform should be scalable – this will save you some time and a headache in the future.
Step 5: Label it
Your brand is what will set you apart from your competitors, and a label is the best way to do it. That’s another step in knowing how to start an online clothing business from home
Labeling your clothing line or accessories will communicate the values of your company, the creativity, and quality. You can label a product even if it has not been manufactured by yourself.
Many companies offer white label products for its clients, which provides enormous advantages to your business.
- Brand recognition
Every time your customer purchases your product, he will see your logo and connect it to the experience he had. This association will encourage them to come back to your store again.
- Boost visibility
The more people see your logo, the better. Assure your label can be part of the purchase experience.
Be thoughtful through the sales funnel, present your logo since the advertising efforts to the label and package.
- A professional look
You might own a small online clothing business, but you can be professional. A label might seem insignificant, but it changes perception over your company.
Customers understand that this kind of detail cost money, and they tend to associate it to a professional company that cares about its reputation.
Before starting your branding strategy and sketch your label, ask yourself these fundamental questions:
- What is your brand identity?
- Who is your customer?
- What can only you offer? What makes your brand unique?
- What kind of experience do you want to provide?
Step 6: Spread the word
Attract people to your website and convert into sales! If you have done your market and target audience research, you already know which platforms will have a better performance and which language you should use to bring them.
Social Media – You don’t need to do all at once. Focus on the main one, the one your target audience likes to hang out more. What matter here is the quality, not quantity. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest all are great tools to work on with your marketing strategies.
Paid Advertising – Google Adwords, Facebook, and Instagram Ads are some examples of effective ways to reach out to potential customers. Study the platform you will use and the best method of extracting great results. These tools allow you to select your target audience and stipulate a budget to invest in each campaign.
Influencers – Connect to influencers that could be your brand ambassadors. They will help you grow your brand awareness and conversion.
Content Marketing – A strong content connects you to your audience, considered one of the most used practices to drive traffic to your online shop. Give fashion tips, create videos, e-books, podcasts, and articles. Use your creativity and deliver content your audience would be interested.
Read also: How This Mom Blogger Grew Her Income Using Pinterest
Step 7: Manage your inventory
Inventory is crucial to the success of your online clothing business.
Overstock means financial loss; understock means unhappy customers that might not come back. You will need to check regularly and know which products are popular, how fast do they sell and always keep track of your sales numbers.
You can use some software tools to aid and save you some time working on spreadsheets. You just need to track it and purchase more goods to restock.
Organizing your inventory while your store is taking off will give you some space to manage it more efficiently. Also, remember to have a holiday’s calendar, when it usually happens a significant product demand.
About The Author
Annabelle Carter Short is a freelance writer/editor and seamstress of more than 7 years. Annabelle writes for Wunderlabel and you can check her blog here. When not working, she’s spending time with her family or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits. Annabelle likes to make DIY and crafty projects in her free time with her two kids: Elizabeth (age 6) and Michael (age 8).
Stock Photo from G-Stock Studio @ Shutterstock