The Top 5 Mistakes that People Make with Their First Clothing Line
Starting your own clothing line is a simple yet clever business decision given that clothing products will always have their place in the market. It is not surprising that startup entrepreneurs pick a clothing line as a business venture since it is easy but crucial to market clothes well. Furthermore, the basic principles behind clothing manufacturing are close to common knowledge for everyone. However, not all clothing lines end up as a success and some of them simply disappear quickly or never get started.
The business world is tough for startups and the clothing industry is not different. Even though the concept is fairly simple and there are a lot of successful local clothing lines who eventually made it big, there are imperative steps to take when dealing with this type of business. Hard work and business strategies all come into play not to mention having innovative and creative clothing designs. In this article, the focus will be on the common mistakes clothing startups make which can lead to the demise of their new clothing brands.
Common Mistakes for Startup Clothing Lines
1. Having way too many designs
When you are still a startup clothing line, it is crucial for you to build your brand and establish an image which customers can think of whenever they see your particular design elements. However, this purpose can be difficult to achieve if you release a bunch of designs all at once. Customers won’t be able to grasp all your designs and associate them with your brand. It would be all too confusing even if the designs are all related to each other or at least follow the same theme. Allow each design to shine before you launch new designs on to the market. Furthermore, it’s both expensive and time intense to start with many clothing designs at the same time. Channel your efforts to shine brighter with fewer pieces.
2. Don’t have a proper tech pack to start with
A lot of startup clothing lines take the rudimentary method of just drawing and describing their clothes instead of following what is industry standard. You have to use a proper tech pack for each clothing product so that your clothing manufacturer has precise instructions. As a clothing line with ambitions to be in the market for a long time, it is also important to keep tech packs in case a design needs to be reprinted or reproduced. Once a design of yours becomes a hit, it will be difficult for you to reproduce the item since you do not have a tech pack to go with it. If you are be able to replicate the design, chances are the product is no longer the same as its predecessor.
3. Not testing the market with a small quantity
Product demand for a certain new clothing design is very hard to estimate considering the many different fashion tastes and the many competitors out there in the clothing business. If you release a small quantity in the market first, you might run out of stock soon. However, it’s a great way to mitigate the risk that the first batch doesn’t sell that well. More importantly, customer feedback can be collected and the design can be improved even further with each order. You have to be able to keep the momentum of your product in the meantime. This is why it is important to release a small number of clothing products fist to play it safe–focus on testing what works best.
4. Not doing custom designs but just doing prints
Doing custom designs is advisable if you are starting out with a clothing line. When doing custom cut and sew clothing, you can cater to a particular market which is very important since you want to stand out. You do not want to be invisible in the market with generic t-shirts and sweaters, because it’s much harder to stand out with those and since so many people are doing these. Always come up with original designs as your starting point and simply add the desired print to those if you really want. Alternatives are embroideries and other more complex design elements that help you to get the attention you need.
5. Feeling the need to manufacture in Western countries
If you are still new to the clothing industry, many feel it is superior to manufacture clothes in Western countries given their advanced technology and quality concerns. However, this is wrong notion because almost all of clothing companies actually manufacture their clothes in China, Philippines, Vietnam and other Asian manufacturing countries. Overhead expenses are cheaper there including materials and other resources. But that’s not it. The knowledge about clothing manufacturing is better and the supply chains are more efficient. Western countries do not compare to their ability, expertise, cost and options to scale.
These five mistakes are common practices of people starting a new clothing line that underperform or even fail. Sometimes it is easier to find out what to avoid instead of discovering the perfect route when it comes to businesses. There are no perfect formulas with new business ventures such as first clothing line, but the factors of having cool designs, putting in the hard work and a bit of luck will all work better following the mentioned recommendations.
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