Do you have what it takes to start your own clothing business in India? Starting a successful clothing business is your dream, and you've decided to make it a reality right now. But before you dive in head first, there are some things you should know that will help ensure the success of your clothing business.
Starting a clothing line might be the perfect opportunity if you're passionate about fashion. But before you jump in head-first, it's important to learn how to start a clothing brand in India with a solid business plan and target market.
Did you know?
T-shirts are amongst the most renowned pieces of clothing throughout the world, with nearly 200 crores sold each year.
How Much Does it Cost to Open a Clothing Store in India?
Steps to Follow to Start a Clothing Business in India
You need to understand the business by all means. Would you source the products from the supplier? Will you manufacture the products? How will you manage the shipping? Who will be the target audience?… And the list goes on.
Planning is one of the most vital aspects of starting an online clothing business. It would be best if you had a clear idea about your vision and goals before you start working on them.
Once you know what you want out of this cloth business, start researching different fashion websites and identify what makes them unique. Is it their overall content, look and feel or something else that makes them stand out. Make notes and jot down ideas that you find interesting.
Once you have decided on the product to sell, it is time to plan your business model. There are two types of business models:
a) Wholesale Model
You buy from the supplier in volume and sell them to retailers in bulk. This model is perfect for seasonal items like prom dresses or costumes. Additionally, this model is also profitable when you have a large amount of inventory. This model requires a sizable amount of investment to kick-start the business.
b) Retail Model
In this model, you will directly deal with the consumers without any middlemen involved.
Also Read: An Overview of India’s Best Clothing Brands
3. Choosing an Apt Niche
One of the most important things to consider when getting started online is choosing your niche. There are millions of products that you could potentially sell online and thousands of niches to choose from. So how do you narrow it down? Make sure that the products you are selling and your words to describe those products are unique. In other words, you want to be sure that your product niche has a specific audience it appeals to, so finding a specific niche is critical for success.
You can easily choose a niche to start an online cloth business from the comfort of your bed. How? It's very easy. Do you like reality TV? 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' or any reality show? A lot of people love reality TV. Or perhaps it's something personally important to you, such as health and wellness issues, politics or the environment. If there is a type of cause or topic you feel strongly about, other shoppers do too. They would be interested in buying apparel or clothing items to reinforce their identity as environmentalists or outspoken liberals.
4. Licences and Permits Needed for a Clothing Store in India
Once you have decided on what your niche is going to be, here are some steps that can help you get started:
- Choose your business entity - Sole Proprietor, Partnership, LLP or Private Limited.
- Start your own business in your town (if any) and obtain licences such as a Gumasta licence, a sole proprietorship/partnership/LLP/private limited, a TIN/PAN/TAN, VAT & CST for e-commerce and so on.
- Register yourself with the Service Tax Department (VAT, CST, etc.) as per your company's annual turnover.
- Open a current account in a bank in the name of your business entity.
- Register on all online marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon etc.
5. Choosing Clothing Products for the Store
Once you've determined your apparel segment, it's time to identify your products. Should you be selling formal pants or jeans? The clothing business is nearly limitless, and you can be certain that there are numerous options within the niche you're selling in.
Starting with just a few products will allow you to focus on your customers' needs and how to market those items effectively. It also reduces risk since if one product fails, it won't be the end of the world for your business. And when those products succeed, that success will make it easier to bring in more inventory.
When choosing products for your online clothing store, make sure they fit into one of two categories:
- Either they are a hot item that people are searching for right now (a trend or fad) or
- They're not trendy, but they're made well enough
6. Selling the Product
Whether you're a first-time fashion entrepreneur or adding a clothing business as an existing business, e-commerce is the best place to start.
If you're starting with a small number of garments that require little initial investment, then those with very little money can produce their clothing in their home using an industrial sewing machine. But most new businesses will outsource production at some point in time, so it's important to look around for a quality manufacturer early on.
There are many online platforms you can use to sell your designs. If you're just getting started and want to keep things simple, you might consider Shopify, Squarespace and Etsy. These all have their pros and cons, depending on your goals.
For more advanced entrepreneurs looking for more functionality, there are tools like WooCommerce or BigCommerce. You can use these to build a website you have full control over.
These days, a good website is very easy to set up (even if you don't have any coding experience).
Regardless of which platform you choose, there are a few key things they will all require, including:
- Shipping Information (if applicable)
- Payment gateway/account setup
- Listing and uploading products (including images)
7. Marketing and Driving Traffic
Now that you have a great product and your store is set up, it's time to drive traffic. Since this is a clothing business we're building, we'll focus on fashion marketing strategies.
a) Create Content and Post It On Social Media
Social media content is one of the best ways to grow your online clothing business. Share photos of your new products or updates on your blog with text like new in-store today or trendy tops on sale. People will be more likely to view and share if they see it as something new and interesting rather than a simple advertisement.
As you create content, keep in mind the difference between each social media platform regarding posting times, type of content, etc. For example, you may want to post pictures of your clothing line on Instagram and link those pictures back to your website for purchase. You can also post 15-60 second videos on TikTok about your new products or brand, showing how great they are so people want to go out and buy them.
b) Keep Your Website Updated
One of the best things about having an online clothing business is that you don't have to do all the hard work.
Fashion trends change faster than the weather, but what always remains in style. And in this day and age of the internet, you can make a fortune selling the right style to your customers. However, the e-commerce industry has become so competitive that people are willing to bring out their inner Sherlock Holmes to sell a product online.
It's all about strategy and acting at the right time with the right approach. So, if you want to start an online cloth store but don't know where to start, follow these six steps, and you'll be ready to launch your own, fully functional e-commerce store in no time. You can focus on growing your business rather than spending too much time figuring things out for yourself.
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