How to Start a garments Manufacturing Business in 2023
1. Study the clothing industry
Before you get into garments manufacturing, it is a good idea to study the clothing industry. Take a look at the different business models successful clothing manufacturers are using. Study trends in the industry in 2023.
The clothing industry is pretty consistent in the sense that people will always need clothing. However, trends come and go very quickly, especially since pop culture is so accessible through social media.
2. Choose a niche
When it comes to clothing manufacturing, there are so many niches to choose from. Let’s take a look at some of the different types of clothing you can create in 2023.
Even within each of these niches, there are many types of garments you can create. The basics would be Tops, Yoga, shirts, pants, shorts, socks, skirts, and silk dresses.
3. Identify your target audience
Choosing a target audience that you can serve well is essential in the success of your clothing manufacturing business in 2023. As we mentioned earlier, you can sell to either consumers or retailers, with selling retailers being the most common approach.
If you’re targeting retailers, you’ll narrow them down by the consumers that they serve. For example, if you are going to manufacture dresses, you’ll target retailers that sell clothing to women. You’ll also want to identify where these retailers are located. Will you sell to local shops or retailers that sell clothing around the world?
Narrow it down even further by the price point of your product. Are you manufacturing clothing that would be considered budget-friendly, luxury, or somewhere in the middle of the road?
Furthermore, where will your ideal customer be looking for clothing manufacturers? How large of orders will they make? Will they want or need customized garments? Do they value sustainability and fair trade, or are they okay with you taking measures to lower the cost of production?
Having a clear understanding of who your target audience is will help you down the road. Defining this audience from the start will help you make decisions more intentionally as you build your business.
4. Identify your value proposition
We mentioned earlier that the fashion clothing industry is quite sizeable. That means that there are likely many other businesses that serve the same audience and manufacture the same garments as you do. Since you’ll likely have several direct and indirect competitors, you have to have a unique selling point or value proposition that sets you apart from the rest.
Identify what you do differently and leverage that in a way to win over potential buyers.
Your value proposition could have something to do with the quality of your products or your service. It could be a guarantee on order fulfillment or turnaround time. Just figure out what you can do to provide a unique experience that benefits your customers and stick with it.
5. Create a budget
A clothing manufacturing business requires quite a bit of capital to get started since the production process requires quite a bit of equipment. Create a budget to determine exactly how much you’ll need to get started.
Be generous with any estimates because you’re better off starting with too much capital than too little. All of this information will come in handy as you create your business plan.
6. Create a plan
Once you’ve figured out the general direction of your business, it is time to sit down and hammer out your business plan. This will serve as your guide as you continue to build your business.
If you are trying to get funding, you will add a section to your business plan that covers your funding request. Include how much capital you need and how you will use it.
7. Build a reliable team
Starting off with a reliable team is key to building a sustainable business. You will want to build a team of people who are professional, driven, reliable, and skilled. Not only should your team of experience in running a business, but at least a portion of your team should have some startup experience. That’s because it is a lot harder to get a business off the ground than it is to maintain operations in a thriving business.
Assuming you’re the CEO, it is wise to have people who have experience in accounting, marketing, advertisement, sales, sourcing, and customer relations. Since you’re opening a factory, logistics or industrial engineering experience is also key. You will also need designers and specialists for creating prototypes of your garments.
Having a team with diverse experience will allow you to delegate different tasks to individuals who can handle them the best.
Depending on what sort of capital you have, some of these founding members may have equity in the company in lieu of a salary for the first year or so. Work out a structure that makes sense for all of the team members.
On the same note, if you are going into business with friends or family members, be sure to set professional boundaries. Do not appoint unqualified people to important positions just because they are your loved ones. This will cause stress and issues.
Please keep in mind that you will also have to hire factory workers. Some parts of the manufacturing process may require skilled workers for sewing and cutting fabric by hand.
8. Work out a sales plan
The next step is creating a sales plan. A sales plan outlines how you’ll optimize your sales process to shorten the cycle and ultimately get more customers.
Your sales plan should outline your revenue goals within a specific time period, current information on the industry and market, how you can optimize your team’s performance, how you can best use your resources, technology you’ll use, who is responsible for what, and how you will assess your success.
Here are a few questions to answer as you figure out how to optimize your process:
What problem are you solving for your customer?
How will you generate leads?
How will you foster your leads?
How will you present your products to prospects?
What sort of perks can representatives offer to close the deal?
What is the protocol for following up with customers for reorders?
The goal here is to document the process that a buyer goes through from the time they are a lead up through when they have submitted an order. This will help you set standards for your sales representatives to follow so that you can create a consistent customer experience.
9. Set up your factory
Next, it is time to set up your factory. You must choose a location that makes sense. Rural areas with lower real estate costs, and low costs of living in general, make for better locations. This will save you money on the factory building itself, and it will give you access to cheaper labor.
From there, you will have to order your equipment and set up your space with the most optimal and efficient layout.
If you don’t have one on your team, you’ll likely want to hire an industrial engineer to come in for a consultation and help you with your setup and plan for operations. This specialist will help you optimize your operations to save time and money.
10. List your products online
Once everything has fallen into place and production has begun, it is time to list your products online. Today, many wholesalers and manufacturers are finding success in listing their products on B2B eCommerce marketplace, like made-in-china.
Listing your products on this type of platform gets your brand in front of retailers and business buyers who are looking to source clothing items for their shops. The nature of made-in china and similar platforms give you the ability to connect with serious B2B buyers both near and far. This also means that you can export from the start if you choose to do so.
When you list your clothing online, make sure that you use professional photos and videos to present the articles of clothing. Using models makes listings more attractive than using a mannequin.
As you optimize your clothing listings, be intentional with the keywords that you use in your titles and descriptions so that the items are easily found when buyers search the marketplace.