Did you know that the average person spends over $160 a month on clothes? That number isn’t surprising, as everyone needs clothes and shopping is a popular hobby.
Because the clothing industry is so lucrative, opening a clothing store is a dream for many. And while it may seem easy to do on the surface, a lot more goes into opening your own clothing business than you may think.
In this article, we’ll give you an in-depth guide that you can use to launch your clothing store from the ground up. We’ll guide you through the process, starting with drafting a business plan and finishing with tips and tricks on how to grow and expand.
That way you can make sure that you’re set up for success from the beginning!
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- Create a Solid Business Plan
Before you start searching for a building or trademarking business names, you’re first going to want to sit down and write down a business plan. This is without a doubt one of the most important steps that you’ll take when opening up a clothing store, so taking your time during this process is a must.
While a lot goes into crafting a business plan, one of the main areas you’ll need to focus on is your budget. Know how much money you have to launch your business, in addition to how much you’ll need to make each week in order to stay open and make a profit.
Then, figure out how you’re going to get that money, as well as some things you can do to stand out from other clothing businesses in your area. Being different is often key for new businesses, especially in competitive markets, so try to hone in on this idea in particular.
- Come up With a Clever Name and Logo
Regardless of the type of business, a name and logo is extremely important. That fact couldn’t be more true for a clothing business, especially if you plan on selling items with your name and logo on them.
If you’ve been thinking about opening up a clothing store for a while now, odds are you have some ideas for a name or logo already. But if you don’t, take some time to figure out what name fits you and the brand you want to create best.
Once you have a name, figure out which one of the 7 types of logos you want to use for your company. If you or someone on your team is good at making logos, draw one up in-house. If not, outsource this part of the process, as having a quality logo is too important to the overall success of your business.
- Find a Store Space in Your Area
Opening up a clothing store with a physical location that people can shop at? Start scouting for potential buildings to call your own early. If you can, try to find a spot next to other shopping locations or even restaurants, so you can get on-foot traffic from people in the area.
If you need a larger space and have to go away from the crowds in order to afford it, find creative ways to bring people into your store. Things like specials, or even free food, can be more than enough to help bring people through your doors when you first launch.
Once you have a building picked out, make sure that it’s decor fits your overall identity and brand. Making something odd a focal point inside, like an old car, is always a good idea as well, as it can help people remember your business after they leave.
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- Get Your Business Licensed and Insured
We get it. There are tons of hurdles you have to go through in order to get your store open legally. And while skipping over some of those hurdles may be tempting, it’s never a good idea, to say the least.
Failure to get your business properly licensed and insured before you open can lead to some pricey finds. Those fines are often double or triple the costs of clothing store insurance, which is why it’s a good idea to try and avoid them if you can.
Also, the last thing you want to do is get off on the wrong foot with the people who issues those fines. In fact, paying to get your business licensed and insured in person, so you can start making connections, is worth considering.
- Determine Your Target Market and Core Values
We’ll be honest, determining your target market and core values is something you should do when crafting your business plan. But the two ideas are so important that we thought they deserved to have their own section on this list.
Having an idea of who your target audience will help you decide on everything. From your name and logo to what products you sell and how you market them, your target audience should always be on your mind when making any decisions.
Your core values are important, too, as they help give your brand a voice and make it easier for people to connect with it. That can be helpful for your long-term marketing efforts, which is why you want to have those values figured out before you open up your store.
- Create Unique Designs for Your Store Items
What’s a clothing store without products to purchase on your shelf, right? While it goes without saying that you need to have stuff to sell before you open, a lot more goes into deciding on what you’re going to sell than you may believe.
We touched on this earlier, but being different from other clothing stores in your area is key, especially if you’re creating a brand from scratch. That, combined with creating things you know that your target audience will want to buy, is the trick to getting the sales numbers that you want.
- Come up With Some Effective Marketing Ideas
Once you decide on a name and logo, you’ve already started marketing your business. However, you will need to find a few more marketing techniques to use to let people in your area know that your store exists.
Depending on where you’re located, some advertising strategies may be more effective than others. If you’re lost for ideas, investing in the help of a marketing expert may be worth it in the long run.
- Consider Launching an Online Store
Looking for another way to make sales? Consider opening an online store so you can sell products to anyone in the world.
Sure, dealing with shipping and handling yourself can be a bit of work. But if you have a strong online presence or a bad store location, it can help you keep your store afloat, especially early on.
- Establish a Simple Inventory System
You already know that having tons of stock in your building is a good idea, for a multitude of reasons. It will prevent you from running out of goods, as well as allow you to buy in bulk, saving some money on your overall costs.
Once you have stock, however, you need to make sure you keep a simple inventory system. this will not only help keep you organized but make it easier to train future employees as well.
- Start Hiring Employees and Growing Your Business
If you have it in your business plans, you can hire employees to help you get your clothing store off the ground. But if it’s only you or you and another person launching your store, odds are it will be a while before you make your first hire.
While it may be tempting to start hiring people and trying to grow your business once you start having success, don’t feel rushed to do so. Take your time expanding and don’t be afraid to be stagnant at a certain size for a year or so before trying to expand.
Once you start making hires, or other decisions related to growing your business, trust your gut, and protect your assets. That way you can ensure that your business stays safe once you start bringing in people from the outside to join your team.
Use This Guide to Open Your Dream Clothing Store
Want to open up your own clothing store? Now you know how to do so thanks to this in-depth startup guide.
Remember, take your time planning and be sure to do everything legally. Trying to avoid certain expenses in an attempt to save money often leads to you spending more than you’d like in the long run, which isn’t what you want.
Looking for more entrepreneurship tips and tricks? Check out our blog!