Readymade garments have high demand. McKinsey’s FashionScope data suggests that the Indian apparel market will reach a target of $59.3 billion by 2022. It will make India the sixth-largest garment manufacturer worldwide. In this age of instant gratification, people want customised clothing styles. The changing aspirations of the Indian middle class, digitally savvy customers and strong economic growth are key growth drivers for the clothing sector in India. These positive trends make people wonder how to start a clothing brand to optimise the demand for quality clothing.
Such people may show great design sense, artistic expertise and passion to create a brand. They could market various designer brands under one roof or market an established brand’s line of clothing. So, there are various ways how to build a clothing business in India.
This guide on how to start a clothing brand in India covers everything from developing a business plan to design, license and permits, and much more.
What is a Clothing Brand?
A clothing brand is a collection of products launched under one brand name. It is designed for a certain demographic or clientele. It can be offline via retail shops or on online platforms. One can showcase high-end designer labels to trending styles all under one roof. A brand identity could lead to more profits for the business if conducted properly.
At times, you may want to consider how to start a clothing business online. So, think of various business aspects like permits, target audience, broader business goals, insurance and the like. Such factors tend to influence how a business operation takes place.
Follow the below steps on how to start your clothing brand to ensure a smooth and successful business transition.
How to Start a Clothing Brand in India?
If someone wants to know how to start a clothing brand, they should consider the below steps.
Develop a Business Plan
The first step is to create a business plan. It helps evaluate the set-up and operational costs, funding source, market competition, etc over the short and long term. In addition, a business plan can also put business ideas into perception. For example, a business plan could tell what customer needs can be addressed by the launch of the clothing brand. Projections are also a key component of the business plan and branding strategy.
Evaluate the Target Customer
Just having a business plan will not be enough to help you crack the idea of how to start a clothing line. Focussing on the target market/audience/niche area will help determine the business scope and viability in the market. For example, they could focus on manufacturing maternity wear, teen clothing and so on. Similarly, they could select certain demography, buying habits, climates etc. when narrowing down the target. Focussing on the targeted customer needs and preferences helps assess demand for clothing in the market.
Implement a Business Model
The next step in how to start a fashion brand in India is to have a business model in place. A business model helps specify the operational aspect of the clothing brand business. It means the brand owner can design the product on an individual or a wholesale scale. Or else, it can be sold only to retailers or to certain outlets.
Apply for Licenses and Permits
A key criterion of how to start your clothing brand in India is to have the necessary licenses and permits in place. Licenses and permits are specific to the place of business operations. It could be registered as a Private Limited Company, Limited Liability Partnership, Proprietorship and so on. Whatever the case, the clothing brand must be registered. If the business involves the set up of an establishment or shop, then the Shop and Establishment license must be obtained from that State Government. Having the relevant licenses and permits ensures that all legal formalities for establishing a clothing brand are met before the actual operations begin.
Maintain a List of Contacts
When thinking of how to start a fashion brand, having a list of the various business contacts is important. The contact list includes suppliers, distributors, publishers, boutique owners and customers.
Conduct an Exhibition
After deciding on the contact list, developing the collection/catalogue book, pricing etc. the next step would be to exhibit the clothing line. A clothing line will gain visibility and traction only when the products are shown around. So, when someone plans to launch their clothing brand or line, they need to conduct an exhibition. Invites should be specifically sent to the people from their contact list. The exhibition should be made available to the general public as the case may be.
Develop a Marketing Portfolio
An exhibition will help get a limited audience. If the business owner wishes to target a larger audience they must get their marketing strategies right. Also, if they want to know how to start a clothing business online, an offline exhibition may not give the desired outcome. Developing a marketing portfolio based on select pieces of the clothing line will attract customers. Such a portfolio would not have the price or size details.
Create a Promotional Strategy
Plans on how to start a fashion brand will not hold ground if the entrepreneurs do not develop the right promotional strategy. For example, a famous fashion model may give the brand a much-needed boost. Similarly, press releases can help a clothing brand thrive. By sending press releases to potential buyers/customers, media/editors and boutique owners, the owner can promote their brand adequately. Further, it can gain traction if it collaborates with a known e-commerce platform. Such a strategy could give the brand the much-needed impetus during its initial years.
While starting a clothing brand is a good business option, it is anything but easy. So, when thinking about how to make a clothing brand successful in India, entrepreneurs should consider the various factors that impact it. Knowing how to start a clothing brand in India will ensure smooth business operations and visibility.
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