Since time immemorial humans have been in love with what they wear and have always tried to wear something that makes them look better than ever. Throughout history clothing has decided the status of a person.
Government positions, army ranks, dress among religious leaders and many such institutions have showed the important of clothing and how it determines the status of a person.
In the present democratic society that has seen much more freedom than ever people have the freedom of wearing whatever they want. The last one century has therefore seen a huge surge in growth of apparel industry catering to the needs and aspirations of people.
United States has been a pioneer in clothing industry and has seen the rise of some of the most loved and consumed apparel brands. United States’ textile industry is calculated to be close to $70 billion.
US is also a leading exported of textile goods and has more than 341, 300 jobs in the textile sector including manufacturing of raw materials. United States $23 billion of clothing products in 2018 which makes a leader in this industry.
In the recent years the industry has focused on increasing the production using technological advancements and reducing the cost of production by technology. The fine clothing material and clothing products of US based clothing companies have made them world leaders.
Clothing Industry in the United States
Clothing industry in United States has seen an immense rise in the last 2 decades. From 7 tons of consumption to 14 tons of consumption in clothing goods US has seen an immense rise.
The rise clothing outlets have also seen a rise in the recent years. The present status indicates that US consumers are preferring styled clothing over the traditional ones and therefore fashionable items have seen a surge in the recent years.
It can also be not denied that clothing industry is also one of the most congested industry where the market is already filed with many players and therefore it has become quite tough for new players to survive unless they bring something new appealing to the market.
Though the traditional branded outlets are still a success in themselves but they have now come to a saturation point. A creative and strategic approach towards the apparel industry is necessary in order to succeed in this industry if you are planning as a newbie.
Clothing Store as a Business in the United States
It is of not much difficulty to open a clothing store in United States. You can get a franchise of a leading apparel brand or you can have products of various clothing brands in your store. It always depends on you.
The success of your business depends on various factors and not just on one factor. The industry is already very competitive and therefore a lot much needs to be done in order to ensure that your clothing store becomes a success.
Therefore one needs a business plan which is written after extensive research of the apparel industry. That business plan will work as a guide for you while you start your business process and until you have finished all the tasks as mentioned in your business plan.
Clothing Store Business Plan
Before you write a plan there is lot of thinking that needs to be done. You have to extensively ponder on each of the aspects of your business and how their success and failure can impact your business.
Hire an expert or expert team to do a feasibility analysis test which will examine each and every aspect of clothing business of yours. This will put light on options that can be profitable for you.
Such a research is necessary as it will provide raw facts that will help you in taking decisions and writing your business plan. A business plan is not only a guide for you but it also helps you in attracting investment, securing loans, getting franchise of a top brand and also getting credits when needed.
So what will your business plan contain?
- Summary of your Business
- Objectives and Aims of your Business
- Your Target Market
- Your Field of Apparel Business
- Strategy for your Business
- Capital Investment and Finance
- Resources to Pool
- Organisational Structure of your Business
- Marketing and Expanding your Business
- Estimated Return on Investment
- Future Prospects
Some questions you need to answer before starting clothing store business
There are some questions you need to raise before you move ahead. These questions will be answered through your research and based on your aims and objectives. By answering these questions you will get a clear picture for your business.
Some of the questions are:
- Are you ready to take risks?
- Do you have any previous experience related to apparel business?
- Is your niche competitive and has already lots of experienced players? If yes then how will you cope up with this challenge?
- Are you going into this business based on your passion, your business sense or you have some great plans?
- Do you have some advantage if you are going into this business over others?
- Do you want to be just a business or you want to be a leader into this business?
The above mentioned questions and their answers will help you in shaping some of the objectives, visions and aims of your business and business plan. Let us start with the summary of your business.
Summary of Your Business
Give details regarding your business. A summary contains a short and crisp details of your business from all aspects. Write down your view regarding your business, its structure, properties, finance, your aim for the business and future vision.
Objective and Aims of your Business
What is the objective of your business? What is your business going to achieve? Is it just a profit driven business or it has something new to offer? The above mentioned questions and there answers will sum up the objective and aims of your business.
Mostly all businesses have some unique objectives. It is not necessary that you should have some distinct objective but whatever your objective is it should be very clear so that you are confident while executing it.
Also write down how you will ensure to successful execute the objectives and how such objectives will fetch you profitable returns. How much risk is involved, whether you are experienced in this industry or not. All such questions should be answered in brief.
Clothing Store Target Market
Are you target people of particular age group, gender or of a particular region that have some unique fashion sense? Who is your target market matters in order to successfully attract customers.
Write down in detail about your target market. Whether your clothing store will only entertain branded clothing products from famous brands or it will have customized products targeting particular group of people.
Textile market is very vast and diverse in nature. Different clothing materials, style of stitching, embroidery, fashion style, etc. matters to customers. The location of your business also matters a lot.
United States is diverse in itself. It caters to people of different language group, ethnicity, age, gender and fashion lovers. Your choice will depend on demand and profit you will get. Choose it wisely and describe in detail why you have chosen it and how it will lead to profits.
Your Field or Niche Selection in Apparel Market
It is not possible that your clothing store will cater to all demands and niches available in United States. You will be specific and limited to few products and niches. This depends a lot on demand, your location of business and profit you can earn.
The usual demands in market are of branded cloths mostly worn by men and women. You may have distinct and varied choice. Mention it down and the reasons why you want to have them in your store.
Selection should be based on demand. Demand depends on the location in which your store is operating. A particular location can have retired army officers and their family, immigrants from India, South Asia, Middle East, China or Africa.
Their occupation, social habits, gender, fashion sense matters a lot. If you have down your homework well then you can easily recognize which niche will be successful in the location you have chosen or vice versa.
Strategy for your Business
Strategy is important for the success of your business. It drives your business from the first step to the last step. What is your strategy to garner profits? How will choose the location of your business?
To start your clothing store you will need to lease or purchase a space, you will have to furnish it, do all kinds of documentation, insure it, and get certification, affiliation and franchise. There is money involved in all this. How you will do all things is what should be mentioned in your strategy column.
What is your strategy to reach the aim you have determined for your business? How will you target your potential customers? Who all are going to assist you in your business? From where will you get your product stock? What will be rate?
There are lot of such questions which you need to answer. Address all such points neatly and briefly as it will help you at later stage.
Capital Investment and Finance
Money is all that matters in a business startup. A strategy for managing your finance is necessary because a haphazard plan will drain all your hard earned money and investment.
If you are seeking loan from banks or investment from partners you will have to explain them and convince them regarding your business. You will explain how you will spend the capitals and how such expenditure will reap returns.
Such financial plans also helps in judicial use of money as while starting a business you may not be careful enough while spending money. A plan helps in calculating and monitoring your expenditure.
Investments come when the investor is confident on your expenditure plan that whatever he is investing will reap profits in future. Therefore have a strategic fact based financial plan which is realistic in nature.
Resources to Pool
What does it takes to start a clothing business?
Visit various such model clothing stores which you aim to start for yourself. Look at them and consult their owners. It will give a brief perspective regarding resources that you need to pool in to start your business.
You will require inventory, warehouse, some vehicles to supply goods, a vast market and distributors who will supply you goods at a profitable price, etc.
You will have to furnish your shop, have various infrastructural requirements, computers, furniture, and many such things.
Organization Structure of your Business
Even the smallest store of yours will have at least more than two persons to manage customers and daily affairs. How many people are going to be there in your store? What will be their jobs and qualification?
Will you be sole proprietor of your business of there will be partners? Will you be accepting investment from investors in your business and what will be their role in the business?
The salary, job hours, job of each employee, etc. should be mentioned in detail. Your organization of your business matters while registering your business, tax registration, insurance, accounting, opening of bank accounts, legal formalities, etc.
Frame an article of association based on which you will engage with your employees, associates, suppliers, distributors, etc. There are other aspects like location of your business, rent, electricity connection, commuting, parking, etc.
Marketing and Expanding your Business
Marketing in this age is necessary to garner more customers. There are now various ways through which you can market your business. Hire a marketing expert and he will do this job for you.
Your business plan already has your target market. Adopt a marketing strategy to woo your potential customers. A strategy in marketing will save your costs of marketing and it will also be effective.
Marketing is a way through which you will expand your business which is necessary to grow. Where there is stagnation in growth the business is bound to fail therefore adopting a robust strategy will gain more customers and boost your profit.
There should always be a long term strategy for your business. A business goes in a flow and once a flow is setup it should go accordingly. If the flow is disturbed your business can suffer.
Mentioning such future plans also helps you in moving in a planned way. It gives you a roadmap and therefore you will not deviate. Since apparel industry evolves with time therefore a growth model based on future prospects is necessary to ensure continuing success.
Depending on your business structure and location, you may need a business license, zoning permit, sales tax permit, and other licenses and permits. Contact your local Small Business Administration office or state and local agencies to find out what permits and licenses you may need.
The amount you need to start a clothing store will depend on the type of store you own, the size of the store, and the types of clothing you will be selling. Generally, it will require several tens of thousands of dollars to cover startup expenses.
You can secure funding in several ways such as a bank loan, line of credit, or investor funding. You will need to prepare a business plan and show potential sources of funding your highly researched business model.
The basic steps to start a clothing store business include: creating a business plan, securing funding, finding the right location, creating a product line, designing a store layout, setting up an inventory system, advertising and marketing, and hiring employees.
To legally protect your clothing store business, you should consider forming a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation. You should also consider getting business insurance and trademarking any logos or brands related to your clothing store.
Depending on your business structure, there are several documents you may need to open a clothing store business such as business formation documents, loan documents, product and supplier agreements, lease agreements, employment agreements, and more.
When creating a product line for your clothing store business, it is important to consider the needs of your target customer, the trends in the industry, and the production costs needed to create the clothing. You should also have a plan for shipping, storing and displaying the clothing in your store.
When setting up the store layout for a clothing store, it is important to consider the target customer, display and signage needs, traffic flow of customers, available storage space, and the types of clothing you will be offering. Additionally, you should provide comfortable seating and styling areas.
To successfully market your clothing store, you should consider using both digital and physical marketing campaigns such as developing a website, using social media, creating promotional materials, providing discounts and coupons, and hosting in-store events.
You may need to hire employees to manage the store, help customers, stock inventory, and do administrative tasks. The specific number and type of employees you need may depend on the size of your store and the particular needs of your business.