Things to Note Before Launching Your Clothing Business
First Things First
You are starting out a new clothing business; there are several things to take into account, many things to keep track of, numerous other existing businesses who are doing the same thing. While you might have an innovative approach in your business, another way to set yourself apart from your competition is by doing what most young fashion labels fail to do; not neglecting the production aspect. Before you even start taking orders and chasing sales, ensure you have the production capabilities to fulfil those orders. Do not put yourself into a tight spot by only seeking out suppliers when the orders start piling up. The last thing you would want to do is fail to fulfil orders. This can really affect the present and future reputation of your young company as the news spreads within the industry.
Now that you understand that suppliers are actually your most significant business partners, you can appreciate the fact that one of the most important things to bring your business forward would be to be securing a good and reliable supplier early on. When we say reliable, it is actually a very important keyword. Finding a supplier might not be too difficult in the age of the internet. You do not want there to be a case where you did your due diligence by staying ahead and sourcing out a supplier but they fail to meet your demands, or they do not meet your standards as they have not been successful in understanding your brand values and impact. Now the question is how to find such reliable suppliers? Let us discuss about that.
Finding Reliable Suppliers
- Past Institutions/Employers
If you have worked in fashion industries before, your employers could potentially have plenty of contacts that could be useful to you. Get in touch with your past employers, you might be able to gain the contacts of their existing supplier. If they have been working with these suppliers for a while, they are the walking testimonials of how the suppliers perform.
If you had studied in a fashion institution before, you could turn to your professors for help. Established fashion schools usually utlilise suppliers for various reasons and would be able to point you in the right direction.
- Online Resources
A simple online search would be the easiest way to gain such contacts. This will however require much of your own judgement and you would have to be aware of what to look out for. Study the websites of these suppliers carefully and take note of their MOQs, price list, ratings and testimonials. You can also contact them to find out what their processes are like and judge for yourself if you can see yourself working with them. A good supplier would want to understand what your brand is all about and whether they are able to deliver the kind of quality and quantity you seek.
One is the Lucky Number
It is best if you are able to stick to one supplier, thus you should go into it with the mindset that it will be a long term partnership. If you begin to work with a supplier but later realise you are not suitable for each other, it can cause much disruption in the process, slowing down your ability to deliver to your customers as well. This hurts your brand’s reputation as well.
As with any relationships, communication is key here too. It plays a vital role in getting the products done right. If your supplier has significant experience in making the kind of products you wish to make, they are able to give you advice along the way to make the best possible products.
Quality Over Quantity
While you would want to minimise production costs, do not compromise on quality as ultimately what will represent your brand is your product. Make sure the supplier’s workmanship is of satisfactory standards with strict quality control. Suppliers often offer discounts on bulk orders so do look out for that.
Once you have found the right supplier, you would have overcome one of the biggest hurdles of starting your business.