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June 30, 2009 at 11:30 pm #965063Ken LeeMember
- Total posts: 28
I am looking to begin my first business venture. Firstly I believe that I have come up with an idea that will sell pretty well, it is a branding/label clothing venture focusing on toddlers and young boys.
I believe that my idea will be something that my perspective clients will want to wear and something that they will want their parents to buy.
I have decided to post here so I can get some feedback and also force myself to keep moving as self doubt can cause a bit of procrastination.
Coming up with an idea has been the hardest thing for me so I am pretty chuffed to have made it this far
I should also add that I do not come from a clothing background at all it is just an idea I have. Currently I work as a System Administrator.
What I envisage doing from this point is writing up a business plan, now to do this I have identified things I will need to do:
1. Find a manufacturer of clothing or supplier and prices.
2. Get my brand/logo drawn up so it can be placed on the shirts and prices.
3. Cost the parking of web-addresses.
4. Asses if it is worth opening an e-bay store to run along another web-fronted shop.
5. Find costing for local markets.
6. Find costing for creating and placing advert banners/links on various sites such as bub-hub and the like.
I would like to use the business plan to get a loan and I think that 10k would suffice in the sourcing of the first load of stock, basic web presence/e-bay, business cards, advertising and market stalls
I will continue working full-time so I guess this will make the bank a little more likely to support this idea and keep the stress of needing to make money whilst getting the business of the ground.
I would like to begin selling at the local markets to see how the product is received and thing that perhaps it would be a good idea to open an e-bay store to back that up and keep things turning over before I open a web-shop.
A few questions, does anyone have any recommendations for a clothing manufacturer or provider that can also put the artwork/logo’s etc on the clothing as well. Web searches bring up a lot of Chinese manufacturers, I am not against the idea of getting stock from China but I would like to know if they are reputable.
Also, does anyone see anything wrong with my current plan of attack.
Regards,July 1, 2009 at 2:58 am #1009849exstaticMember
- Total posts: 335
Love your motivation, and great to see you are taking the first steps – but you are taking the typical steps that any new novice business owner takes, they dive in head first without testing the water!
You need to test your market first before investing in stock. I have seen so many businesses who die in the first year because they spend up big on stock without having any customers!
Ask yourself these questions;
– Would the market you target buy your product over your competitors, why? what is so good an unique about your product? what is your USP (unique selling point)?
– Have you researched your market and asked them if they would buy your product, rather than just a hunch? And I don’t mean ask friends of family, ask strangers, potential purchasers, shops that sell clothing targeted to your market..
Maybe get some samples together, visit some child care centres, day care, mothers groups and see what they think of the product, see if they like it, get some feedback from them, such as how much would they expect to pay, how do they like to buy things – online, offline, mail order ?
The key to a successful startup is understanding your market, what they want, how they want to get it, and how they want to pay for it. – and then give them just that!
Once you know that, you can formulate your business plan around that, you can determine how much you should be paying to get the stock made, how you would set up your distribution/sales gateways – such as online, mail order, face to face, markets etc.. And where you would find your customers!
Then that will help you work out how much you actually need to invest in the business, whether it is actually a viable business and have all the information to take to the bank.
Hope that helps you a little!July 1, 2009 at 5:30 am #1009850LeelaCosgroveMember
- Total posts: 634
Ask yourself these questions;
Even more importantly – ask your CLIENTS these questions!
Before going into wholesale manufacture, I would consider doing some testing.
1. via surveys.
2. via product testing – do you sew? How about making the clothes yourself to begin with and seeing how things go? Sell these at the markets / on ebay. If you DON’T sew – how about putting an ad in the paper (or online) for people who are good sewers who would like to make a bit of extra money at night? Pay them to do it. It will cost you more PER GARMENT than mass-Chinese manufacture, but you will be able to make a small number of test products that you can then float to see how the idea goes.
I am such a believer in the self-funding business. Don’t go taking out huge loans when you don’t know if it’s going to work. Start small, build, test.
It may be that you are on a winning idea but you need to readjust some of your designs – what will you do if that’s the case and you’ve got 2,000 garments you’ve paid for and can’t shift?
It doesn’t really matter whether YOU think it will work, the only thoughts that matter are those of your market … and even then, it’s not their thoughts that matter – they will vote with their wallets.July 1, 2009 at 9:00 pm #1009851Ken LeeMember
- Total posts: 28
That is exactly why I posted here, great contstructive answers.
I guess both Leela and Exstatic have given me a bit of food for thought and I will need to look at what step I will take next.
Thanks guys.July 2, 2009 at 9:59 am #1009852Lis SowerbuttsMember
- Total posts: 50
Along the same lines how do you expect your customers to find you online? What keywords would they use “funky boys clothes” “cheap kids gear australia” – Use this free tool to check out the actual demand https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal#
Also go onto ebay.com.au – check out the listings for the categories that you are interested in -look at what is selling and what price- its the easiest/cheapest market research to be had!
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