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How to Start a Clothing Line: The Ultimate 12-Step Guide

Caroline Goldstein

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Maybe you’ve been sketching designs since you were a kid, have been making your own award-winning Halloween costumes for decades, and have already sold out of the custom T-shirts you’re making out of your garage. Or maybe you’re just intensely entrepreneurial (and obsessed with style) and want a piece of the trillion-plus dollars floating around the retail industry. Regardless of your drive, knowing how to start a clothing line is very different from just wanting to start a clothing line.

Luckily, many scrappy clothing entrepreneurs before you have launched their lines to great success, and they’re willing to share their tips with you.

We’ve interviewed a few of those business owners to put together this guide on how to start your own clothing line, from product idea generation to funding your business through a small-business loan (and some words of much-needed wisdom to power you through your pursuit).

How to start a clothing line

With the competition, complexities and even intimidation associated with the fashion industry, you may be concerned that as an entrepreneur with no experience, you won't be able to start our own clothing line.

When it comes down to it, however, unlike, say, becoming a doctor, starting a clothing line doesn’t necessarily require special training or a degree. In fact, most of the designers we spoke with had no formal experience in the fashion industry before starting their businesses.

That said, you do need to completely dedicate your time and energy into launching your clothing brand.

Bianca Dabney is the founder of BIDA, a sustainable, minimalistic streetwear line. Her modeling and acting career instilled in her a love for the fashion industry and an understanding of how garments are presented and marketed. Still, she says:

"The most challenging part of starting my own business was actually gaining the confidence and self-assurance that I could and should start it."

Like many of us, Dabney knew college was the clear path laid out before her. "I was raised thinking that going to school and working a corporate job was really the only option, and I was nervous to finally let go of that mentality and see that there were other paths," she says.

She founded her business without any formal training and used her experiences working as an actress and model in the industry instead:

"I’m also a self-taught designer, so finding the resources to create the brand was rewarding yet challenging. Self-motivation, determination and my passion helped me to become an expert in my field."

Like Dabney, you might find that the hardest part of the process, at least psychologically, is committing yourself to actually starting your clothing line. But if you understand that the process will require long hours, impeccable organizational skills and a potentially steep learning curve, you’re fully capable of teaching yourself how to do it — no fashion MFA required.

1. Write a business plan

It’s always useful to write and implement a business plan at the start of your venture. This plan will act as a roadmap outlining how you’ll reach your goals over the next couple of years. But also know that your business plan isn’t necessarily set in stone.

“Before launching BIDA, I created a business plan that included brand, sales strategy and marketing elements,” Dabney says.

“However, I’ve had to make changes and adjustments based on my customers and the environment. Running a business is an ongoing evolution. It’s important to have a clear plan of action, but it’s equally important to be flexible and be able to adapt.”

That adaptability is especially important in the retail business, which undergoes trend changes all the time.

“It’s both a very exciting time in fashion and a very unpredictable time,” says Ariel Mehrban, founder of True Vision LA, a streetwear clothing line based in Los Angeles.

“The market is seeing new influences every day, and there are always new technologies and new ways for customers to find products. I don’t think anyone knows where it will settle, or if it will ever stabilize. All in all, I think the best strategy for a fashion startup is to stay nimble and adaptable.”

As Mehrban suggests, the constant turnover in the fashion industry can be both a blessing and a curse — and keeping up with the market might mean tweaking your original plan. But having the strong foundation of a business plan can make navigating those changes feel a lot less overwhelming.

2. Find your niche

After you've created your business plan, the next step to learning how to start a clothing line will be to find your niche in the market and in the industry.

Generally, the most successful businesses identify a problem within the market and then design a product expressly to fix that problem. This being said, you don’t necessarily need to dive too deeply into researching the market at this stage. It’s likely that an idea for a unique clothing item will reveal itself as you’re living your everyday life.

Jordan Sack is the founder and CEO of Tillinger, a technical apparel line that specializes in men’s golf-inspired shirts. The idea for his streamlined, sweat-wicking shirts arose when he was interning in Manhattan one summer after college:

“I looked forward to summer Fridays because I finally got to wear short sleeves — but that was still your typical, thick, cotton knit polo shirt. And on the weekends, I would always play golf with my friends and loved wearing the uniform of technical performance polo shirts. But you couldn't really wear those to work because they were brightly colored, heavily logoed and just plain ugly. The idea for creating my own golf shirts didn't arise as an ‘aha!’ moment, but I gradually became more and more interested in making an everyday, work-appropriate polo that had the properties of your typical golf shirt.”

Here’s another approach: If you’re intent upon designing something but you don’t quite know what that “something” is, start by identifying the audience you’d be passionate about serving — whether that’s your peers or a demographic that’s currently underserved in mainstream retail — and think about what they need from their clothing.

For example, Sherri Dombi is the founder of Bee Yourself Apparel, an adaptive clothing line whose design features allow elderly folks to easily dress themselves.

“First you need to have a passion for what you are doing,” Dombi says. “Mine was helping a friend’s dad dress like he used to but allow him to dress independently.”

3. Understand your market

Once you’ve hit upon your business idea, now you need to truly understand the consumer you’re designing for. Your designs, fabric choices, sourcing and production budget and retail outlets all have to cater to your target demographic’s spending behaviors, lifestyle and aesthetic preferences — so don’t get started on any of the above before diving deep into understanding your base.

Part of that research should involve competitor research: studying the companies whose product, marketing and branding strategies you admire, and whose target demographics you share.

“The first step is really to just absorb information,” says Mehrban.

“You need to learn everything that your would-be competitors already know. Part of that time should be spent studying how they are engaging with their customers. What is the value they are offering their customers? It’s usually something much deeper than the garments themselves.

Luckily, this research doesn’t necessarily need to involve special skills or resources: If you have an internet connection and social media profiles, you can garner valuable information about your customers and how to design toward and market your product to them.

“The great thing about our time is that we have access to almost the entire world with social media and various web-based platforms,” says Mehrban.

“If you’re passionate about design, chances are you have a product that people will appreciate. The tough part is finding those people. I don’t subscribe to the ‘build it and they will come’ myth. The short answer? Scour the web. Find the areas that your customers frequent and get your product in front of them.”

Dabney echoes the value of using social media and basic analytic tools to define your audience’s behaviors and needs:

“To pin down my target demographic and their spending behaviors, I executed a pre-launch campaign, which I then analyzed through Google Analytics. Online marketing, such as Facebook and Instagram ads, allows for target demographic analysis, too.”

In addition to their aesthetic preferences and lifestyle, you’ll want to understand how and where your audience spends on clothing, too. That way, you can plan whether to open a brick-and-mortar store, sell on an e-commerce platform, or both. Even if that physical location is a two- or three-year goal, incorporate plans for its launch in your initial business plan.

» MORE: How to start an online boutique

4. Register your clothing business

Now that you've done the necessary background research about your product, target demographic and even startup costs, you'll want to take care of the appropriate paperwork before diving into the actual production of your clothing line.

To this end, there are a handful of tasks you'll want to accomplish:

Choose a business entity type: First, you'll want to select your business entity type — sole proprietorship, LLC, S corp, etc. There are pros and cons to every type, so you'll want to think about which best suits your plans and goals. If you're planning on starting small, you might opt for a sole proprietorship and then create an LLC or corporation at a later time.

Register your business: Depending on the entity type you choose, you may have to officially register your business with the state where you'll be operating. Even if you're not required to register with the state, you might decide to file a DBA, or doing business as, to officially register your chosen business name.

Get business licenses and permits: At the very least, you'll likely need a general business operating license to officially start your clothing line business. If you're going to be operating from your home and starting your clothing line online, you may need specific permits — like a sales tax license and home occupation permit — as well. You'll want to consult your state and local governing agency to ensure that you have all of the proper licenses and permits.

Get an employer identification number: Part of starting a clothing line, or any business for that matter, is registering for and paying business taxes. Therefore, you'll want to apply for an EIN with the IRS. Although an EIN isn't required for all businesses, getting one can help you file your taxes, open a business bank account, as well as access business financing.

» MORE: What you need to open a business bank account

5. Design and source the clothes for your line

After you've gone through all of the steps necessary to make your business official, it's time to get into the meat of learning how to start a clothing line: designing your clothing and sourcing your material.

This can be the most challenging part of the process for many entrepreneurs starting a clothing line, especially those who haven’t worked in the fashion industry before. Here’s how the designers we interviewed went about the process.

Finding the right materials

You might have a clear idea of what kinds of materials you want to create your products with, or you might need to do some exploring first.

Before formulating his polo shirts’ polyester-and-lycra blend, Tillinger’s Jordan Sack conducted his own, self-directed research into the production process:

“I bought a lot of competitor golf shirts and studied the materials they used. Then, I reached out to old friends who worked in the industry and bought them dinner in exchange for their time. It was a lot of serendipitous moments all coming together. One friend led me to a pattern maker, who led me to a grader/marker who knew a cutter. The friend also had a connection to a sample factory in the Garment District. It was pretty scrappy. There's not an easy-to-follow online tutorial. You just have to be resourceful.”

And then, of course, there’s the cost question. A major challenge every designer will face is reconciling the cost and the quality of your materials, though Mehrban says that this decision will be highly individual to every designer’s budget and values.

For their part, Mehrban says, “We’ve found that compromising on quality just doesn’t work. Cost-cutting is an important part of any business model, but we don’t ever work with inferior manufacturers or materials. If we can find something better, that’s what we’ll use.”

Erum Ilyas, the founder of AmberNoon, also decided to leave extra room in her budget to ensure that she was manufacturing her clothing with the most effective textiles available and, as a result, pricing her clothing higher than expected.

That was especially important because AmberNoon’s unique value proposition depends on the quality of its sun-protective materials — Ilyas is a board-certified dermatologist who has run her own practice for a decade. Despite comprehensive public knowledge about skin cancer prevention, it’s still the most common type of cancer today. That inspired her to launch her line of sun-protective clothing that women can wear every day.

“Given the quality of the textiles, the design elements and low minimum order quantities I started with, I do have a higher price point than I would like long term,” Ilyas says. “After all, I want to make sure anyone can access this amazing product for their benefit.”

Depending on your particular goals and mission for your clothing line, you might also find that it’s worth sacrificing your target price-point in favor of lasting, quality materials. When you’re first rolling out your line, you especially want your product to impress your consumer as the best quality product possible.

6. Partner with a manufacturer

Finding the right manufacturer to produce your clothing is crucial to bringing your vision and goal for your brand to life. After all, if you don’t have a reliable manufacturer, your clothing line can’t exist at all.

“You can have a great idea, great concept — covered all of your bases,” says Ilyas. “But if your manufacturer can’t produce to your specifications, and maintain the quality and stay true to your concept, then your message is just lost.”

When seeking a manufacturer, consider factors like your manufacturer’s minimum order quantity, cost, quality and trustworthiness. You might also want to find a manufacturer with in-house pattern makers to streamline your processes.

“The manufacturer I’ve partnered with is a local Bali factory, which specializes in knit and stretch production,” Dabney says. “The factory provides services in development, pattern making and production, so all the elements are under one roof, which is important for quality control.”

To cut down on costs and to maintain your product's affordability, you might consider exporting your manufacturing processes overseas, as Dabney did. Whether you produce your clothing domestically or abroad, it’s worth taking a hands-on approach to searching for your materials and manufacturers.

“There was plenty of trial and error, and we did lose a decent amount of money trying to find the right partners,” Mehrban says about tracking down the right manufacturers to produce True Vision LA’s clothes.

“It’s very hard to tell how a garment will fit, or to guess the hand feel based on a picture. We made the mistake of relying on photo representations before placing wholesale orders initially, and it cost us. One thing I’ve found is that the integrity of the product tends to match the integrity level of the manufacturer, and when that’s missing, you run into problems. It’s very important to work with partners that have the same ideals as you do.”

And don’t feel pressured to produce a full, 10-plus clothing line right from the start, especially if you’re feeling the strain on your budget (or your sanity) — Donna Karan, for one, built her eponymous label off her now-classic “Seven Easy Pieces” collection. So, start by perfecting just a few items, gauge how your market responds, and build up your brand from there.

7. Price your products

To this end, before you can actually launch your clothing line, you'll need to price your products. Once you've found your materials and manufacture, you'll have a better sense of how much it costs to start your clothing line, and therefore, you can price your items accordingly.

With your pricing, you'll want to strike a balance between making a profit and setting a price that customers are willing to pay. This being said, your market research will come into play with pricing — you already should have a sense of who your demographic is, what their spending habits look like and how much they'd be willing to spend on your items.

Of course, you're not married to any initial pricing you choose — just like the items you decide to create, you can always decide to edit or change your pricing as you launch your clothing line.

8. Decide where to sell your clothing line

After you've created your clothing line and decided on a pricing strategy, you're ready to actually start selling. However, before you can launch your line, you need to determine where you're going to be selling.

As we mentioned above, this is something you should have thought about as part of your business plan and research — and now it's time to execute.

Therefore, if you think that starting your clothing online is the best avenue, you'll want to set up the platform to launch your products and your brand. You'll likely want to start by creating your own e-commerce website, as well as social media accounts.

Once you've launched your clothing line, you might decide to diversify your sales channels by actually selling your clothing through your social media channels, or even joining a marketplace like Amazon, eBay or Etsy .

Overall, selling your clothing line online will be much more affordable and manageable than creating your own brick-and-mortar store. Again, if you find success selling online, you might later decide to launch a physical location, or even consider selling your line to larger resellers, like department stores.

In any case, when you first start online, you'll want to choose an e-commerce platform to create and manage your store. You'll want to look for platforms with creative templates — as the design of your online store will be important to customers and to your brand.

You'll also want to look for platforms that can accommodate product variations — in other words, the same piece in multiple sizes or colors — so that you can list your clothing line the way you want. To this end, some top platforms you might consider are Shopify, BigCommerce or WooCommerce.

9. Market your clothing line

After you've set up where you're going to sell your clothing line — whether your own online store, a marketplace or somewhere else, you'll need to actually get eyes on your products.

To this end, without a plan to publicize your product, all the work you’ve done tracking down your producers will be for naught. And if you’re not a natural marketer, know that this is a skill you’ll need to nail in order to keep your clothing line’s doors open (either physically or digitally) — as Mehrban says, “Building a fashion startup is four parts sales and marketing to one part design.”

You don’t need a huge marketing budget or even previous business marketing experience to effectively spotlight your brand; in fact, many entrepreneurs simply use their (free) social media accounts as their main marketing channels. Other than their low cost, platforms like Instagram and Facebook allow for greater transparency and connection with your customer base, which modern consumers value.

“From the very beginning of the process, I did my best to document my journey of starting a company,” Sack says. “That was pretty much my content strategy. I didn't have this huge, creative marketing department. If I was going to pick out buttons, I would take a picture and put it up on Instagram and share that button story for the day.”

Beyond leveraging social media, there are tons of free marketing ideas you can implement to disseminate your brand. The key is consistency and cohesion; ensure that every piece of marketing material or campaign aligns with your brand’s voice, aesthetic, and goals. A disjointed branding strategy is confusing for your customer base, which doesn’t bode well for loyalty — which is key for turning leads into sales over the long term.

Also know that, even if you’ve started your clothing line with a clear understanding of how to market to your customers, customers are fickle. So don’t stop communicating with your customers once your initial research is through. Pay special attention to their aesthetic and buying preferences and adapt your marketing materials and product to suit.

“We started out with a clear vision of the design and branding,” says Mehrban.

“We knew we wanted to sell ‘highly wearable’ clothing, or others may call staples. The challenge was — and in my opinion will forever be — finding what motivates customers to buy. All brands grapple with motivating customers, and it’s something that never ends, even for the most established brands. Once you’ve discovered your segments, you’ll have to continue researching them. Their motivations will change with time, and even the demographics of those segments may change. What worked last season won’t necessarily work this season. The brands that survive are the ones prepared to adapt to highly volatile environment.”

10. Work with an expert

Although your clothing line idea may have been purely your own, you can’t be expected to fully launch your business without some help here and there. This is especially true if you don’t have experience in the fashion industry. Tapping an expert or a community of fellow fashion entrepreneurs may spell the difference between the success and failure of your startup.

Marianna Sachse is the founder of Jackalo, a line of durable and sustainable children’s wear. She didn’t have any design experience, but hiring a consultant and joining StartUp Fashion, an online community of independent designers, armed her with the information and support she needed to get her company off the ground:

“For new designers, I'd highly recommend surrounding yourself with experts. I found a consultant who had worked with majorly successful brands through a design friend, and I did an intensive four-week jumpstart program to get a sense of the competition and what my brand positioning would be. And StartUp Fashion helped me ensure that I had all the materials I needed to effectively communicate with factories, and connected me with a community of fashion entrepreneurs who are a fabulous resource.”

However, don’t simply settle for a mentor just because they have extensive experience in the industry. As is the case with any other individual you let in on an important aspect of your life — whether it’s your significant other, your business lawyer or your business mentor — do a gut check before heeding your consultant’s advice.

“If you don't have a willing friend in the industry who can help,” says Sack, “I'd recommend a consultant, but it’s super important to be able to trust him or her. I've made that mistake. Go with your gut. If it doesn't feel right, it isn't.”

Sachse, too, warns that some consultants claim to be more experienced than they truly are. You’ll find the most trustworthy consultants via word-of-mouth, so start your search by scouring your network (LinkedIn is a great resource for this).

11. Figure out how to manage your finances

You took the first step to managing your finances when you registered your business for an EIN. However, as you've launched your clothing line and started actually getting into the day-to-day of running a business, there are a few other steps that are essential to properly managing your finances and setting up your business for success.

This being said, you'll want to consider the following:

Open a business bank account: Even if you started your clothing line as a sole proprietor, having a dedicated business checkin g account is important. Opening an account specific to your business will help you separate your business and personal finances — saving you from potential bookkeeping, tax and legal headaches in the future. Plus, like applying for an EIN, having a business bank account will help you when you apply for financing for your clothing business.

Get a business credit card: With all of the startup costs associated with starting a clothing line, a business credit card can be particularly useful — not only as a way to finance your operations, but also to help you start building credit, as well as benefiting from any rewards the card offers. For a credit card that can immediately put money back into your business, you'll want to consider the best cash-back business credit cards.

Set up your accounting: In order to manage your suppliers, manufactures, sales and any costs associated with starting your clothing line, you'll want to set up an accounting system to manage everything in one place. There are a variety of accounting software options on the market.

12. Get funding for your clothing line

Getting your finances situated will help you with the final step in this how to start a clothing line guide — finding financing.

Like most entrepreneurs in any industry, the clothing designers we interviewed mostly bootstrapped, or self-financed, their ventures, using a combination of their own savings and contributions from friends and family. That makes sense, as securing a business loan as a very young startup — without the necessary evidence of a financial track history to show your lenders — can be very difficult.

Other than bootstrapping, there are a few other options for financing a startup you can explore to help you launch your clothing line. Crowdfunding can be a surprisingly lucrative way to raise funds at the very start of your venture; plus, crowdfunding can double as a method of vetting your market and gauging customer interest in your product.

It’s unlikely that you can fund 100% of your operational costs purely through Kickstarter, Indiegogo or a similar platform. You might also consider seeking equity financing, such as an angel investor or even a private equity firm.

These investors will contribute large amounts of cash to help promising startups get off the ground, in exchange for a stake in the business. But only approach private investors if you’re okay with sacrificing a portion of your business’s control.

Frequently asked questions

1. how much does it cost to start a clothing line.

Startup costs can vary greatly across different clothing lines, but in general, a small-sized clothing line will need a minimum of $500 to get started, a medium-sized line should have between $1,000 to $5,000 for startup costs and a large line will need approximately $25,000 to $50,000 upfront.

Before you start planning your clothing line, you'll want to estimate and anticipate startup costs like:

Manufacturing costs.

Product sourcing and material costs.

Designing and delivery costs.

Website and marketing costs (which may include product photography).

Distribution costs.

2. How much do clothing lines make a year?

The national average earnings for clothing line owners is approximately $51,000 per year. Clothing line profits can average between $23,751 and $140,935, depending on your location, line specifics, expenses, marketing efforts and company size.

3. Do you need to trademark a clothing line?

Although you do not have to legally trademark your clothing line, it is highly recommended. Trademarking your brand(s) can protect your creative work and products.

4. How do you source material for a clothing line?

You can choose to source your clothing line materials online via e-commerce fabric suppliers or in-person from a brick-and-mortar retailer. While online stores might offer more affordable prices or bulk discounts, visiting a store in-person will allow you to see, feel and fully experience the fabric before you commit.

The bottom line

Across the board, the entrepreneurs we interviewed said that patience, adaptability and dedication are crucial traits for learning how to start and run your own clothing line.

Whether you have experience starting your own small business or not, expect to overcome serious learning curves. Starting a clothing line from scratch isn’t always a walk in the park and it involves different challenges than other small businesses.

But if you’re unrelenting in your dedication, you’ll find no better satisfaction than seeing your customers live their lives in your creations — and doing it on your own terms.

“The most rewarding part of starting my own business is that I get to work with clothes I’m obsessed with every single day," Dabney says. "On top of that, I have the freedom to run my business how I like, so I know what I’m doing is a direct reflection of my vision. After starting my own business, I really can relate to the quote, ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’”

On a similar note...

business plan for clothing company

Clothing Store Business Plan

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Growthink.com Clothing Store Business Plan Template

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 15,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their clothing stores. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a clothing store business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today. It can be used to create a women’s clothing boutique business plan, or business plans for a men’s clothing store, family clothing store, children’s clothing store and more.

Download our Clothing Store Business Plan Template here

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your clothing store as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start a clothing store business or grow your existing clothing store you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your clothing store in order to improve your chances of success. Your clothing store business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Clothing Store Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a clothing store are bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

The second most common form of funding for a clothing store is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. 

Venture capitalists will not fund a clothing store business. They might consider funding a chain, but never an individual location. This is because most venture capitalists are looking for millions of dollars in return when they make an investment, and an individual location could rarely achieve such results.

    Finish Your Business Plan Today!

Clothing store business plan template.

Your business plan should include 10 sections as follows:

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of clothing store you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a clothing store business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of clothing stores.

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the clothing store industry. Discuss the type of clothing store store you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of clothing store business you are operating.

For example, you might operate a clothing store focused on:

  • High-End Fashion
  • Sports/Athletic Clothing
  • Kids Clothing
  • Wedding Dresses
  • Hip Hop Clothing

In addition to explaining the type of clothing store business you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new store openings, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the clothing store business. While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the clothing store industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating. 

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards local clothing store businesses with online counterparts, it would be helpful to ensure your plan calls for a significant online presence.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your clothing store business plan:

  • How big is the clothing store business (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in your local market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your clothing store. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of your niche’s market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your clothing store business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: college students, sports enthusiasts, soccer moms, techies, teens, baby boomers, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of clothing store business you operate. Clearly baby boomers would want a different atmosphere, pricing and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than teens.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most clothing store businesses primarily serve customers living in their same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other clothing store businesses. They are most likely local businesses who sell similar items to you.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. You most likely will have online competitors; companies that sell the same or similar items to you, but which operate online.

For each direct competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What products do they offer?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. Look at review websites to gain this information.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide superior products or services?
  • Will you provide products that your competitors don’t?
  • Will you make it easier or faster for customers to acquire your products?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a clothing store business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of clothing store you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering.

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the items you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your clothing store business. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your clothing store business located next to a heavily populated office building, or gym, etc. Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers. Also, if you operate or plan to operate kiosks, detail the locations where the kiosks will be placed.

Promotions : the final part of your clothing store business marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Making your storefront extra appealing to attract passing customers
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local bloggers and websites 
  • Local radio advertising
  • Banner ads at local venues

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your clothing store business such as serving customers, procuring inventory, keeping the clothing store clean, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 1,000th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.

Management Team

To demonstrate your clothing store business’s ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company. 

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in the clothing store business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in clothing store businesses and/or successfully running clothing store and small businesses.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you serve 25 customers per day or 100? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $200,000 on building out your clothing store business, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, you may need to purchase inventories now that you can’t sell (and get paid for) for several months. During those months, you could run out of money.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a clothing store business:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of fixtures
  • Cost of initial inventory
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your clothing store’s design blueprint or location lease.

Clothing Store Business Plan Summary

Putting together a business plan for your clothing store business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the sample template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the clothing store business, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful clothing store store.

Download Our Clothing Store Business Plan PDF

You can download our clothing store business plan PDF here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

How to Finish Your Clothing Store Business Plan in 1 Day!

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Clothing Store Business Plan FAQs

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How to Start a Clothing Line Brand Step By Step 2023 Starting a clothing business can be simple with a good plan and idea. Discover how to start a clothing line step-by-step in this detailed guide.

By Haseeb Tariq • Apr 26, 2023 Originally published Sep 4, 2021

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many entrepreneurs, business moguls, and pop stars have achieved great success by starting their own clothing lines. Good news: you don't have to be famous to reap the benefits of a clothing line business or eCommerce platform.

That said, there are a lot of ways in which launching a clothing line can go wrong. Read on for a step-by-step guide covering everything you need to know about starting a successful clothing line.

Understand your audience and competitors

To start a new clothing business , you first need to research what people want in your niche. What is your target market looking for? What styles and colors will be in demand this season? Where can these products be found currently (both online and offline)?

When starting a clothing small business, it is important to do some research. Work your way through the following questions:

  • What are my competitors doing?
  • Who am I targeting with my product and advertising strategies?

Understanding this information will help you define your fashion brand, choose the right clothing items/clothing manufacturer, and determine how to price your products for your potential customers. It may even help you choose your brand name!

Create a business plan for your clothing brand

You need to create a business plan that covers your financials, business model and marketing strategy. This will be the framework for everything you do in the future. It's important to have both short-term goals and long-term goals written out on paper so you can work towards them every day.

It's natural to want to start your business with a sole proprietorship. But it is worth considering an LLC or corporation to create long-term stability and avoid potential complications later on when it comes time to file taxes and open bank accounts, among other things.

Choose your niche or target audience

When beginning a clothing store, the most important decision is what niche your business should cover. Your brand can cover one or two different markets, such as clothes for certain seasons, like winter or swimsuits.

It can be more difficult to find success when designing for the entire spectrum of gender instead of just men or women. Narrowing down your target demographic or customer base will help you create a more focused brand identity and business model.

Plus, new business owners can pick clothing designs based on what's cost-effective (i.e., what makes sense given production costs) and what the clothing industry currently lacks. A successful business will make high-quality clothes that other fashion businesses don't yet provide to customers.

Analyze fashion trends

You'll also need to analyze current fashion trends so you can choose what clothes to provide. After all, your new clothing line won't be as successful if you offer fabrics and articles that aren't in style.

Take a long, hard look at current fashion trends and decide which trends you want to emulate. Market research about sales channels and profit margins will help you decide how and where to sell your products, and studying fashion designers' popular lines (anything from high-quality hoodies to cutting-edge jean styles) should influence new products from your own brand.

Related: 4 Industry Trends Every Fashion Designer Should Know

If you already have some experience in the fashion industry, you can even try to set your own trends or break out of the current boxes the industry is in. That could be one of the best ways to make your clothing line stand out from the competition.

Design your collection of clothing or accessories

Designing your first collection is daunting, but it doesn't have to be. You can start by sourcing and buying existing popular designs or creating a few original print designs for t-shirts. It's important to consider what customers want and how you will scale up the production of the design, if needed.

Find suppliers and manufacturers for your clothing line

It's not enough to have a business idea and some designs. It would be best if you had suppliers and manufacturers who can produce the clothing or accessories in your collection based on specific budgets, timelines, quantity requirements (minimums), quality specifications and more. A good place to look for clothing suppliers and manufacturers is Alibaba.

Related: She Created the Tinder for Clothing. Then a $30 Million Competitor Came Along.

Choose a name for your clothing line and create social media accounts.

It's time to get your clothing line off the ground. One of the first steps is choosing a name for your online store and creating social media accounts, such as Instagram and Tiktok pages, that can help promote products in your collection. These are ways you'll reach customers who may not know about what you're selling yet.

Social media is a great way to get your business name out there. You can also use it as an avenue for customer feedback, which will help you improve customer satisfaction and business operations.

Pick your price point for products.

Starting a clothing line can be difficult, and pricing your items is one of the most important choices you'll make to be successful. You will need to think about how your business will be profitable and what customers are willing to pay to purchase products from you.

There are various ways you can sell clothing, including online or at brick-and-mortar stores like department stores. Promotions and sales are common within the clothing retail industry, so be ready for them.

Reach out to creators, influencers and brands

It's important to build relationships with influencers and creators who have a large following and can be potential business partners. They can help you grow your business by giving their followers some insight into what it is like operating a clothing company or even mention your products on social media for exposure.

Related: Dany Garcia Wanted Clothing That's "Between Athleisure and Power Dressing," So She Launched A New Brand Called GSTQ

Understand how much you need in sales to stay afloat

It's important to know how much business you will need for your clothing company to stay afloat. After all, this is a business, and it needs to turn a profit at some point or else it won't be sustainable. Some retailers use customer lifetime value (CLV) as their metric for success.

The DTC subscription is another business model that could work, where customers sign up for recurring deliveries of products. You might already be buying things using the DTC model. Some of the more prominent DTC companies today include Casper, Dollar Shave Club, and The Honest Company.

Build your online storefront

To launch your clothing line, you'll need to have a place to showcase your products. That means building an eCommerce store for your new offerings, like starting your own business in any niche.

Use a free website builder like SquareSpace or Shopify, or alternatively, hire a web developer and web designer to make a stellar online clothing shop from scratch. You could even run a shop from a third-party eCommerce platform like Etsy.

The right choice will depend upon the startup costs you're comfortable with. Keep in mind that you'd rather spend money on graphic design, clothing fonts, screen printing, and the manufacturing process than on your website.

In any case, take plenty of great photos of your clothing line items so prospective purchasers can see your offerings in as much detail as possible. Having a great content marketing strategy with a clean website will help more than you think.

Related: 8 Ways to Get Your Online Store Making Money Fast

Begin with a soft launch

Soft launches are ideal for clothing business startups because they're low cost and allow you to see how your business will do before investing a lot of time or money. You can also use the feedback from customers and social media reactions, which could be positive or negative depending on what you produce.

In conclusion

Starting a clothing line can be challenging, but it's also rewarding. Successful entrepreneurs know that success in any industry is about more than just the product or service you offer. They understand their audience and competitors, formulate an actionable plan to achieve what they want to accomplish with their company, work hard on marketing themselves and their products effectively and keep learning from mistakes along the way.

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

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how to start a clothing business

How to Start Your Own Clothing Business in 10 Steps

If you’ve been thinking (or dreaming) of owning your own line, now is the perfect time to learn how to start a clothing business online.

Research shows that the online clothing industry is booming, continuously growing year after year. According to Statista, the retail ecommerce industry was worth $102.5 billion – and will explode to $153.6 billion by 2024 . 

That’s 50 percent growth in just a few years. Dang.

Starting a business from scratch might seem intimidating. And I won’t lie: it’s a lot of work. But if you’re willing to stick with it and put in the time, resources, and effort, the reward can be incredible.

That’s why this article is loaded with helpful advice and resources on how to start a clothing line and market it successfully. We’ll outline 10 steps on how to run a clothing business, plus look at a few beautiful store examples.

Let’s get into it.

business plan for clothing company

Start selling online now with Shopify

business plan for clothing company

How to Start a Clothing Line or Brand in 2023: 10 Steps

1. identify a need in the market.

You might already have some ideas for what you’d like to sell. That’s great news, but don’t jump in just yet.

One of the biggest reasons that new business owners fail is that nobody actually wants what they’re trying to sell. And it would be a downright tragedy if you went through the whole process of learning how to start your own clothing line but never found the success you hoped for.

→ Click Here to Launch Your Online Business with Shopify

That’s why market research is your best friend at this stage.

There are plenty of free and paid resources where you can make sure that there’s a market need for your clothing.

There are two types of market research: primary market research, which is data you collect on your own, and secondary market research, which is data you get from other sources who already did the research, like Nielsen , NPD , and MarketResearch.com . 

Heads up: buying research reports can get pricey. If you’re bootstrapping your business from your own pocket, you might want to focus more on primary research.

Here are some primary market research ideas:

  • Search for specific items on Google Trends and see what’s steady or growing in popularity
  • Dig into Facebook Analytics to learn about the likes, interests, and behaviors of people who might be your future customers, or your target audience (more on that soon)
  • Do some competitor research on other online clothing brands to see what people love and what they don’t (pay special attention to negative comments – that’s where you can swoop in with a solution to their problems!)

Here’s a quick search for “crop tops” on Google Trends. It’s had a pretty steady level of popularity the past year, and they’re projected to spike as the spring approaches.

clothing business market research

2. Identify Your Target Audience

Identifying a need and identifying a target audience go hand-in-hand, because it’s a specific group or groups of people who will need or want your products.

And those groups are your target audience. These are the people who you’ll spend every day trying to engage and connect with. The better you understand those people, the stronger your chances of securing and keeping them as customers.

If you want to learn how to start an online clothing store that’s truly successful, you’ll have a deep understanding of your target audience.

Do your research until you understand both the demographics and psychographics of your target audience:

  • Demographics: age, gender, income, marital status, geographic location, etc.
  • Psychographics: their likes and dislikes, hobbies, interests, lifestyle traits, buying behaviors including the companies they currently shop with and why, the problems they have in their lives and how you can help solve them

3. Write Your Clothing Line Business Plan

A good fashion business plan outlines:

  • Who you are as a company, including your team, company mission statement , and what you sell
  • What you’re trying to accomplish, including specific, actionable, and measurable business goals
  • Why you think the company will be successful (this is where your market research comes in)
  • How you plan to meet your business goals, backed by specific steps and strategies

Ideally, your clothing business plan covers the first three to five years of your business. Of course, things won’t always go exactly as planned, but you need to have something to work toward.

More importantly, you need to have something to compare your progress to so that you can better understand if you’re on track to meeting your goals, or if you need to make changes to your original plan.

Plus, your clothing line business plan is what you’ll show to potential investors and partners (step 10 in this article). If your plan is thoughtful, strategic, specific, and promising, you’re much more likely to get people on board to support your business and help it grow.

The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) has great resources for writing a business plan, including how to lay it out section-by-section.

4. Start Designing Your Own Clothing Line

how to start a clothing business online

Now for the fun part. Get your creative juices flowing and create your masterpieces.

Here are some things to keep in mind when designing your clothing line:

Keep a sketchpad on you at all times. You never know when creativity will strike – so be sure you’re always ready to jot down new ideas and inspiration.

Don’t compromise on materials and overall product quality. Especially if you’re building a luxury line or boutique , your customers will know if you’re cutting corners to save money.

It’s a great idea to create your own samples. An intimate understanding of the process will help you run your clothing business more smoothly, especially while negotiating costs with your manufacturer. But don’t get so caught up in the technical side that you’re sacrificing your creativity and ability to design new pieces.

Start building your “tech pack” early. This is the basic info you’ll hand off to your manufacturer when it’s time for them to produce your clothing line. Your tech pack should include technical specifications and product details like measurements, materials, and accessories.

5. Find a Clothing Manufacturer

On your journey to learn how to start a clothing company, finding the right manufacturer is a big deal. That’s why you should take the time to do your research and properly vet your options before you make a decision.

Here are some tips for finding a clothing manufacturer.

Consider whether you want a domestic or overseas manufacturer

You might save money with an overseas manufacturer, but find that it’s not ultimately worth the potential drawbacks, like longer delivery times  or lower product quality.

Get creative with your search

Do a good old-fashioned search on Google, and look through social media sites like Facebook groups. You might also find industry meetups, directories, or networking opportunities.

Once you have a list of manufacturers, vet them thoroughly by asking plenty of questions and taking note of their response times. Check online to see if they have any good or bad reviews from other clothing companies.

We have a whole guide on how to find a clothing manufacturer . Check it out. 

6. Build Your Clothing Brand

It’s time to develop the creative materials that represent your clothing line: things like your brand name , logo , graphics and illustrations, product photography , and color palette .

Doing all the branding and design work can seem intimidating. If you don’t have any design skills or the budget to hire a professional developer, there are plenty of free, beginner-friendly resources to help you keep things affordable.

Check out Shopify’s tools page to see what’s on offer, like their:

  • Business name generator
  • Domain name generator
  • Slogan maker
  • Online video maker

Just to name a few!

Check out this logo I made in 30 seconds for a made-up company called RedThreads.

design logo for clothing business

You can also find an affordable graphic design freelancer on marketplaces like Fiverr , 99designs , DesignCrowd , or Upwork .

7. Choose a Price Point for Your Items

To choose an appropriate price , you’ll need to have a good understanding of how much it costs you to manufacture the items, also called the cost of goods sold (COGS). COGS includes things like the cost of materials, labor, and production.

You’ll also want to consider the overhead for running your clothing line,  like how much you pay in rent for your warehouse , shipping costs , and payroll for your employees.

Once you know how much it costs to run the business, you can choose a price that covers those costs as well as makes you some profit after all the bills are paid.

One common pricing method is called the keystone markup, where you simply double the price. So if it costs you $10 to manufacture a blouse, you might sell it in your store for $20. Or, you can sell to wholesalers for $20 and sell in your online store for $40.

However you decide to price, make sure you’re also considering how much your target audience will be willing to pay. It might take some experimentation to find the perfect price point.

Check out this article on pricing strategy for more tips.

8. Begin the Marketing Process

Marketing is a critical part of learning how to run a clothing business online. After all, nobody will buy from your store if they don’t know it exists, right?

Ideally, you should start setting up your marketing before your clothing store even launches. That way, you’re ready to hit the ground running.

You start setting up Facebook Ads , which is a popular advertising method for clothing companies to build their customer base. Facebook has incredible targeting capabilities that help you reach the right people.

If you’re tight on ad budget, you can start with organic social media marketing strategies, which focus on creating excellent content that engages and entices people to follow and shop with you. 

Influencer marketing is a great idea for a low budget: offer free items in exchange for shoutouts from social media users with a strong follower base within your target audience. Here’s Instagram influencer @gonolivier posting to promote a new denim line from clothing company boohooMAN .

marketing a clothing business

You can also host a giveaway to build your email list before your store goes live, then use email marketing to build stronger relationships with them after the launch.

Check out our marketing hub to learn all about building awareness for your brand and getting customers.

9. Set Realistic Sales and Distribution Goals

You know that old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Same goes for anyone mastering the art of how to start a clothing business.

In the early stages of your company, you’ll have a lot to learn. A lot of trial and error. A lot of testing and tweaking and testing again.

Make sure you’re going easy on yourself by setting realistic goals. It’s not realistic to say you’ll make a million dollars your first year (though it is possible!).

A more realistic goal might be to grow your revenue by 20% every quarter for the first year you’re in business. This kind of growth-oriented goal helps to make sure you’re not choosing arbitrary financial figures that just aren’t attainable.

The same goes for distribution if you’re figuring out how to start a fashion line that’s sold in other stores. Start with the goal of finding a few strong distribution partners your first year, then incremental growth from there.

10. Start a Soft Launch, Then Look for More Investment and Partnerships

Now that you’ve set up a presence and built up some anticipation, you can launch your masterpiece into the world.

This is when you can pull the trigger on all the marketing campaigns you’ve been working on. Keep working and building on them – just like everything else on the journey of how to start a clothing company online, you’ll need to keep experimenting and building as you go.

And this is when you can turn your sights to growing on the business side by seeking out more investment dollars and partnerships with other companies.

Try pitching your clothing line to retailers who are already selling products to your target audience. Depending on the size of the company, you may need to reach out to multiple people before you can secure a meeting. Keep at it!

The same goes for finding investment partners. Polish up your business plan to present to them – be sure you’ve nailed down specifics, like how much money you’re asking for and where those dollars will be spent within your business. 

And of course, make sure you’re offering a juicy incentive for them to choose you. Will they get partial ownership of your company, or a certain percentage of your revenue once you successfully grow?

Clothing Business Store Examples

Let’s look at a few great Shopify clothing stores for inspiration.

Khara Kapas means “pure cotton” in Hindi. The company boasts handcrafted clothing made from pure and homegrown Indian fabrics. It does an excellent job of showcasing this in their product photography, creating a natural, down-to-Earth feeling that instantly appeals to their audience.

khara kapas

Pour Moi is a UK online clothing store for lingerie, swimwear, nightwear, and more. They’ve created a sleek and sexy brand that appeals to stylish women who want to look and feel good.

business plan for clothing company

The Candi Factory is owned and operated by Candice Levine, who makes all products from start to finish in Toronto, Canada. The brand has a lot of personality and it’s showcased beautifully on the company’s website. Candice is a perfect example of an entrepreneur who learned how to start selling clothes online and absolutely nailed it.

business plan for clothing company

Should You Start a Clothing Business? Yep.

By now, you should have a solid idea of what it takes to learn how to start a clothing business online.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you won’t be a millionaire overnight. You’ll need to constantly try new things, keep track of your progress, and tweak what isn’t working.

Like I mentioned: it’s not a walk in the park, but when you have the passion and dedication to do it right, you’ll find that the rewards can be amazing.

You’ll never know if you don’t try, right?

Summary: How to Start a Clothing Business in 2023

  • Identify a market opportunity  
  • Find your target audience 
  • Write your clothing line business plan
  • Start designing your own clothing line
  • Find a clothing manufacturer
  • Build your clothing brand
  • Select a price point for your items
  • Start the marketing process
  • Set realistic sales and distribution targets
  • Have a soft launch , then look for partners and investors

Are you excited to start your own clothing line? What niche are you going to target? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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How to create a clothing line business plan

  • Nirit Braun

How to write a clothing line business plan

A clothing line business plan is a strategic and detailed document that outlines the essential elements of launching and operating a clothing-related venture. It encompasses crucial aspects such as brand identity, the target market, product offerings, marketing strategies, operational procedures and financial projections. Essentially, it serves as a roadmap that guides entrepreneurs through the process of starting a business as well as managing it.

In the current business landscape, having a strong online presence is crucial, making the inclusion of a business website within the plan particularly important. A well-designed and user-friendly website becomes the digital storefront for a clothing business . It showcases the products, communicates the brand's identity and provides essential information such as pricing, sizing and contact details. It can also act as an online store , if necessary.

Looking to take your clothing line online by building a website ? Wix’s website builder has you covered.

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a formal document that outlines a company's goals and how it plans to achieve them. It is used to attract investors, secure loans and guide the company's development. If you are serious about starting a business, it's important to develop a comprehensive business plan. This will help you set realistic goals and increase your chances of success.

How to create a clothing line business plan in 6 steps

Now, we'll break down the key elements that go into crafting an effective clothing business plan in six critical steps. Following this process will provide clarity as you define your company mission, understand resource needs, assess the competitive landscape and project growth.

Executive summary

Business and domain name selection

Market analysis and research

Operations plan

Marketing and advertising plan

Financial plan

01. Executive summary

The executive summary serves as the introductory section of a clothing business plan, providing a concise overview of the entire document. It encapsulates the essence of the clothing business, highlighting its key components and objectives. A well-crafted executive summary should be clear, engaging and succinct, offering a glimpse into the business's vision, target market, competitive advantage and financial projections.

Example of an executive summary for a clothing line business

“ChicWardrobe Boutique is a visionary clothing brand poised to redefine urban fashion for the modern woman. With a focus on empowering self-expression and embracing individuality, our boutique curates an exclusive collection of trend-setting apparel that resonates with confident, fashion-forward women seeking unique style statements. By merging timeless elegance with contemporary trends, ChicWardrobe aims to become the go-to destination for individuals who embrace fashion as a form of self-expression.

Our boutique stands out in a crowded market by offering limited-edition, curated pieces that blend quality craftsmanship with innovative designs. Our commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing further sets us apart, resonating with conscious consumers who value both style and social responsibility.

Seeking an initial investment of $200,000, ChicWardrobe Boutique intends to launch its first brick-and-mortar store in a high-traffic urban district. Our online presence, represented by the domain www.ChicWardrobeBoutique.com, will serve as a seamless extension of our brand, allowing customers to explore and purchase our curated collections with ease.

With a strong foundation, a keen understanding of market trends and a passion for creativity, ChicWardrobe Boutique is poised to become a trailblazing force in the world of contemporary fashion."

02. Business and domain name selection

Knowing how to name a business is a critical step in establishing your clothing business' identity and registering your business . The name should be memorable, reflective of your brand's values and resonate with your target audience. A business name generator or clothing business name generator can offer inspiration and help you brainstorm creative options.

Similarly, selecting a domain name is essential for your online business presence. Your domain should ideally match your company name and be easy to remember. Check its availability and secure it early to ensure consistency across your brand.

03. Market analysis and research

This type of business plan must incorporate thorough market analysis and research. This section delves into your target audience's preferences, shopping behavior and the broader competitive landscape. Analyze competitors, identify gaps in the market and leverage insights to tailor your business strategies for maximum impact.

04. Operations plan

The operations plan outlines practical aspects of running your clothing business. Detail the proposed location, explaining how it aligns with your target audience and brand image. Describe the interior design and ambiance of your store, as well as any eCommerce website you might need to run it online. Address equipment needs, from garment racks to point-of-sale systems and discuss staffing requirements, emphasizing customer service and product knowledge.

05. Marketing and advertising plan

A marketing and advertising plan details how you will promote your clothing business to your target audience. Outline a mix of strategies, including social media marketing, influencer collaborations, fashion shows and pop-up events. Highlight the significance of your online presence, your website and engaging content that showcases your products' style and quality.

You should have a professional logo before embarking on this step as well, as it’s a key element of your branding assets. You can use a free logo maker or clothing logo maker to find the perfect option for your business.

06. Financial plan

The financial plan projects the financial health of your clothing business. It includes startup costs, revenue projections, profit margins and funding sources. Detail your initial investment, anticipated sales growth and the timeline to reach profitability. Outline a comprehensive budget covering all expenses, from inventory and marketing to store maintenance. Keep in mind that the average cost to start a clothing brand can vary widely from $500 for newcomers to $50,000 for more high-end brands.

steps to developing a business plan

Clothing line business plan examples

We’ve put together two clothing line business plan examples in order to show how such a plan might be crafted for hypothetical businesses, each incorporating the key sections discussed earlier.

Clothing line business plan template #1: StreetVibe Apparel

StreetVibe Apparel is an urban streetwear brand that caters to the dynamic lifestyle of modern city dwellers. Our brand encapsulates the spirit of urban culture, offering a diverse range of stylish and comfortable apparel that celebrates self-expression. With a focus on quality, affordability and trendsetting designs, StreetVibe aims to become a prominent player in the streetwear fashion scene.

Company and domain name selection

Company name: StreetVibe Apparel

Domain name: www.streetvibeapparel.com

Marketing analysis and research

Target audience: Millennials and Gen Z who resonate with urban culture and streetwear fashion.

Competitive landscape : Identifying gaps in streetwear options for affordable, quality apparel.

Market trends: Growing demand for streetwear fashion as a form of self-expression.

Location: High-foot-traffic urban district with a strong youth presence.

Premises: Contemporary and minimalist store design, creating an inviting shopping environment.

Equipment: High-quality garment racks, fitting rooms and checkout systems.

Staffing: Enthusiastic and fashion-forward sales staff who connect with the brand's target audience.

Online engagement: Active presence on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat.

Limited edition drops: Strategically planned product releases to generate buzz and excitement.

Website: A user-friendly business website showcasing the latest collections, allowing online shopping and offering style inspiration through blog posts.

Initial funding: Seeking $150,000 for inventory, store setup and initial marketing efforts.

Projected revenue: Targeting 25% revenue growth within the first year, aiming for profitability in the second year.

Budget: Comprehensive budget covering product sourcing, marketing campaigns and store maintenance.

Clothing line business plan template #2: EcoChic Boutique

EcoChic Boutique is a sustainable fashion brand dedicated to providing environmentally conscious consumers with stylish and ethically produced apparel. Our boutique curates a collection of eco-friendly clothing that blends fashion with sustainability, catering to individuals who seek to make mindful fashion choices. By prioritizing ethical practices and offering a diverse range of clothing options, EcoChic aims to contribute to a greener and more sustainable fashion industry.

Company name: EcoChic Boutique

Domain name: www.ecochicboutique.com

Target audience: Eco-conscious consumers who value sustainable and ethically produced fashion.

Competitive landscape: Identifying gaps in the market for accessible and stylish eco-friendly apparel.

Market trends: Growing demand for sustainable fashion and increased consumer awareness.

Location: Eco-friendly district with a community committed to sustainable practices.

Premises: Earthy and minimalist store design to reflect the brand's values.

Equipment: Recycled materials for displays and eco-friendly lighting.

Staffing: Knowledgeable and passionate staff who align with the brand's sustainability mission.

Educational campaigns: Hosting workshops and seminars to raise awareness about sustainable fashion.

Collaborations: Partnering with local artisans and eco-conscious brands to amplify impact.

Website: A visually appealing website showcasing the brand's commitment to sustainability, offering detailed information about materials, production processes and a seamless online shopping experience.

Initial funding: Seeking $200,000 for sourcing sustainable materials, setting up the store and initiating marketing efforts.

Projected revenue: Aiming for 20% revenue growth within the first year, with profitability anticipated in the third year.

Budget: Comprehensive budget covering sustainable material sourcing, marketing campaigns and ongoing brand initiatives.

Why write a clothing line business plan? Top benefits to consider

Creating a comprehensive business plan is crucial when starting a clothing line business, offering a multitude of benefits that can significantly enhance the chances of success. In a lucrative industry that’s expected to reach sales of $494.89 billion by the end of 2023, having a plan of action gives you a leg up on success. Here are some key advantages of writing a business plan for a clothing line business:

Attracts investors and funding: Investors and lenders require a well-structured business plan to assess the viability and potential returns of the clothing business. A thorough plan showcases your understanding of the market, your unique value proposition and your strategies for success. This instills confidence in potential backers and increases the likelihood of raising money for a business .

Organizes your resources: Starting a clothing business entails coordinating various resources, from fabric suppliers to production facilities and skilled personnel. A comprehensive business plan compels you to analyze these needs in detail, ensuring that all elements are in place for a smooth launch and operation. This includes understanding production timelines, material sourcing and the expertise required within your team.

Provides operational clarity: The operational aspects of a clothing business are intricate, involving design, production, inventory management and more. A well-crafted business plan outlines these processes, minimizing confusion, streamlining operations and contributing to efficient resource allocation. It ensures that everyone involved is aligned with the business' operational goals.

Outlines market research: A clothing line business plan prompts you to conduct thorough market research to identify your target audience, their preferences and buying behaviors. Analyzing competitors and industry trends helps you position your brand effectively and tailor your products to meet customer demands.

Guides marketing and branding strategies: A comprehensive plan guides your marketing efforts by outlining strategies to reach and engage your target audience. This includes establishing your brand identity, designing a unique brand story and creating a consistent visual presence. It also emphasizes the importance of utilizing a business website as a central platform for showcasing your products and interacting with customers.

Allows for risk mitigation and contingency planning: Anticipating challenges and developing contingency plans are essential for any business. A well-structured clothing business plan allows you to identify potential obstacles and devise strategies to mitigate risks. This proactive approach enhances your ability to navigate challenges effectively.

Informs financial projections: The financial section of your business plan provides a clear projection of startup costs, ongoing expenses, revenue forecasts and potential profit margins. This data assists in making informed decisions, securing funding and creating a realistic timeline for profitability.

Fosters long-term success : Beyond the initial startup phase, a business plan provides a strategic framework for the clothing business' long-term success. It outlines growth strategies, expansion plans and the steps needed to maintain your brand's competitive edge.

By leveraging these benefits, you can navigate the complexities of the clothing industry with a well-informed and strategic approach, increasing your chances of starting a business that is successful and sustainable.

Can clothing lines be profitable?

Yes, clothing lines can be profitable. In fact, some of the most successful businesses in the world are clothing brands. Nike, Adidas, and Lululemon are all multi-billion dollar companies that started as small clothing lines.

However, it's important to note that the clothing industry is very competitive. There are many new clothing brands launching all the time, and it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. In order to be successful, clothing brands need to offer high-quality products that people want to buy. They also need to market their brands effectively and build a strong customer base.

Here are some tips for making a clothing line profitable:

Focus on a specific niche. Don't try to be everything to everyone. Instead, focus on a specific niche market, such as sportswear, streetwear or luxury fashion.

Create high-quality products. Use high-quality materials and construction methods. Your products should also be stylish and on-trend.

Market your brand effectively. Use online and offline marketing channels to reach potential customers. You can also partner with influencers and celebrities to promote your brand.

Provide excellent customer service. Make sure your customers are happy with their purchases and that they have a positive experience with your brand.

Clothing line business plan FAQ

How much does it cost to start a clothing line.

The cost of starting a clothing line varies depending on the size and scope of your business. However, some of the common costs associated with starting a clothing line include:

Product development: This includes the cost of designing, sampling and prototyping your clothing.

Production: This includes the cost of manufacturing your clothing, including the cost of materials, labor and overhead.

Marketing and advertising: This includes the cost of promoting your clothing line to potential customers.

Operating expenses: This includes the cost of rent, utilities and other general business expenses.

How do I start a good clothing line?

Here are some tips for starting a good clothing line:

Define your brand identity. What makes your clothing line unique? What values does your brand represent?

Identify your target market. Who are you designing your clothes for? What are their needs and wants?

Create a high-quality product. Use high-quality materials and construction methods.

Market your clothing line effectively. Let potential customers know about your clothing line through online and offline marketing channels.

How much does having your own clothing line make?

The amount of money you can make from having your own clothing line varies depending on a number of factors, such as the quality of your clothing, the size of your target market and your marketing strategy. However, according to a study by the Small Business Administration, the average profit margin for clothing retailers is 5%. This means that for every $100 in sales, the average clothing retailer earns $5 in profit.

Is it hard starting a clothing line?

Yes, starting a clothing line is hard. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and creativity to be successful. The clothing industry is very competitive, and there are many new clothing brands launching all the time.

Here are some of the challenges of starting a clothing line:

High costs: Starting a clothing line can be expensive. You will need to cover the costs of product development, production, marketing and operating expenses.

Competitive landscape: The clothing industry is very competitive. There are many established brands with large budgets and marketing reach.

Fast-changing trends: Fashion trends change quickly, so it's important to be able to keep up with the latest trends.

Long hours and hard work: Starting a clothing line requires a lot of hard work and dedication. You will need to work long hours to design, develop, produce and market your clothing line.

How many pieces do you need to start a clothing line?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The number of pieces you need to start a clothing line will depend on a number of factors, such as your budget, your target market and your business goals. However, most experts recommend starting with a small collection of high-quality pieces. This will allow you to focus on creating a cohesive collection that represents your brand identity. You can always add more pieces to your collection as your business grows. Here are some tips for starting a clothing line with a small budget:

Start with a small collection: Focus on creating a small collection of high-quality pieces that represent your brand identity.

Source materials wisely: There are many ways to source materials for your clothing line. You can buy fabric wholesale, buy secondhand clothes and upcycle them or even make your own fabric.

Produce your clothing locally: Producing your clothing locally can save you money on shipping costs and import duties.

Market your clothing line online: Online marketing is a cost-effective way to reach potential customers. You can use social media, email marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) to promote your brand.

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Clothing Line Business Plan Template

Clothing line business plan.

You’ve come to the right place to create your clothing line business plan.

We have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their clothing line.

Clothing Line Business Plan Template & Example

Below is a template to help you create each section of your Clothing Brand Business Plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

Posh Sophisticate is an emerging clothing line start-up that is geared towards female professionals between the ages of 26 – 64. The clothing line is designed to be everyday work essentials with a modern and trendy flair, appropriate for the office or afterwards for cocktails. The clothing is designed for the modern woman who has a busy professional career and engaging social life.

Posh Sophisticate is the brainchild of Boston native and Paris-trained fashion designer, Marla Worthington. Now living in New York, Marla has taken her decades of apprenticeship and design to develop her own unique and trendy clothing line, while maintaining the style and sophistication required of a professional woman.

The Posh Sophisticate clothing line is suitable for women of all ages and body types. No matter what status level or background, there is a professional look suitable and affordable for any female. The Posh Sophisticate clothing line can be found at major retail department stores around the United States.

Product Offering

The following are the Posh Sophisticate clothing line items:

Customer Focus

The Posh Sophisticate clothing line will focus on professional women in the United States working in urban cities that regularly shop at large retail department stores such as Macy’s, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, or Bloomingdale’s.

Management Team

The Posh Sophisticate clothing line will be led by President & Founder, Marla Worthington and the CFO, Kimberly Fornell. Because they are a startup clothing line, they have decided to outsource the manufacturing and distribution of all clothing items to a third party manufacturing warehouse located in New York City.

Success Factors

Posh Sophisticate will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:

  • Posh Sophisticate will pride itself in using high quality material at affordable prices. They have been able to negotiate with U.S. based suppliers that are able to manufacture their design concepts at an affordable price.
  • Posh Sophisticate’s designs are trendy, affordable, professional, and classy. They aim to be known for its unique and flattering styles that can be worn at work or afterwards during happy hour.

Financial Highlights

Posh Sophisticate is seeking $1,000,000 in debt financing to launch its clothing line. The funding will be dedicated for the manufacture and distribution of the clothing line. Funding will also be dedicated towards the advertising agency and law firm on retainer. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Manufacture and distribution: $500,000
  • Advertising agency in charge of promotions: $300,000
  • Law firm retainer: $100,000
  • Working capital: $100,000

business plan for clothing company

Company Overview

Who is posh sophisticate clothing line.

Posh Sophisticate is an up and coming clothing line tailored toward female professionals between the ages of 26 – 64. From the mind of creator and fashion designer Marla Worthington, Posh Sophisticate is a breath of fresh air that sets itself apart from the traditional attire usually available to professional women. The clothing line of Posh Sophisticate does not include drab pant suits or unflattering dresses; the clothes are modern and trendy yet sophisticated enough to be seen in the executive boardroom. The clothing line is geared towards women who work in an office setting who want to dress in clothes that allow them to feel trendy while maintaining the utmost professionalism.

Posh Sophisticate Clothing Line History

Marla Worthington has been in the fashion industry for over three decades. She worked at Bloomingdale’s in Boston during her high school years as a stock girl and cashier. She kept the job while attending Boston College, eventually becoming a window dresser and was in charge of the mannequin displays of the Donna Karan and Carolina Herrera brands. It was while she was an undergraduate that Marla found her passion and decided that she wanted to dedicate her life to designing women’s clothes. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree, Marla packed up everything she had and moved to France to attend the Paris Fashion Institute. Upon completion of the school, Marla was able to apprentice with a few of Paris’ top fashion designers and was able to travel to fashion shows all over the world – from Paris to Milan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and New York.

The business of fashion proved to be intimidating, but Marla continued to pursue her passion. She moved to New York in 2010 and rented a small studio loft where she could focus her attention on designing and branding her clothing line.

Through a business acquaintance, Marla was introduced to an angel investor who has committed to investing $500,000 to help Marla launch her clothing line. The funding will be used as initial equity to obtain a business start up loan.

Since incorporation, Posh Sophisticate has achieved the following milestones:

  • Registered and trademarked the Posh Sophisticate brand, logo, and limited liability corporation.
  • Hired a branding and design company to professionally design the logo, website, price tags, clothing tags, social media and promotional ads.
  • Approached and received Letters of Intent from retail stores such as Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, and Macy’s for the department stores to allow a small display of the Posh Sophisticate clothing line.
  • Held a focus group for women between the ages of 26 – 64 to receive feedback on the designs of Posh Sophisticate. Marla displayed ten of her clothing pieces and the ladies offered feedback and critique.

Posh Sophisticate’s Products

The following will be the available items of the Posh Sophisticate Clothing Line:

Industry Analysis

The rising demand for high-end clothing, accessories and jewelry has benefited the fashion industry. For designers, demand from retail trade operators is a crucial factor for success. Demand from retail trade is expected to increase over the next five years.

Social media and mobile apps have also contributed to industry growth over the past five years. Websites such as Pinterest and e-commerce platforms such as Etsy enable smaller designers to both showcase their designs and draw potential new clients.Moreover, the increasing number and popularity of fashion blogs have also helped industry operators. The growing number of fashion blogs enable smaller designers to gain exposure and attract new clientele.

The industry will also benefit from rising disposable income and increased consumer confidence; it will also be aided by downstream apparel manufacturing industries. As consumers demand trendier yet reasonably priced items, department stores will continue collaborating with designers to create product lines with mass appeal.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market.

Posh Sophisticate will target the working professional female in the United States between the ages of 26 – 64. The women will work in an office setting and come from a variety of backgrounds. They can be at their first job right out of college or near retirement. They can be the administrative assistant who greets you when you first arrive at an office or they could be the CEO and President of a large company.

The precise demographics for the Posh Sophisticate Clothing Line are:

Customer Segmentation

Posh Sophisticate will primarily target the following customer profiles:

  • Female consumers looking for the trendiest in latest fashion that is appropriate for work.
  • Young professionals in their 20’s or 30’s.
  • Professional women in their 40’s up to their early 60’s.
  • Women who regularly shop in large department stores such as Macy’s, Dillard’s, Bloomingdale’s or Nordstrom.

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors, donna karan new york.

Donna Karan New York is one of the clothing lines by famed fashion designer, Donna Karan. A native of Queens, New York, Donna Karan is also known for her other clothing label, DKNY. Donna Karan launched her first collection “Seven Easy Pieces” in 1984 that consisted of a bodysuit, a tailored jacket, a skirt, pants, a cashmere sweater, a leather jacket, and an evening look. The idea behind the collection was that women could create infinite combinations with easy-to-wear garments to take them from daytime looks to evening looks without sacrificing elegance. Donna Karan is the epitome of New York energy and attitude for the powerful and elegant woman. The label has grown into a global powerhouse and is an icon in American fashion design.

Donna Karan New York clothing line can be purchased online or in a boutique store in larger cities. The collection can also be found in major department stores throughout the United States.

Ann Taylor has been a staple for the modern career woman for decades. Founded in 1954, Ann Taylor and its sister company LOFT, provides classic tailored styles with a wide range of crisp button-downs and sharp business suits. Early in its inception, Ann Taylor became the go-to destination for professional women and set several styles on the map. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Ann Taylor was one of the first to sell tailored professional trousers and pants as more and more women entered the workplace. In the 1980’s, the power business suit emerged and became a status staple for the most ambitious female professionals. Ann Taylor LOFT was created to appeal to the younger professional women who were budget-conscious and required a more trendy business look. The Ann Taylor clothing line can be found at a retail store of its name around the country or purchased online. Today, Ann Taylor is owned by Ascena Retail Group who acquired the brand in 2015.

Express, Inc. is an American fashion retailer that caters to young men and women. Express is known as a fashion-forward apparel and brand that sells everyday wardrobe essentials to the latest trends. Women and men of all walks of life can find something at an Express store. They carry a large selection of professional business attire, as well as jeans, dresses, outerwear, and casual attire. Known for being trendy and fashionable, Express is seen as a go-to destination for anyone wanting the latest and trendiest clothing. Founded in 1980, it first opened up as Limited Express in Chicago and only sold women’s clothing. In 2001, Express expanded to include a men’s fashion line. Today, Express operates over 600 stores in the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

Competitive Advantage

Posh Sophisticate will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:

Operations Plan

The following will be the operations plan for the Posh Sophisticate clothing line.

Operation Functions:

  • Marla Worthington will act as President & Founder of Posh Sophisticate, LLC. She will be providing oversight of the design and distribution warehouse located in New York.
  • Marla has decided to hire an outside manufacturing company to manufacture each piece of clothing. As a startup clothing line, Marla believes by hiring an outside manufacturing company that already has the equipment and personnel needed, it will be less for her to manage.
  • Kimberly Fornell is the clothing line’s CFO. She will be in charge of all business expenditures and tax obligations.
  • Marla also has a law firm on retainer to provide legal guidance and business filings for the clothing line. They have been tasked with all limited liability corporation state and federal requirements as well as permitting and licensing.


Posh Sophisticate will have the following milestones complete in the next six months.

3/1/202X – Finalize manufacturing agreement with manufacturing company

3/15/202X – Execute advertising agency contract

4/1/202X – Finalize contracts with large retail department stores

5/1/202X – Review first batch of manufactured clothing

5/15/202X – Review first round of advertising campaign and provide feedback

6/15/202X – Launch advertising campaign via social media, magazines, media, and billboards

9/1/202X – Posh Sophisticate clothing line is available to purchase at large retail department stores

Marketing Plan

Brand & value proposition.

Posh Sophisticate will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:

  • Professional and trendy attire uniquely tailored and suitable for women ages 26 – 64.
  • Each piece of clothing is made with high quality materials that is priced competitively with competing clothing lines, yet not intimidating to the average income.
  • Classic styles with a unique and modern flair that is appropriate in the office setting or for drinks afterward.

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for Posh Sophisticate is as follows:

Professional Media Campaign

Marla Worthington has hired a professional advertising agency based in New York who has extensive experience in the launch and advertising campaign of emerging brands. The advertising agency has developed numerous print ads for fashion magazines, commercial spots to be aired on major networks, and billboard advertisements aimed at getting the most maximum exposure in large urban areas of U. S. cities.

Social Media

The advertising agency has also been tasked with launching an aggressive social media platform for Posh Sophisticate. The clothing line will have a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account with professionally photographed images and posts. There will be a number of sponsored Facebook and Instagram posts.

Brand Ambassadors

Posh Sophisticate will partner with young professionals who have a social media following of more than 100,000. The brand ambassadors will post themselves wearing Posh Sophisticate items and tag the account so that they gain exposure through their legion of followers. The brand ambassadors receive compensation based on the number of likes or followers gained through their Posh Sophisticate posts.

The pricing of the Posh Sophisticate clothing line will be moderate and on par with competitors so customers feel they receive value when purchasing their items.

Posh Sophisticate will be led by its founder Marla Worthington. While she has decided to outsource the manufacturing, marketing, and legal, her and her CFO will oversee the clothing line.

Marla Worthington, President & Founder

Marla Worthington has been in the fashion industry for over three decades. She worked at Bloomingdale’s in Boston during her high school years as a stock girl and cashier. She kept the job while attending Boston College, eventually becoming a window dresser and was in charge of the mannequin displays of the Donna Karan and Carolina Herrera brands. It was while she was an undergraduate that Marla found her passion and decided that she wanted to dedicate her life to designing women’s clothes. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree, Marla packed up everything she had and moved to France to attend the Paris Fashion Institute. Upon completion of the school, Marla was able to apprentice with a few of Paris’ top fashion designers and was able to travel to fashion shows all over the world – from Paris to Milan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and New York. After returning to New York, she was introduced to an angel investor that has agreed to provide the equity required in order to obtain a startup business loan.

Kimberly Fornell, CFO

Kimberly Fornell is the CFO for Posh Sophisticate, LLC. She has over 20 years of accounting and tax experience and is a licensed CPA in the state of New York. Kimberly has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies providing accounting oversight and filing all of the company’s tax returns and filings. Kimberly’s accounting and tax knowledge combined with her extensive experience in the corporate world will set up the Posh Sophisticate clothing line for success.

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for the Posh Sophisticate clothing line will be the merchandise sold at the major retail stores. The line will consist of everyday women’s clothing staples – blouses, sweaters, pants, skirts, dresses, and coats.

The cost drivers will be the cost of manufacturing and distributing the clothing items. Other cost drivers will be the law firm on retainer and the New York advertising agency. Marla Worthington and Kimberly Fornell have priced all expenses to be 70% of revenues.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

Key assumptions.

The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.

  • Number of Items Sold Per Month: 800
  • Average Item Cost: $85.00

Financial Projections

Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, clothing line business plan faqs, what is a clothing line business plan.

A clothing business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, provides market research about the fashion industry, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial plan. It is meant to be a living document that should be updated as trends in the industry or changes within your company occur. 

You can  easily complete your clothing line business plan using our Clothing Line Business Plan Template here .

What Are the Main Types of Clothing Line Businesses?

The types of clothing line businesses include men’s apparel, women’s apparel, children’s clothing and athletic apparel.

What Are the Main Sources of Revenues and Expenses for a Clothing Line Business?

The primary source of revenue for a clothing line business comes from its sale of clothing. Businesses can sell directly to consumers, or to clothing stores and clothing wholesalers.

The key expenses for a clothing line business includes rent, salaries, materials, and marketing expenses.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Clothing Line Business?

Clothing lines are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and crowdfunding are also popular forms of funding. Angel investors will oftentimes invest in a business plan for a clothing brand too.

What are the Steps To Start a Clothing Line Business?

Starting a clothing line business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

1. Develop A Business Plan for Your Clothing Line – The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed clothing line business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.  

2. Choose Your Legal Structure – It’s important to select an appropriate legal entity for your clothing line business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your clothing line business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your Clothing Line Business – Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your clothing line business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 

4. Identify Financing Options – It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your clothing line business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 

5. Choose a Location – Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 

6. Hire Employees – There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 

7. Acquire Necessary Clothing Line Equipment & Supplies – In order to start your clothing line business, you’ll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 

8. Market & Promote Your Business – Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your clothing line business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful clothing line business:

  • How to Start a Clothing Line Business

Where Can I Get a Clothing Line Business Plan PDF?

You can download our free clothing line business plan template PDF here . This is a sample clothing line business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Other Helpful Business Plan Templates

T-Shirt Business Plan Template Retail Business Plan Template Clothing Store Business Plan Template

Clothing Line promo

How to Start a Clothing Company


This article is part of our Clothing Business Startup Guide —a curated list of articles to help you plan, start, and grow your clothing business!

Have you ever found yourself dreaming of designing clothes?

Do you have a great idea for a line of business-casual womenswear that you think everyone would love, or maybe you’d really like to design your own athleticwear brand? Is there a specific hole in the clothing market that you think you know how to fill? If so, starting a clothing business might be a great path to explore.

If you’re wondering how to start a clothing company, look no further: We’ve put together a complete guide to help you get started.

Whether you dream of opening up a brick-and-mortar retail shop, setting up an online store, or designing clothes and selling them wholesale, you’ll find the necessary information on how to start a clothing company here.


Step 1: Planning your clothing business

Create a plan for your business.

First off: You’ll need a business plan.

Now, the idea of a formal business plan can understandably be intimidating; it can feel like sitting down and writing a novel.

However, it doesn’t have to be like that. Depending on the type of funding you’re seeking (we’ll get to that in a minute), your business plan doesn’t necessarily have to be elaborate.

If you’re not seeking bank or investor funding, you can probably get away with a lean business plan. We’ve also written extensively on how to pick what type of business plan to write, as well as tons of resources on how to write great business plans, which I’ll link to below.

For more info how writing a clothing company business plan:

  • How to Write a Business Plan in Under an Hour
  • How to Write a Business Plan
  • A Standard Business Plan Outline
  • Free Clothing Sample Business Plans

Determine how you’ll be funding your business

When starting a clothing company, you’ll likely be dealing with either bank loans, investment from friends, family, or your own savings, crowdfunding, and generally bootstrapping your business.

Crowdfunding can be a great, non-traditional avenue to consider if you have a product that fits a certain niche or solves a problem. Evelyn Frison of Pivotte describes the brand’s fresh take:

“We use advanced fabrics that are comfortable but polished, are packable, and require less frequent washing,” she says. She and her partner Yehua Yang took their business idea to Kickstarter, where they raised 150 percent of their goal.

Others took to starting a clothing company by bootstrapping, using income generated from a variety of sources. “All the money has come in tiny increments as the business has basically funded itself,” says Sara Duke.

She explains: “I went to Ryerson and, as a student, acquired all of the necessary machinery for my own personal tailor shop and when I left my industry job, I had already booked my first custom project, for which I took a deposit. This and some holiday pay (maybe $800) sustained me for the first couple of months. Then, when I started the line a bit later, I invested a little less than $200 in fabric and it has all grown from that.”

One thing is certain: You’ll be unlikely to receive venture capital funding, as venture capital firms generally only invest in businesses that offer the potential for a high return, quickly. Securing angel investment is also infrequent, as angel investors also hope to see a quick (and sizable) return on investment; finally, small business loans, while possible, are not incredibly common for new clothing companies.

However, though you might have less funding options than, say, a traditional tech startup, don’t despair. Your best bet? Crowdfunding, personal income or loans from friends and family, and bootstrapping. I’ve included resources below, to help you get started.

For more information on funding a clothing company:

  • How to Get Your Business Funded
  • The 10 Best Side Businesses to Fund Your Startup (Plus One Unexpected Suggestion)
  • My 13 Favorite Alternative Funding Options
  • How to Ask Family and Friends to Fund Your Business
  • Costs of Starting a Clothing Company

Do your market research

Who are you starting a clothing line for? Who is your ideal customer, and what does your target market look like?

“The most important step to not overlook is defining your customers and your line,” says Amy Olson, designer and owner of Kuhfs.

She advises asking the following questions: “Who are you targeting, who are you making these clothes for (they’re not for everyone), where do you think your line will hang in department stores or boutiques, what is your customer’s price point threshold, what is your line about (everyday style, high end, preppy)? You have to know your customer and who you are making these clothes for.”

We’ve covered market research, target marketing, and creating a user persona in-depth here on Bplans, so make sure to check out the articles below for the full rundown on how to do your market research.

For more information on doing market research for a clothing company:

  • How to Do Market Research
  • Practical Market Research Resources for Entrepreneurs
  • How a Buyer (or User) Persona Can Improve Your Business
  • What Is Target Marketing?

Focus on developing your brand

Along the same lines as defining your market, articulating your brand is a very important part of start a clothing company.

Developing a brand will hugely impact what the overall image for your clothing company is. Designing clothes is all well and good, but you want to make sure your branding is solid from the start.

To help you out with developing your brand, I’ve included plenty of resources on branding your business. We’ve covered the topic extensively, especially within our Big Brand Challenge, which walks you through the entire process.

For more information on branding your clothing company:

  • Who Are You: Day 1 of the Big Brand Challenge
  • The Definitive Guide to Building a Brand
  • 4 Reasons to Brand Your Business
  • Your Brand’s Tone of Voice: Why It Matters and How to Craft It

Decide if you’ll be selling retail or wholesale

Do you also plan on opening up your own shop (whether online, brick-and-mortar, or both), or do you only intend on selling wholesale to other stores?

This will obviously depend largely on your goals. Do you want to run and operate a physical storefront? Do you want to sell only online? Do you hope your clothing line will be carried in other boutiques? Answering these questions will help you make this decision.

For more information on deciding if you’ll be selling your clothing line retail or wholesale:

  • How the Clothing Wholesale and Retail Markets Work
  • Ask an Expert: Better to Sell Retail or Wholesale?
  • How to Decide Between Wholesale and Retail Sales
  • Pricing Your Clothing Line: What to Charge Online Versus at a Boutique

Step 2: Making it legal

Select your business structure.

What type of business do you plan on starting?

If you’re starting a clothing business on your own, you’ll likely be starting a sole proprietorship, but you may also want to look into starting an LLC, or a partnership if you’re working with a partner. We’ve covered how to do all of this extensively in other articles, so don’t overlook the following resources.

For more information on choosing the business structure for a clothing company:

  • The Complete Guide to Choosing Your Business Structure
  • Sole Proprietorship Basics
  • Partnership Basics
  • LLC Business Basics

Pick a name for your clothing company

You might already have your dream name picked out for your clothing company, but if not, don’t sweat it—it’s not uncommon for choosing a business name to take a little brainstorming.

I’ve written multiple articles on the process of choosing a name for your business, complete with resources to help you with that process, so check those out below.

For more resources on how to choose a name for a clothing company:

  • How to Name Your Company
  • Resources and Tools to Help You Name Your Business
  • The Complete Guide to Registering Your Business Name

Apply for a Business Tax Wholesale Number, a tax ID permit, and a Reseller Wholesale License

Depending on whether or not you are opening a retail-only business or a wholesale business, the specific licensing you’ll need will vary.

In addition, the licensing you’ll need will vary by state; in Oregon, for instance, as there is no sales tax, business licenses serve as a substitute for a sales tax ID. Check with your local Secretary of State’s website for more info on your specific state.

For more information on the permit and licensing process:

  • How to Apply for a Federal Tax ID Number
  • How and Where to Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
  • What Is the Difference Between a State Sales Tax ID Number and a Wholesale Account Number?
  • How to Get a Business Tax Wholesale Number
  • How to Get a Reseller Wholesale License

Determine how you plan to handle any intellectual property concerns

Is the name and logo you’ve chosen for your business something that you feel should be trademarked?

Before you go too much further down the road of starting a clothing company, make sure you’ve looked into intellectual property, and determined if you need to file for a trademark or any copyrights.

For more information on protecting the intellectual property in your clothing company:

  • How to Choose a Brand Name That Can Be Trademarked
  • Why You Should Care about Intellectual Property
  • Copyrights, Patents, Trademarks, and Trade Secrets…How Do You Protect Your Creations?

Step 3: Choosing manufacturers and suppliers

Decide if you want to stay local, or outsource manufacturing overseas.

While finding manufacturers overseas is often much more inexpensive, it can be more challenging as it throws potential language and cultural barriers into the mix.

“Finding a manufacturer was straight-forward once I decided that producing it locally was important to me,” says Georgia Mae. ”Too much of manufacturing has gone overseas and I really wanted to support the all-but-extinct manufacturing sector here at home.”

Laurie Elyse, of Laurie Elyse Design, agrees. “People often overlook the companies they trust with manufacturing. It’s far too easy in the ‘faster, cheaper, more society’ to end up supporting horrible labor conditions,” she says.

“Many people trying to launch lines are looking to do things as cheaply as possible, and sadly they don’t ever see the suffering it causes.”

She advises: “To find trustworthy sources, look closer to home and spend more on quality when it comes to materials and manufacturing. Visit the work room or factory, get references, start your own work room if funds permit, or do extensive background checks.”

Attend a trade show

Lisa Chu, owner of Black N Bianco Kids Apparel, recommends attending a trade show to get a sense of who is available to manufacture your clothing line. “Attending a trade show like MAGIC sourcing will be the first step to finding a manufacturer that will fit your needs,” she says. “They offer a matchmaking service for attendees who are new to the apparel industry.”

Do your research—lots of it

There’s no other way of putting it: Finding a manufacturer will require tons of research.

Who you go with will depend on what kind of clothing line you are designing, where you are located, where you hope your manufacturer is located, what your price range is, and so much more.

To help you begin the research process, here are some resources to get you started:

  • How to Find a Manufacturer or Supplier for Your Product Idea
  • Make, Manufacture, Wholesale or Dropship: The Pros and Cons of Each Model

Step 4: Finding a location

If you plan on opening up a brick-and-mortar business, you’ll need to scout out a location for your clothing company.

Where you choose to set up shop will largely depend on picking an area with the best access to your target market that fits within your budget, so make sure to do plenty of research on where your market likes to shop, and what you can afford.

To learn more about how to choose a location for a clothing company:

  • How to Choose a Business Location
  • 13 Out of the Ordinary Ways to Find the Perfect Business Location

Step 5: Picking a payment system

Set up a merchant bank account.

A merchant bank account is a special kind of bank account; it is responsible for taking the funds from your customers once they have paid for their purchase, and holding them, before transferring them to your account.

If you plan on setting up a merchant bank account, your current bank likely has a merchant account solution. However, it is worth noting that you can also use a service like PayPal and omit the need for a merchant bank account entirely.

For more information on setting up a merchant bank account:

  • Payment Gateway Versus Merchant Account
  • How to Ensure Your Merchant Account Application Is Approved

Choose a POS system and/or an online shopping cart

If you are setting up a retail-only business, you’ll just need to worry about choosing a physical POS (or point of sale) solution for your business. However, if you’re like most, you’ll probably be planning to sell your products online as well as in-store—or maybe online completely.

Do your research to determine what kind of POS system and online shopping cart is right for you; there are tons of options, and what you pick will depend on the price of transactions you will be processing,

For more information on choosing a POS system and online shopping cart:

  • The Best Mobile Payment Processor
  • POS 101: Choosing a POS
  • Shopping Carts 101: How to Choose a Shopping Cart For Your Business
  • 4 Steps to Starting an Online Business

Step 6: Choosing a shipping solution

If you’re planning on setting up an online store (more on that in a minute), you’ll want to look into what shipping carrier you’ll use for your clothing company.

There are plenty of things to consider when choosing your shipping solution; the price, where you’ll be shipping (are you shipping your products internationally?), and what size and weight of products you’ll be shipping will all make a difference in your decision of which carrier to go with.

For more information on choosing a shipping solution for a clothing company:

  • 9 Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Shipping Carrier
  • How to Choose a Shipping Carrier for Your Online Store
  • How to Choose a Shipping Carrier (USPS, UPS, FedEx)

Step 7: Hiring employees

If you plan on setting up a brick-and-mortar retail location, you’ll need to hire employees for your store. Even if you don’t plan on opening a physical storefront, depending on the scale of your clothing company, you may decide that you need to hire on additional help anyway.

For more detailed information on the process of hiring employees:

  • Is It Time to Hire an Employee?
  • How to Hire Your First Employee
  • Don’t Hire the Wrong Person—Ask These Questions When Interviewing Potential Employees
  • 12 Signs You Need to Hire a Manager
  • 5 Things to Consider When Hiring Friends and Family

Step 8: Marketing your business and establishing an online presence

This last step is really an ongoing process: You’ll be focusing on building a website (if you haven’t started this step already), setting up social media accounts, and determining where you will put the majority of your marketing efforts.

For a new clothing business with a limited budget, social media marketing will be your best friend. Check out my recent guide to opening an online boutique —I’ve included plenty of information about how to use social media to your advantage for marketing.

In addition, be sure to check out these resources below, which cover setting up a great website and marketing your business:

  • A Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Business Website
  • 11 Tips for Focused, Effective (and Inexpensive) Startup Marketing
  • Help! My Business Needs a Marketing Plan and I Don’t Know Where to Start
  • Shoestring Marketing Budget? Get Your Customers to Do It For You

Do you have any tips on how to start a clothing company? Is there an aspect of starting a clothing business that I didn’t cover, that you think should be included? What has your personal experience been? Share your stories and suggestions in the comments below. 

View our Business Management Guide today!

Briana Morgaine


Briana is a content and digital marketing specialist, editor, and writer. She enjoys discussing business, marketing, and social media, and is a big fan of the Oxford comma. Bri is a resident of Portland, Oregon, and she can be found, infrequently, on Twitter.

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How to create a business plan for a clothing line

Business plan clothing line

Do you love fashion and making your own clothes? If so, you may have decided to launch your own clothing line.

Before being able to open your doors to customers and exchange your threads for cash, however, you'll have to write a tailor-made business plan.

Not sure what a business plan is or where to start? Don't worry. In this guide to writing a business plan for a clothing line, we've got you covered. Read on for our top tips on how to make your entrepreneurial dream into a reality!

What is the business plan for a clothing line?

The business plan for a clothing line enables an entrepreneur to examine their business in detail, evaluate the amount of funding needed to get it up and running, and assess its expected profitability.

It also serves as a roadmap for the business' first three years of operation. As your clothing line moves through its first throes of operation, you can use the business plan to track whether it's flourishing as it should, by comparing the figures estimated in your initial forecasts.

A clothing line business plan will also be specifically requested by any bank or investor you decide to approach, so drafting one up is a mandatory step when it comes to securing financing.

So what does a business plan for a clothing line look like? In a simplified way, it consists of two main parts:

  • A financial forecast highlighting the expected financial performance over the next 3 years and the potential for profitability
  • A written part that presents, in detail, your project, the team, your business strategy, and your medium-term objectives.

What information is needed for a clothing line business plan?

Carrying out market research for a clothing line will be the very first step of creating your business. It will not only enable you to understand the dynamics of the market you've chosen to enter (whether it's luxury clothes or sportswear) but also help you verify whether there is an unmet demand for the clothes and accessories you wish to offer.

The market research stage pushes an entrepreneur to dive into the latest sector trends, expectations, and buying habits of future customers, as well as their competitors and the most effective channels for marketing and selling their products.

Once the market research is complete, you should be left with a clear target clientele, as well as a pricing strategy that's consistent with your concept.

You'll then be able to develop a marketing strategy to get the name of your clothing line out there, listing the budget to be set aside for these actions, whether it's setting up a website or paying for an ad in the local city guide.

Before writing your clothing line business plan, you'll also need to evaluate your staffing and equipment needs, and how your clothes will be manufactured - adding up the cost of each element.

Once you've gathered this information, you're ready to develop your financial forecast.

The financial forecast of your clothing line

Establishing the financial forecast is an integral step in the development of your clothing line's business plan.

It is composed of 4 main tables, highlighting different financial aspects of the company:

  • Projected P&L statement
  • Projected balance sheet
  • Projected cash flow statement
  • Initial financing plan

The projected profit and loss statement

With this table, you'll have an overview of the expected turnover, growth, and profitability for your clothing line over the first 3 to 5 years of activity.

profit and loss forecast clothing line

The projected balance sheet

The projected balance sheet shows the value of the company's assets and liabilities at a given time, and, in particular, the value of the assets (what the company owns) and liabilities (what the company owes to suppliers, lenders, etc).

projected balance sheet clothing line

The projected cash flow statement

With the help of a projected cash flow statement, you will see how much cash is generated by your clothing line, where it comes from, and how it is used, whether it's enough to repay its loans or purchase new fabrics.

You'll also be able to see if you have enough cash to fulfil these obligations, or even if you might soon have enough cash to expand your business by opening more stores or warehouses.

projected cashflow statement clothing line

The initial financing plan for your clothing line

This section of your clothing line's financial forecast gives your bank or investor a quick overview of the resources needed to launch your business and their costs - as well as ways in which they'll be financed, including via equity contribution, shareholder loans, and bank loans.

sources and uses clothing line

What does the editorial part of a clothing line business plan look like?

Once the  financial forecast of your clothing line has been set up, you have the opportunity to put these figures and estimations into context by delving into the written part of your clothing line business plan.

The editorial section of your clothing line business plan is just as important as the financial forecast because it presents each aspect of the business in detail and proves to investors that you've thought carefully about the risks associated with it.

It's broken down into 7 sections, which we have summarised below:

The executive summary

Think of this section as the equivalent of a cover letter for your clothing line business plan. The aim here is to introduce your project to investors in as engaging and concise a manner as possible, encouraging them to read on and learn more about your exciting venture.

In this part, you place a spotlight on the business's partners and their roles, as well as the distribution of the company's capital and the location (or online domain) of your clothing line.

Products and services

This section explains the products being sold by your clothing line, as well as the manufacturing process of your clothes and accessories.

Market research

It's within this section of the clothing line business plan that you'll present the results of the market research we mentioned at the beginning of this article. The objective here is to demonstrate that there is indeed a viable business opportunity for your clothing line to flourish.

In this part, you'll reveal three key plans:

  • Your sales strategy - the prices you'll set
  • Your marketing strategy - the actions you'll take to attract customers and build customer loyalty
  • Your risk management strategy - how you'll minimise the risks related to your business

From your employees to your relationship with suppliers, you'll detail the operational organisation of your business.

The financial plan

The financial plan puts your numbers into tables that you'll be able to present to potential investors so they get a better idea as to your expected profitability and how much funding you need.

What tool should I use to write my business plan for a clothing line?

Write your business plan using word or excel.

This solution has one major advantage: it's cheap.

Be wary, however, that you'll need to have an accounting background (or at least be very good with numbers) to write your plan in this way without making mistakes in the calculations.

Hire a consultant to write your financial forecast

Hiring a chartered accountant or consultant to take care of the financial part of your clothing line business plan is a good way to avoid errors.

However, the fees are generally quite expensive: budget around £1.5k ($2.0k) for a complete business plan, plus more if you need to make changes after the initial version (which happens frequently after the initial meetings with lenders).

If you decide to hire a consultant or accountant, remember to check what's included in the service - are they developing a complete business plan or just doing the financial forecast? And are you willing to pay extra for them to make changes, if necessary?

Use online business plan software

If you're not used to writing business plans, another good solution would be to use online business plan software .

There are several advantages to using specialized software:

  • You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan.
  • You can be inspired by already written business plan templates
  • You can easily make your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you.
  • You get a professional document, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank.

If you are interested in this type of solution, you can try our software for free by clicking here .

That's it for now, we hope this article has helped you better understand how to write a business plan for a clothing line. If you have any questions related to setting up your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • Business plan template of a clothing line
  • How to start up a clothing line
  • How to create an ethical and sustainable fashion brand

Know someone who might be interested in this article? Share it with just one click!

Guillaume Le Brouster

Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd

Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.

Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.

Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.

Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.

Published on 09 Feb 2021 , last update on 09 Jun 2023 , as per our editorial standards .

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Clothing Line Business Plan

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Want to transform your passion for fashion and garments into a profitable business venture?

Well, it takes a lot more than a few sketches, threads, and sewing machines to start your clothing store.

The trillion-dollar clothing industry is growing rapidly and the competition is severe to get your brand recognized.

But hey, the odds of you creating a successful clothing business can be increased substantially, just by planning through it thoroughly.

A well-crafted realistic clothing line business plan accounts for every minute detail that goes into establishing a business. Right from market research to financial forecasting and everything in between, it contains details that will help you lay clear future plans for your clothing line.

This is the ultimate business planning guide for anyone who wants to venture into a fashion business and taste the sweet nectar of success.

Let’s power you with all the right resources to write a business plan.

Let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Identify your company’s mission, vision, core values, and business objectives and determine your position in the market.
  • Identify the latest trends in the fashion industry and how the business will adapt to those trends.
  • Prepare for the casualties and mitigate the business risks with a forward-thinking business plan.
  • Create a well-structured cohesive business plan with enriching visual reports.

Benefits of having a clothing line business plan

From fashion designers to small businesses and large retail stores, every clothing business requires a clothing line business plan. Wondering why?

Let’s unravel the benefits of having a business plan:

  • A business plan accounts for all sorts of emergencies and unknown variables. It prepares you to mitigate business challenges strategically.
  • A business plan helps quantify the goals and important business strategies. It gives strategic direction to your business’s core objectives.
  • A business plan allows you to review the financial aspects of owning a clothing store. You have a chance to modify the structure, core offerings, and strategies while the idea is still on the paper.
  • A business plan adds structure to your everyday operational processes. We all know how seamless operations play a key role in reducing business expenses and costs.
  • It helps establish the viability of your business model in the long term and helps make it profitable.
  • Last but not least, it helps you acquire investor funding for your dream project.

Convinced, right? Now, let’s understand the basics of creating a clothing line business plan that will help accomplish future plans for your business.

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business plan for clothing company

Key components of a clothing business plan

Wondering what goes into making a clothing line business plan? Well, here are the key components you would not want to miss adding to your plan.

Executive Summary:

Company overview:, market analysis:, products & services:.

A line down of your core products and services, their benefits, and unique features that will help you make a profitable business.

Marketing and Sales Strategy:

Organizational structure:, supply chain & operations plan:, financial projections:.

Let’s move forward and understand the detailed process of writing a business plan.

A step-by-step guide to creating a clothing line business plan

You are already aware of the key components that go into making a solid business plan. Now, let’s get you a breakthrough in the fashion industry with a detailed guide on creating a fashion brand business plan.

1. Get a business plan template

Before you start writing a business plan for your clothing brand, do yourself a favor and pick a business plan template to simplify this entire process.

This is because writing a business plan from scratch is challenging. It includes too many components and addressing each of them with utmost clarity gets taxing.

A template offers a structural framework to your plan and helps maintain clarity in the way you present the information. It streamlines the entire process and makes it easy for you to update and modify the plan as needed.

Now, don’t look elsewhere searching for the perfect template. The Upmetrics intuitive and relevant business plan templates are available for free download and easy edits.

Whether yours is a startup clothing line or a clothing boutique, Upmetrics has plenty of fashion industry business plans to choose from.

business plan for clothing company

Need Assistance Writing a Clothing Line Business Plan?

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2. Write an executive summary

It is a concise and well-structured summary of your entire business plan that compels potential investors to know more about your clothing brand.

Avoid the fluff and be catchy with the business description here.

The executive summary must contain details like the location of your clothing business, products you sell, market opportunities, business strategy, and anything that makes your fashion business a huge sell.

Also, don’t forget to add a relevant CTA for the readers. Let them know what you wish to achieve with this business plan.

Adopt a storytelling approach and find the hook to capture anyone reading your business plan.

For example:

Seine is an online apparel retail brand that brings ethically sourced fashion to the market. We are focusing on a target demographic of women in their twenties and thirties who want to build a basic capsule wardrobe with sustainable timeless pieces. After generating a million-dollar business through our online clothing store, we now plan to launch our physical clothing stores in three different locations: New York, London, and Delhi. We are looking for funding to expand our operations and grow our prominence through offline stores.

Now, an executive summary is the first and most important part of your business plan. However, we recommend writing it towards the end once you are done with your financial projections.

3. Prepare a company overview section

Company overview is a brief business description of your fashion brand. It is your chance to describe your own clothing business in the most compelling and natural way possible.

Describe what kind of clothing business you are planning to open, i.e. retail store, a chain of fashion brands, clothing boutiques, clothing department stores, or some unique fashion business. Mention the owner of this clothing brand and their prior experience in the fashion industry.

Also, mention the legal structure of retail stores. Mention if it will be a limited liability company or a partnership firm.

This section should be insightful for potential investors and must include your mission statement, business goals, and company values.

Here’s what these key indicators should include:

Mission statement: A brief statement describing the reason you are starting this clothing brand. It must explain the reason for a clothing brand’s existence and its purpose.

Business Goals: What are the aspirations and vision for your fashion brand? It can include quantitative goals like, the number of retail stores, revenue goals, ranking, number of cities, etc.

It can also include qualitative details like being the most recognized ethical fashion brand.

Company values: Think of core values that define your clothing brand and influence the decisions.

Core values are what separates your brand from different apparel brands.

4. Conduct a fashion industry market analysis

A market analysis is essential to distinguish your business from competing clothing lines.

This part of a business plan includes a detailed understanding of the target market, competitors, market size, future growth potential, emerging market trends, and much more.

Dedicate a section of the market overview to outline your target demographic. Create a buyer persona taking into consideration the age, gender, income, shopping habits, values, and spending patterns of your target audience. This will help you create ideal products for your audience and devise marketing strategies to reach them.

Identify your direct competitors and analyze the fashion brands and apparel brands working in a similar segment like you. Also, consider the indirect competitors like clothing retailers that offer products at cheaper rates to your target audience.

Further, highlight the scope of growth potential for your clothing business. Enrich this section with statistical data, graphs, and qualitative analysis wherever possible.

Lastly, discuss the emerging trends in your segment. We all know how trends shift in the fashion world. Suggest how your business will address these trends to stay relevant. Also, identify the challenges in current business and suggest a feasible plan to overcome those challenges.

targeted customer

5. Describe your core product line

Now that your mission statement and market analysis are in place, it’s time to introduce your products and services to potential investors.

In this section of a business plan, offer a brief rundown of all the products and services that will be sold by your clothing business.  Mention the features and benefits that make your products desirable.

Take this opportunity to highlight the product USP’s that separates your clothing line from other clothing lines.

Draft this section from an investor’s point of view. Consider the questions they might have regarding the product and write accordingly.

For instance,

  • Will you sell cloth semi-finished garments or readymade garments?
  • Will you manufacture the garment or sell it through a retail business?
  • Are there any special features of your product: Sustainably grown, ethically sourced, single thread sewing, water repellent fabric, etc..
  • Is the customization option available on your products?

Overall, this section should convince the investors of the viability of your product.

6. Propose marketing and sales strategies

Now that you have finalized the products and services, how do you propose to sell them?

Sales is at the root of business success and marketing is what fuels the sales. So, now you need appropriate strategies in place to achieve your business goals.

Consider answering the following questions to help you form a sales strategy:

  • What is your annual sales goal?
  • How do you intend to bring sales: online clothing store, retail store, or through a mix channel?
  • What is your pricing strategy for products?
  • How much annual revenue do you plan to generate?
  • How much money do you need to invest to generate sales?

Once your sales strategy is in place, you start working on your marketing strategy.

Keep in mind that the fashion industry is huge. A different marketing plan is required for different types of fashion businesses.

Conduct market research into your target demographic and determine your marketing strategy. Identify rewarding marketing channels and allocate your budget for each of them.

A marketing plan can include a mix of paid and organic marketing strategies. Consider adding print advertising, social media marketing, Email marketing, Google ads, content marketing, and other marketing strategies to your clothing business plan.

7. Introduce leadership or management team

In this part of the business plan, introduce the key personnel who will manage your clothing line. This can be CEOs, owners, key managers, business leaders, or consultants who will shape the business with their expertise.

Include a brief biography of key members and mention their relevant experience in the industry. Also, highlight the hierarchy of these key members in your organization and their roles and responsibilities.

Lastly, mention the cost of acquiring, training, and retaining your management team.

Overall, this section of a business plan should focus on proving the asset-worthiness of these members.

8. Outline your operational plan

How do you plan to run a clothing store once you acquire the funding? Have you given a thought about everyday challenges, operations, and processes?

In this section of a business plan, you will explain the business operations of your clothing store in great detail.

Include the following brief details while outlining your operational plan:

  • Manufacturing or Retailing : Will your clothing store have its own manufacturing or perform as a retail store? If you manufacture your own garments, will you have your own production units or get them manufactured by a third party?
  • Online selling : Will the clothing store sell online? If so, will you use your own website or a seller’s platform? Highlight the entire online ordering process starting from inquiry management to sales and after-sales.
  • Inventory management : Where will you store the goods? Who will be responsible for managing the inventory? What software and tools you will use to track the goods?
  • Vendor management : Who will be your vendors? Do you have any agreements with them?
  • Logistics : Who will be your logistics partner? What will be your shipping policy? What will be the delivery methods and charges?

Include every little detail you can think of. Whenever confusion regarding business processes arises, this operations plan should serve as a roadmap.

9. Create a financial plan

If you are looking for investor funding, the financial plan is where the investors’ interest lies. It is usually demonstrated in figures, graphs, charts, and Excel sheets.

A financial plan must include different financial statements for your clothing line business. For example, income statements, cash flow statements balance sheets, break-even analysis, and investment statements.

Follow this step-by-step guideline to write this section effectively:

  • Identify the costs of starting a clothing line business . Consider various one-time expenses and recurring expenses and get precise estimates.
  • Assess your current monetary position and determine how much funding is essential to get started. Pick a suitable funding strategy by identifying different funding sources, i.e. bank loans, angel investors, SBA loans, personal loans, etc.
  • Make pre-assumptions based on market research and analysis. It is time to make financial projections and form pricing strategies, sales forecasts, and overhead budgets for your clothing business.
  • Using the projections made earlier, form key financial statements of your business for the next 3-5 years.
  • Test assumptions for different scenarios and use methods like sensitivity analysis to make your projections more relevant.
  • Mention the monitoring and review methods you will use to review the finances of your business.

Now, doing all these from scratch will take months.  And still, there will be higher chances of errors in your calculations.

A financial forecasting tool can be of utmost help here. Simply enter the sales and cost figures and it will make all essential calculations for monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports. Creating a financial plan in Snap is truly possible.

The financial plan is a snapshot of your clothing business. Make sure you draft it with clarity.

10. Include informative graphics and visuals to present data

We have discussed the key fundamentals of a business plan by now. But do you feel that your clothing line business plan is lacking character? It’s possibly because it’s all pages and pages of text in there.

A business plan must be enriched with derivative graphs, visuals, and infographics to make it interactive and appealing. Moreover, the figures and data are easily digestible when they are presented in the form of visual reports.

If you have been writing a business plan using Upmetrics, the tool already made a visual report when you complete writing the financial plan. Don’t believe us? Go and check your dashboard.

Here’s a glimpse into the Upmetrics dashboard.

business plan for clothing company

Now, if you wish you can add more elements of visuals to your plan. Identify different opportunities where you can present the information visually.

And that’s pretty much it. By the end of these steps, you will have your fashion brand business plan ready.

Clothing Line Industry Highlights 2023

Trends in the fashion world are changing faster than seasons. You sure want to keep up with these latest trends ruling the fashion world in 2023.

  • Propelling growth in the luxury fashion market : The 27.15 Billion dollar luxury fashion market in the US is expected to grow between 5-10% in 2023.
  • Sustainable fashion is on the rise : The sustainable fashion industry is worth 6.5 Billion dollars. According to a survey, products marketed as sustainable are expected to grow 5.6 times faster than other products.
  • Core issues : Inflation, geopolitical instability, and supply chain disruptions are the top risks for fashion businesses in 2023.
  • MCommerce leads the marke t: 73% of the total E-commerce sales are generated through mobile devices.
  • The growing trend of fluid fashion : Genderless fashion is gaining tremendous popularity. 1 in 2 Gen Z consumers have purchased garments outside their gender identity in 2023.
  • Global economy outlook : The Middle East and North America are expected to be the regions with the highest growth potential in 2023.
  • Economic effects : 75% of Gen Z and millennials have restricted their budget on apparel and fashion to manage their finances.

From greenwashing to the environmental impacts of the fashion world, dive further into the market research and understand the state of the fashion industry in 2023.

Related Clothing Line Resources

  • Clothing Line Marketing Plan
  • How to Start Your Clothing Line Business

Refine and present a Clothing Line Business Plan

After writing the first draft of your clothing line business plan, keep it aside for a few days. This will make editing more effective.

Now, proofread the entire document. Read, re-read, and edit till you find the contents to be an exact representation of your business.

It is also advisable to edit your business plans for different audiences. This will improve the efficacy of your plan and increase its relevancy amongst different stakeholders.

For example,

If you are planning to procure funding from investors, keep the format professional and focus on presenting financial data for growth, profitability, and ROI. However, your business plan should focus on partnership details and collaboration benefits when presented to retailers and suppliers.

Ensure that important data is represented through graphs, visuals, and appealing charts. Incorporate a storytelling approach to make the content interesting.

Before sending it across, ask a friend, relative, or professional colleague to review it critically and make essential changes.

Once you are confident about the presentation, share it with the potential stakeholders.

Download a Sample Clothing Line Business Plan

Need help planning the contents of your business plan? We have a perfect resource for you. Download our free clothing line business plan pdf and get step-by-step instructions with all the industry-relevant examples.

Upmetrics intuitive templates are specifically designed for business enthusiasts and entrepreneurs who are ready to kickstart their business planning. Simply import the data into the editor and start planning.

The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan

Fill-in-the-blanks and automatic financials make it easy.


Write Your Business Plan With Upmetrics

Streamline your business planning process with Upmetrics. With more than 400+ customizable sample business plans , Upmetrics offers AI assistance and step-by-step guidance to write a cohesive business plan.

Whether you are expanding your current business or setting up a start-up, Upmetrics resources will help you create an actionable and forward-thinking business plan in easy steps.

Let’s bring your clothing line dream into reality.

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Frequently asked questions, what permits and licenses are required for running a clothing line.

A clothing business is moderately regulated when it comes to licenses and permits it requires. Here are a few licenses you must consider depending on the nature of your clothing business:

  • Business License
  • Sales tax permit
  • Import/Export license
  • Occupancy permit
  • Health department permit
  • Environmental permits

Can I start a clothing line without a business plan?

Yes, you can. Having a business plan is not mandatory. However, you will require it, if you are looking for funding options. Moreover, it is advisable to have a business plan to help you plan, manage, and mitigate the challenges that will arise when you start the business.

What challenges should I anticipate in the clothing industry?

Amongst the various challenges that encircle the clothing industry, inflation, geopolitical instability, and supply chain disruptions stands at the top. Apart from these, you can expect challenges with inventory management, supply chain disruptions, increasing production costs, brand building, and global trade management.

How should I price my clothing items in my plan?

The pricing you choose should reflect the brand’s positioning, quality, customer spending patterns, and revenue goals. If you are positioning yourself as a luxury brand, the prices should reflect that. Similarly, if you are positioning yourself as an affordable fast fashion brand, you cannot keep the price range excessively high.

How do I determine my target market for my clothing line?

Understand who would be interested in wearing your products. Now, create an ideal buyer persona for your clothing taking into consideration the age, gender, demographic, spending patterns, shopping patterns, and a variety of such factors. This will help you determine the ideal target market for your clothing business.

About the Author

business plan for clothing company

Upmetrics Team

Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more

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How To Create A Clothing Line Business Plan - w/ Template

Before you can get started on your business plan… Have you set up your clothing line budget ? If not, check out this article. Once your budget is set, come back to here and get to work on your clothing line business plan.

But, before we get started

Have you heard about  the super secret document that everyone in the fashion industry uses, but no one is talking about?  Probably not. That is because  you can't find it on Google or Instagram (believe me, I've tried).

It's a form I have used for over 13 years at every job I have ever had. Literally everyone from brands to fabric suppliers use it, but you can't find it anywhere publicly. 

The best part?   It can  cut your sourcing time in half, and save you tons of money in product development ! This is the kind of info consultants charge the big bucks for. And, I'm giving it away for free until the end of the month. 

So, get ready to make fashion startup life a whole lot easier, and   GRAB YOUR FREE DOWNLOAD OF THE NOT-SO-SECRET SOURCING DOC HERE

What this article will cover:

  • Executive summary
  • Company overview
  • Product/services
  • Marketing strategies
  • Sales strategy
  • Competitive analysis
  • Production plan
  • Operation plan
  • Financial analysis and projections

Now, Don't Skip This Step

A clothing line business plan is a crucial (and often forgotten step) that is needed for creating a clothing line. The plan will help you define and streamline both your long term and short term goals. It will also help you set a path to reach those goals. Not only does a business plan help you by setting a road map, but it also shows suppliers, investors, and other businesses that you are serious about your company by having a profitable plan of action.

As a bonus to this guide, I use my brand, virtue + vice, to give step by step examples, and show you how it's done. And, there's more, I have a free downloadable template to help you get started!

A Business Plan Is A Living Document

One of the most common mistakes I see founders making is that they will write their business plan, launch their product, and then never look at it again. Please don't do this. A clothing line business plan is a living document. You should use it to check in with yourself and make sure that you are meeting your goals. You can also make changes to it as your business changes.

As we all know, we can plan, and plan, and plan, but we can not plan for the chaos of life happening. So, as situations change, go back, update your plan, and re-strategize.

Keeping your business plan handy even after your launch will set you up for accountability and success.

Lastly, before we get started I am going to warn you. Making a clothing line is a lot of fun. But, it's also a lot of work, and (unfortunately) writing this business plan is the work portion of the job.

How To Write A Clothing Line Business Plan

Some business plans for fashion brands are extremely long, repetitive, and in my opinion kind of convoluted. They are a lot of words, that sound fancy and business-like, but are kind of just saying the same thing over and over. That is why I am keeping this short and brief. I have heard of people spending 6 months to a year working on a business plan. That is far too long. A month is enough - just keep it simple and don't get carried away with jargon and corporate speak.

So, let's get started.

Sections 1 + 2: Executive Summary and Company Overview

clothing line business plan mission vision values

An executive summary and company overview are basically a recap of your overall business plan. While they are the first section of your clothing line business plan, you actually want to write them last. So, we will circle back at the end this guide.

But, what you can do is work on your companies mission, vission, and values.

Clothing Brand Mission Statement 

Why are you starting this company? How will your company change the market place, or even the world?

Vision Statement

Vision statements for fashion companies ask the question - What does success look like to you? Is it money? Or, is it positively impacting people's lives? How will you measure your success in the world?

Core Values

What are your companies guiding principles. What values are at your core that determine and influence your business decisions?

Mission, Vision, Values Workbook Page

Section 3: product and services.

clothing line business plan products and services

This section should include…

  • A description of the product/ service
  • Features and benefits


What is the product or service.

So, what is it that you are actually selling? And, how will you make money? In this section, you want to be clear about the type of product or service you are offering and how that will lead to profits.

My Service Offering For virtue + vice

virtue + vice is a consulting agency dedicated to helping companies clean up their supply chains. Target partnerships are existing and established brands with strong supply chains that need help creating transparency or sourcing ethical and sustainable components, as well as, startups who are focused on creating conscious products.

virtue + vice profits through consultancy fees paid by the customer. virtue + vice specializes in the following - sourcing, product development, production management, sustainable design, supply chain transparency, and ethical and sustainable storytelling.

To Recap Products + Services...

See, it's quick and easy. What am I selling? My consultancy services. How am I making money? Through consultancy fees.

What Are The Features + Benefits?

What are you offering that makes your company unique or special?

virtue + vice features and benefits

One key feature that separates virtue + vice from other consultancy firms is our sliding scale for pricing. Because we believe in our mission, virtue + vice pricing structure is on a sliding scale based on a companies profits. We choose to operate like this as a way to give back to small businesses, which we believe in, who might not have the finances to pay our full rates that larger corporations can afford.

Secondly, virtue + vice operates transparently with our customers. Our supplier is your supplier. Many consultancy firms keep their supplier contacts close to the vest and do not share, we welcome our clients to come and visit our partner factories in China and India, and work directly with them

To recap...

Again, super quick and easy. What makes us different. One, we offer sliding scale prices to help small businesses (we aren't only about corporate life). Two, we work transparently without supply chain secretes like many other sourcing agents.

This section answers what happens when your company grows. Or how business people like to ask "how do you plan to scale".

How does virtue + vice plan to scale?

At about 20 clients, that is manageable for me as a solo-preneur. But what happens when I have 100 clients or more? How does my company grow?

As my company grows I plan on hiring support staff in three key areas. Product development, production, and storytelling. Product development employees will assist in taking our client's projects from initial inception, all the way through sourcing and sample development up until production. The product team member will be responsible for production, and shipping logistics of that production order. And, the storytelling team will assist our clients in telling the story of their products through photos and video for social media, copy, look books, line sheets, website design, etc.

I am actually excited to soon been announcing my first hire on the product development team (but more on that on the about us page.)

So, here I have made a plan for the future. What happens when it gets to be all too much for me alone? Who do I hire to help? I have chosen to separate tasks into three main categories that make the most natural sense for my business model.

Section 4: Marketing Strategy For Clothing Business

clothing line business plan marketing strategies template

  • Market analysis
  • Target customer analysis
  • And, your unique selling proposition that makes your product and business different from everyone else's

Market Analysis

Do you understand the market that you are getting into? Like, do you really understand it?

This section of your clothing line business plan starts to get into proving that there is a need for your product or service. Even if something sounds great to you, if there are no customers that want it, then there won't be sales, and you won't have a successful clothing brand.

Here is how I break down my market analysis for virtue + vice

Sustainable and ethical fashion is a trend that has been growing year over year. In this article from Sourcing Journal they reported: "Overall, searches including sustainability-related keywords increased 75 percent year-on-year, amounting to 27,000 searches for sustainable fashion every month, according to the report."

This means that there is currently a sizable market share, that is growing rapidly for brands selling sustainable products to customers. And, those brands need help changing their traditional supply chain models to tap into the growing trend of sustainable fashion.

So, to recap.

What's the market doing, and how does my business play a part in that? Sustainable fashion is a proven growing trend, here is a little industry data to back that up. And, this is how my business plans to be part of that. Instead of choosing to sell direct to consumers, we are choosing to help brands that do.

Target Customer Analysis

Who is your target customer, who would want to buy your brand?

Here is who I target

virtue + vice plans to approach brands and companies that founder Melanie DiSalvo has been working with for the past decade. Because she already knows the ins and outs of their supply chains, she hopes to offer valuable changes and suggestions on targeted areas to help them become more ethical and sustainable.

Now, I understand that everyone does not have a built-in customer base like me. One of the most beneficial pieces of advice I can give is that you should go niche, and not broad.

To simply say "we are targeting people interested in making more sustainable and ethical purchases". Well, every big brand from H&M with their conscious collection to Walmart with their recycled t-shirts is doing that.

What makes you special? Pick something, one thing that makes your customers different. Maybe they are really into composting, so all of your materials are compostable. Maybe they are really into clean water, so your entire supply chain is dedicated to conserving water resources.

Again, I am saying this again, because it is so, so, so important. You can't be everything to everyone. Choose something laser-focused, and then as your brand grows you can expand into other areas.

How Are You Unique?

Did you see what I did there? By choosing a very niche target customer, you have already made yourself unique, and you stand out from the crowd.

How is virtue + vice unique?

virtue + vice is unique because of founder Melanie DiSalvo's extensive time spent living and working in countries like China, India, Taiwan, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic. She has spent over 1/2 of her career working overseas and that offers her a unique and detailed first-hand perspective on how the fashion industry really works and the best ways to implement change quickly and effectively.

My tips for this section.

Don't be afraid to get a little braggy. Why does your customer want to buy from you? What makes your product so great that it's better than what is already out there on the market. Don't hold back.

Section 5: Sales Strategy

clothing line business plan template sales strategy

This section should include...

Sales Goals

Price strategy.

  • Investments into sales

What are your sales goals per quarter? For the year? The next 2-5 years? What is your pricing strategy? How will you sell? Do you have an online clothing store? Do you have plans to hire support staff for sales, as a showroom, salesperson, or go to trade shows? Will you open a boutique? Will there be promotional campaigns to support sales like partnerships, advertising, fashion shows, and events, etc.

How much, and how often do you need to sell to turn a profit? At what rate do you plan to grow?

This is what I have in place for virtue + vice

I am uncomfortable sharing that. Here is what I will tell you. My consultancy business is strong enough that I am able to offer all of this information that some other companies charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for, for free.

My business is healthy enough that I am able to give back to the fashion community at this time.

Are you going to try and sell tons of product at a low price, or fewer units at a higher price? Do you plan to drive sales through special discount promotions?

As I mentioned earlier virtue + vice works on a sliding scale so we are able to help smaller brands build their businesses.

How Will You Sell?

Are you direct to consumers, selling online? Are you business to business? Will you wholesale, will you have a distributor? What is your plan and break down?

At the moment virtue + vice relies mostly on word of mouth and referrals.

Do you need to hire support staff? What does that staff need to do their job? Can you sell on your own, or do you need help from a pro? For example, if you hire a showroom, not only will you have the monthly cost of the showroom, plus a cut of sales that the sales agent will take. But, you will also have fees to be in the showrooms booth at trade shows. Maybe at the tradeshows, you will need some special promotional items like look books, line sheets, or even a giveaway so buyers remember you.

It Costs Money To Make Money

All of the costs associated with sales, need to go back into your price strategy. Price strategy is like a balancing act. You need to invest in it, but you need to make sure that your sales are more than the investment so that you can be profitable.

This is the hard part

This part of your clothing line business plan should probably take the most time, Really research what everything costs, what your product will cost to make, etc and come up with a well-researched plan.

How I invest in my sales

At virtue + vice I do everything myself. But, people reading this that want to sell a service like me, it's important to remember that your own personal time costs something. While it's not a salary, or an actual expense, the hours that you devote to generating sales for your company should be compensated for.

Section 6: Competitive Analysis

clothing line business plan SWOT analysis

  • SWOT analysis

How Do You Compare To The Competition?

This is where you get a little stalkerish. In this section, you need to identify your competition and then the advantages and disadvantages of your competitors. You will need to research things like how long they have been in business, their annual sales (if they are public). How they market themselves. Then compare your price, quality, and general vibe to theirs. Maybe you are selling the exact same thing but have a totally different target customer and vibe you are putting out.

One of the best ways to get you started is through a SWOT analysis.

Ok, so let's get to it with virtue + vice

Who is my main competition?

I just did a quick google search of keywords that I thought my compeators would rank for. And, let's call my top three competitors A, B, and C. Luckily I do not know any of these companies or people personally. So, I don't have to hold back in this analysis.

Before we dive into the SWOT analysis, here is a little info about each company.

Focuses on scaling small businesses.  

The website was launched in August of 2018.

And, the founder just so happens to have no information about her experience. But a quick google and Linkedin search shows her background is in marketing for telecommunication companies. Good for them with SEO, but they don't have any real experience in the industry.

Dubs themselves as a strategic advisory for fashion and apparel brands. Offering a full range of different services. 

The founder started her sustainable and ethical fashion consultancy business over 8 years ago with 20 years of fashion industry experience. And, has worked with many small, yet well known sustainable fashion brands.

A many different hats consultant that can help brands with things from marketing, so supply chain, to design. 

The founder has over 20 years of design experience working with some seriously well known household names that do not have a focus on sustainability.

Competition is a good thing

A lot of times when people start their SWOT analysis they see other people doing what they want to do and they give up.

Don't do that. Competition is good.

Two of these ladies have been in the clothing business for over 10 years working in sustainable fashion consulting. That means it's a good market to be in. They have been making living out of sustainable consulting for a decade. So, business must be good!

Think about fashion in general. There are so many brands, like super successful American Eagle, which was basically just a knock of Abercrombie back in 2003. Don't' let competition discourage you.

The point of SWOT is to figure out your advantages and how to position your brand in the market.

I am working on writing a full SWOT and fashion business competition analysis post, that will be coming soon. For now, I will just quickly go through one example. For this article, I have chosen Company B because their business most closely resembles mine.


clothing line business plan SWOT analysis template

SWOT stands for strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, threats.

Like I mentioned, a lot goes into a SWOT analysis. I am just doing a quick one here to give you a brief idea about what it is.

What advantages does your brand have?

virtue + vice is located in NYC, one of the fashion capitals of the world. Comapny B in New Zeland, has a much smaller fashion scene, and the geographical distance makes networking and partnerships more difficult.

I spend 1/2 the year in India. This keeps me close to my supply chains on the ground, and able to help clients with content about how their products are made as well as live updates. It also offers an added layer of authenticity.


Opportunity is a natural progression from strengths. How can you use your strengths to become even stronger?

My geographic strength of being in NYC leads to more networking opportunities and the ability to attend more fashion events. My life in India allows me to be on the ground working directly with factories so I am first in the know with the latest news.

Company B has been at this longer than me. Almost exactly twice as long as me. Also, one of the things that I thought made me unique - my long history working with well-established brands is also a strength of Jacinta's. We have even worked with some of the same brands!

Threats, analyze what obstacles you face because of your weaknesses. For me one of virtue + vices threads is authority. The fact that Company B has been in business for twice as long, gives them more authority in this space.

Now there are tons more strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, and threats that I could add. And I would recommend doing this exercise for at least 3-5 competitive brands. Again if you want to learn more I will be putting out a full competitive analysis guide with a lot more details and info on how to do a proper SWOT. But for now, I think you get the idea.

Section 7: Production Plan

clothing line business plan production

  • Company development, sales, production, and delivery calendar

The Importance of Timelines

This is basically a development and inventory calendar. How many seasons a year will you produce? When will you develop them? Sell them? When will you produce them? And, when will they sell in stores, and even be discounted?

virtue + vice follows our customer's timelines. So, what I am working on for them, depends on their business model. Some of our customers are seasonal, and only put out one main collection per year. Some two seasons, and some up to seven. And, our clients are all over the world. So our southern hemisphere clients are working on a totally different season than brands in the North.

For example, I am working on everything from Summer 2020 (happening like now!) for quick deliveries to Fall 2021, that's not this fall coming up but the fall after it (18 months from now).

How To Set Up Your Calendar

As a brand, I would recommend setting up your calendar around industry tradeshows to start out. The below break down is for America's sales season.

There are 6 major fashion seasons. They are spring, summer, fall, winter, holiday, and resort.

And, there are 4 main dates you need to keep track of for each season. They are development dates, sell dates, and production dates, and delivery dates.

development dates

Are the times you will be developing your product for the next season. You are going to want to plan for 3 months of development time before your sell dates.

Are the dates there will be trade shows and other sales opportunities for that season.

production dates

Are when you need to start producing the goods, and when they need to be finished by.

delivery dates

Are when the goods need to be delivered to your customer. Remember it can take over a month to ship goods from a factory if you are shipping by sea, so factor that in.

the fashion calendar

SPRING Development Dates - May - August Sell Dates - August - October Production Dates - October-January Delivery Dates - January - March

SUMMER Development Dates - July - September Sell Dates - October - January Production Dates - December - February Delivery Dates - March - May

FALL Development Dates - October - December Sell Dates - January - March Production Dates - April - June Delivery Dates - July - August

WINTER Development Dates - December - January Sell Dates - March - April Production Dates - June Delivery Dates - September

HOLIDAY Development Dates - February - March Sell Dates - May - June Production Dates - July Delivery Dates - October

RESORT Development Dates - March - May Sell Dates - June - August Production Dates - July - September Delivery Dates - November - January

Get Detailed

But, this section needs to go even more in-depth than just a timeline.

To understand what goes into product development, production, and sales and marketing schedule I am working on writing full courses on all of those coming soon!

Section 8: Operation Plan

  • Your company budget

What Do You Need To Keep Your Business Running On A Daily basis?

Remember that budgeting guide I wrote ? This is where all that info goes. Filling out this part of your clothing line business plan should be easy if the budget was done correctly.

virtue + vice operatin plan

I work from home, so that saves me a lot of money. I don't have full-time employees, so that also requires me to have less capital for salaries. Where I personally spend most of my money is on travel.

And, no it's not the glamorous kind of travel. It's me booking a ticket at 6 am for a flight to India at 9 pm that same day so I can go straighten out some sort of supply chain issue we are having in person.

Do I have to travel? Well, that's 50/50. A lot can be done remotely. But, there is always a special touch that comes when you do business in person. You will find that almost any time in business when you are face to face the dynamic is different. Even just taking a conversation off of email and onto the phone can makes huge difference.

Necessary recurring monthly costs for me are the website domain, hosting for the website, apps, and programs I use like Grammarly, Adobe, and quick books.

Basically you can take your budgeting template and use it for this section. Yay! The work is already done for you.

Section 9: Financial Analysis + Projections

clothing line business plan financial plan

Again, this is where budgeting is going to come in handy. You might even want to hire a professional bookkeeper or accountant for help with this.

  • The money you need to get started
  • How you will use that money
  • The income you hope to make off of your products
  • And, balance sheet

Financials make most peoples heads spin, that is why I definitely recommend talking to a pro for this part.

At virtue + vice I have a full-time bookkeeper and an accountant. I am uncomfortable sharing my companies finances publicly. But, if you need help with this section, that's why I suggested at the start of this article to help get your financial plan for fashion business in order before even starting the business plan.

Back to Sections 1 +2: Executive Summary + Company Overview

Now back to the top. Remember, we skipped the executive summary and company overview. Now that we have mapped out our entire business plan we need to recap everything by writing these two summaries.

Executive Summary

clothing line business plan executive summary

This is where you can hook potential investors. It's the first section anyone reads of your plan, so make it clear and quick.

Here is mine for virtue + vice

virtue + vice is a consultancy firm dedicated to helping companies clean up their supply chains. We are located between NYC and Goa, India. Our dual locations allow us access to the world's fashion capital, while our time spent in India allows for close monitoring of our supply chains.

Our goal for virtue + vice is to assist companies who are realizing that sustainable and ethical fashion is not a trend that is going away anytime soon, and want to be the process of cleaning up their supply chain. We offer support across all product life cycle steps including - conscious design, sourcing, product development, production, marketing and branding, retail and sales, storytelling, and content.

Key things to include in your executive summary

What you do. Where you are located. Benefits of your location. What you are selling. Why what you are selling is a great idea. Again, it's ok to get a little braggy here.

Company Overview

clothing line business plan company overview template

You can use this part to dive a little deeper into you and why you are starting your brand. Who are you? Why this product? How are you qualified to do this, etc? Why are you designing the type of products you are designing (hint, hint, market research). Etc...

this is my company overview for virtue +vice

virtue + vice was founded by Melanie DiSalvo. In her own words

"After working in fast fashion for 7 years I left my position as Director of Product Development with the goal of helping brands clean up their supply chains.

At the time I had a great salary, was working my way up the corporate ladder, under 30 and already had a director's title, and was traveling the world to developed and produce products for brands like Walmart, Target, Ralph Lauren, and Levi's to name a few.

The problem was that I saw and learned too much about how our clothes are really made in dark corners of the world.

So, I made it my goal to expose the industry by educating curious customers and help brands choose better supply chain partners. I have been featured in publications like WWD, VOX, Sourcing Journal, and more. And, was a speaker at SXSW."

virtue + vice aims to target clients from the fashion industry with well-established brands as well as startups to aid them in supply chain transparency and creating conscious products for this growing market share. virtue + vice will work with each client individually to meet their seasonal needs.

We believe our strength is our 10 years experience in this industry and the supply chain partners we have developed relationships along the way. Our plan. is to operate out of NYC and India for the foreseeable future where our founder has homes, and hopefully to expand to a third location in China in the next 5 years.

We believe that our dedication to quality and transparency, along with a sliding consultancy rate, will keep us profitable in years to come.

company overview recap...

See what I did here? I spoke more about myself and created a little background story. Then I hit all the other points of the business plan quickly - marketing, sales, competition, production, operation, financial.

And, We're Done!

And there you have it. A clothing line business plan. I hope this helps. After coming across so many generic business plan templates online, I was inspired to write something a little more intimate. I really wanted to show you what goes into making a business plan, and in the spirit of transparency open up about how my business works.

Remember, business planning is a lot of hard work. But, when clothing brands put in the effort at the start of their business, they have a much higher chance of success and growth.


Continue reading

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Sandeep Kaur — January 30, 2023

Thank you so much for the wonderful information regarding a valuable business plan and it’s different stages. Thanks again

Emmanuel — October 18, 2022

Thank you so much for the advise I would like a guide on my business plan Thanks

Opeyemi Kadri — October 18, 2022

This piece is so helpful. Thanks for sharing. God bless

Nana — August 2, 2022

Very detailed and understanding

mena cashback — June 17, 2022

You are so awesome! I do not believe I’ve read through something like that before. So wonderful to discover somebody with original thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thank you for starting this up.

Adeola Olatokun — June 12, 2022

This is quite detailed and straight forward

Dineo — May 10, 2022

I’m more motivated now having an overview of what to begin with and move forward in my business thank you so much

Ochiaka Amaka — April 29, 2022

Your advice is simple and legendary

business plan for clothing company

Launch My Conscious Line - Fall 23

business plan for clothing company


business plan for clothing company


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Clothing Line Business Plan Sample

AUG.26, 2013

clothing line business plan

How to start your own clothing line

Do you like fashion? Maybe you like advising your friends and family on what to wear and how to wear it and they have encouraged you to turn your passion into a business venture. Instead of retailing clothes from established clothing brands, you may decide to start your clothing line. All favorite designer clothing brands began somewhere, and this could be your turn to make money out of your passion.

Creating a successful clothing line business plan involves dedication and great work. It will require a systematic clothing line business plan sample that will guide your business and set your foundation for success. Starting a business is not only having an excellent idea, but it is also more than that. A clothing line business demands creativity to build your loyal customer base. Our business plan clothing writers have gained a wealth of experience over the many years of helping successful entrepreneurs establish their clothing line business plan sample from scratch.

Executive Summary

1.1 clothing business.

Lavish will be an independent clothing line owned by Julia Adam. The outlet will be based in Brooklyn, the most populous borough in New York City. In the initial stages, Lavish will just be selling apparel for women and juniors alongside accessories and gifts. The designs will include modern western, and southwestern wear. In this business plan sample for clothing line, we’ll be providing all details that can help anyone start their own clothing branding.

Clothing Line Business Plan Sample

1.2 Management

A clothing line business plan can’t run without fine management and without hardworking and talented employees. So, before thinking about how to start a clothing company, you must devise your management plan. Julia decided to hire a manager for managing the overall operations – so that she can have time to invest in design ideas. However, she will be keeping an eye on all the activities by herself.

A wide space in a strategically ideal location that is Brooklyn, will be taken on rent. To provide an assortment of various brands and designers’ clothes, representatives will be holding talks with big giants of this market. Moreover, efficient staff after rigorous testing will be hired to ensure the smooth running of the startup.

1.3 Customers

Before making a clothing line business plan sample, you must be clear about who will be your target customers. As your entire setup, inventory and apparels will be dependent on them. Lavish decided to aim at targeting just the women and junior population in the vicinity. Thus, the store will be providing clothing line of just their interest.

1.4 Business Target

To be clear about what the company aims to do, Lavish defined the following targets in its clothing store business plan . Our target is to become the most renown clothing line in the whole of NYC within a year of our launch. We aim at providing modern, trendy, high quality and unmatched apparel and accessories to the women and juniors of our town.

Clothing Line Business Plan - 3 Years Profit Forecast

Company Summary

2.1 company owner.

Julia, the company owner is a passionate and brilliant woman. Following her graduation from Hewlett High School, she went to Parsons School of Design to excel her skills as a fashion designer. After working for two years in ASMclothing, she has gained both experience and knowledge to implement her own ideas.

2.2 Why the clothing business is being started

Julia always wanted to be a fashion designer and work with the big names in this domain. However, after acknowledging that she can better implement her unique ideas by producing clothes on her own, she decided to launch her own clothing line. After gathering info about how to start a clothing line and looking at the opportunities that a startup clothing brand can offer her, she made up her mind to enter this venture.

2.3 How the clothing business will be started

Starting your own clothing line is a time taking task and needs efficient and accurate planning. If you also want to manufacture the material yourself then you will be needing a business plan template for clothing line to take major decisions.

Here we’re providing a clothing company business plan sample free of cost to help you in making a clothing line business plan for your startup.

Julia decided to do a contract with pre-existing cloth manufacturing company to utilize their services and machinery to produce the fabric like she wants. She’ll be hiring textile engineers who can help her devise ways to produce high-quality and eco-friendly material.

Moreover, to execute the ideas on her mind, she’ll be hiring fashion designers, dress-makers, tailors and direct to garment printing experts alongside the usual staff.

The financial experts have forecasted following costs for expenses, assets, investment, and loans for the startup.

Clothing Line Business Plan - Startup Cost

Services for Customers

If you are passionate about building fashion brand, you must first decide the right domain for you. Accurate fashion clothing line business plan sample can only be made after you have decided your services, as your inventory, manufacturing clothes, orders, and designs will all be dependent on your services.

After researching on how to design a clothing line and combining her interests, Julia decided to opt for the following services.

Daily wear & College wear: To provide our customers with a daily-life comfort and style, Lavish will be offering premium quality dresses, elegant shirts and pants to be worn routinely.

Day-outs and Party Outfits: We’ll be providing perfect outfits for casual occasions, proms, cocktail nights, wedding parties, hangouts, and similar events. We’ll offer gorgeous Bandeau Dresses, Pencil Dresses, Trench Dresses, Denim Dresses, Layered Dresses, Spaghetti Dresses, and Tweed Dresses.

Juniors Clothing: We’ll be providing clothing line for juniors too that will include daily-routine casual outfits, events’ clothing as well as party dresses.

Handbags & Accessories: We’ll be offering an assortment of unique handbags, jewelry items, bracelets, hats, watches, and scarves.

These are the services which Julia will provide for 5-years of the launch of her startup. After being established in the market she’ll expand her product line and amend her business plan for clothing line accordingly.

Marketing Analysis of Clothing line Business

If you have made up your mind to start a clothing line for the sake of making your own clothes to sell, you must carry out thorough research on market first. As it will be hard to strive among already-established businesses, therefore, you must go for a location where there are comparatively fewer competitors.

Clothing Line Business Plan Template

The most favorable location for your fashion brand launch can only be found after analyzing various markets and natives. Thus it’s essential for you to include a detailed marketing analysis in your clothing line business plan .

Here we are providing fashion marketing plan example so that anyone who is thinking about creating a clothing brand can benefit.

4.1 Market Trends

Initiating a clothing line has enormous scope provided that one plans it efficiently. As clothing trends and fashion wears vary from day-to-day, people especially women are in continuous search of something that is unique and different from others so need to create a business continuity plan checklist . Women are always willing to spend on luxury clothing and accessories that make them appear beautiful besides providing comfort and confidence, therefore you will not be at loss if you have some good designing ideas on your mind.

In the United States, the revenue of $37 billion has been generated by women clothing stores in 2019. More than 64 thousand such businesses are running in the whole state while employing about 340k people. But a concerning fact is that the business is not seeing growth from the past few years due to high competition, so you must keep in mind to focus on a specific group and excel in your domain.

4.2 Marketing Segmentation

in order to develop an accurate retail clothing line business plan template, it’s essential to do marketing segmentation in it. Marketing Segmentation includes detail of the major groups of your target customers and the ways you’ll adopt to fulfill their needs.

Since Julia has launched her clothing line for just women and children thus her target customers will mostly be the females living in Brooklyn. To meet the demands of every type of lady Julia has divided them into two groups so that she can focus on the requirements of each group effectively. Marketing segmentation as done by Julia for her startup is given here in this fashion marketing plan example.

Clothing Line Business Plan - Marketing Segmentation

The detailed marketing segmentation of our target audience is as follows:

4.2.1 Working Class

The biggest consumer of our products will be the women who work in offices or in some other places. They will buy our comfortable and formal outfits for daily routine as well as our party dresses for whenever they have to go to some event. We’ll also be having a small office wear jewelry items so that they can enhance their work look.

As working women can spend a sufficient amount on clothing to appear up-to-date while being comfortable, thus we expect them to make significant purchases with us.

4.2.2 College & School Going Girls

The second group of our target customers will be the young girls who are in the way of completing their degrees. We’ll keep stylish and mod apparel for them to wear at party nights, proms, and hangouts.

4.2.3 Parents of Juniors

The last group of our target customers will be the parents of children under 13 years of age. We’ll be offering daily routine supreme quality clothes as well as stunning party outfits for the junior population of our area.

The detailed market analysis of our potential customers is given in the following table:

4.3 Business Target

Our major targets are:

  • To generate a profit margin of $15 per month by the end of the first year
  • To earn a net promoter score of 25 by the end of the first year and of 40 by the end of the second year
  • To increase our monthly sales by 25% every month
  • To expand our product line by the end of five years

4.4 Product Pricing

The prices of most of our products are comparable with that of our competitors. however, some apparels which were hard to design are priced a little higher. Our trench apparels and Bandeau dresses will also be a bit expensive as we’ll be using newer fabric with enhanced features while making them.

Clothing line Marketing Strategy

Great work.

Had the pleasure of working with Alex on a business plan for a new venture. The end result looks very professional. His communication is always prompt and he was very patient with my detailed requests. I would definitely work with this company in the future.

After you have gathered information regarding how to start a private label clothing line, you must start exploring garments business tips that can help you in increasing your sales.

In your clothing line business plan  you must explore the ways that can provoke people to choose you among your competitors. To help you in getting an idea of what startups in these modern times are doing to promote themselves, we’re providing the sales strategy of the startup, Lavish.

The sales strategy developed by our experts is as follows:

5.1 Competitive Analysis

The biggest aspect that can help us in becoming a successful clothing company is our strategic location. Julia has selected an ideal location where she’ll be having competition with just two or three businesses of the same kind.

Secondly, our fabric will be of the highest quality and will be breathable, durable, anti-wrinkle, lint-resistant and comfortable. Thirdly we will be coming up with extremely unique, stylish and eye-catching designs. In fact, the only thing that inspired Julia to go for developing a clothing line was her hundreds of ideas that she could only implement independently. Lastly, we’ll offer a wide variety of dresses so that every lady has something to buy from us.

5.2 Sales Strategy

Our experts have come up with the following brilliant ideas to advertise and sell ourselves.

  • We will have a really amazing and eye-catching display in our stores as well as on your website
  • We’ll be offering a 10% discount on every purchase of $50 for the three months of our launch
  • We’ll be allowing customers to make online purchase
  • We’ll be giving a small gift on every purchase of $30 for the first month of our launch

5.3 Sales Monthly

Clothing Line Business Plan - Sales Monthly

5.4 Sales Yearly

5.5 sales forecast.

The detailed information about sales forecast, total unit sales, total sales is given in the following table:

Clothing Line Business Plan - Unit Sales

Personnel plan

No matter how many unique clothing line business plan sample ideas you do have, they’ll all go waste if you fail at implementing them. To implement them at the right time, you’ll be needing efficient staff. Considering the importance of dedicated employees in a business, Julia decided to hire them after rigorous testing.

The list of her staff with average salaries is given here in this clothing line business plan sample.

6.1 Company Staff

  • 1 General Manager to manage the company’s display store
  • 1 Manager to monitor operations in the manufacturing center
  • 2 Textile Engineers to work in production unit to produce highest quality material
  • 4 Fashion Designers to design clothes
  • 1 Direct to Garment Digital Printing Expert
  • 2 Accountants to maintain financial records
  • 3 Sales Executives to interact with retailers and to execute sales strategy plan
  • 8 Tailors to stitch and fit the dresses
  • 1 Receptionist
  • 1 Driver for delivery tasks
  • 2 Cleaners to maintain the facility
  • 2 General Assistants for routine works

 6.2 Average Salary of Employees

The following table shows the forecasted data about employees and their salaries for next three years.

Financial Plan

You might have questions on your mind such as is the  clothing line business plan profitable? Well, that’s a natural concern and can only be relieved after you have analyzed all the finances in a financial plan. After manipulating investments, loans, expected salaries, and all possible expenses you’ll be able to learn how much does it cost to start a clothing line. Moreover, through an accurate financial plan, you can figure out how much profit can you generate while managing all the finances. It can also provide possible solutions if you somehow fail to generate the revenue you expected.

Considering the long-term importance of a financial plan, Julia had it written by a financial expert. A sample of that financial plan is provided here.

7.1 Important Assumptions

7.2 brake-even analysis.

Clothing Line Business Plan - Brake-even Analysis

7.3 Projected Profit and Loss

7.3.1 profit monthly.

Clothing Line Business Plan - Profit Monthly

7.3.2 Profit Yearly

Clothing Line Business Plan - Profit Yearly

7.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly

Clothing Line Business Plan - Gross Margin Monthly

7.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly

Clothing Line Business Plan - Gross Margin Yearly

7.4 Projected Cash Flow

Clothing Line Business Plan - Projected Cash Flow

7.5 Projected Balance Sheet

7.6 business ratios.

Download Clothing Line Business Plan Sample in pdf

Professional writers OGS capital specialized also on theme such as business plan for baby clothes , online boutique business plan , bridal store business plan , lingerie store business plan , clothing store business plan , shoe business plan and many others.

OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than $1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.

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Clothing Manufacturer Business Plan

Start your own clothing manufacturer business plan

New Look, Inc.

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">, opportunity.

New Look intends to lever up its position as an established retail men’s clothing business now to become a manufacturer of an upscale clothing line targeted at males between the ages of 20 and 40. New Look not only develops the clothing line, but supports it with advertising and promotion campaigns. The company plans to strengthen its partnership with retailers by developing brand awareness. New Look intends to market its line as an alternative to existing clothing lines, and differentiate itself by marketing strategies, exclusiveness, and high brand awareness.

The key message associated with the New Look line is classy, upscale, versatile, and expensive clothing. The company’s promotional plan is diverse and includes a range of marketing communications. In the future, the company hopes to develop lines of accessories for men, women, and children. These accessories will include cologne/perfume, jewelry, eyewear, watches, etc.

New Look not only develops the clothing line, but supports it with advertising and promotion campaigns. The company plans to strengthen its partnership with retailers by developing brand awareness

Our customers are males  between the ages of 20 and 40 with a disposable household income. Within this group, there are no color barriers, and customers have diverse backgrounds. The New Look customer is a versatile man who can fit into any environment and is willing to pay a high price for quality clothing.


Companies are restructuring to create leaner organizations and adopt new technologies. Consolidation has been prevalent in this industry in the past few years, as larger companies gain leverage in market position and cost cutting. In the apparel industry, companies can operate as retailers or manufacturers (wholesalers) or both. For instance, Gap, Inc., a vertical retailer, manufactures and markets their own apparel and accessories. A company like VG Corporation is a manufacturer and sells solely to retail channels. A company like Tommy Hilfiger does both, selling its products to both retailers and consumers (through retail outlets).

We are an alternative to existing clothing lines. We make our own lines which offers exclusivity, your coworkers or other fashion forward friends won’t be wearing the same thing. We are also highly aware of trends and brands,  you will be the envy of all your friends because you found us first.


The company’s goal is to expand from retail into online, with its own branding, to be sold by the end of the period in other retail stores as well as online.

Financial Highlights by Year

Financing needed.

We are looking to expand our design line so our owner will put in $65,000. Further we are looking for a $115,000 business loan. Both will be paid back by our second year with our already established customer base and relationships

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Clothing Line Business Plan Template [Updated 2023]


Clothing Line Business Plan Template

If you want to start a Clothing Line business or expand your current Clothing Line, you need a business plan.

The following Clothing Line business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a winning clothing brand business plan.

You can download the Clothing Line business plan template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.

Clothing Brand Business Plan Template

Below are links to each of the key sections of a business plan for your clothing line:

I. Executive Summary II. Company Overview III. Industry Analysis IV. Customer Analysis V. Competitive Analysis VI. Marketing Plan VII. Operations Plan VIII. Management Team IX. Financial Plan

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    Create a Clothing Line Business Plan in 9 Steps (2023) The process of business planning for your startup clothing line helps set you up for success. Learn how to create a thorough and effective business plan. Email address Create your store Build your dream business for $1/month

  6. Clothing Store Business Plan Template & Guide [Updated 2023]

    Marketing Plan. Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P's: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a clothing store business plan, your marketing plan should include the following: Product: in the product section you should reiterate the type of clothing store you documented in your Company Analysis.

  7. How to Start a Clothing Line Brand Step-By-Step 2023

    Create a business plan for your clothing brand You need to create a business plan that covers your financials, business model and marketing strategy. This will be the framework for...

  8. How To Start a Clothing Business (Complete Guide)

    How to Start a Clothing Business (Complete Guide) Try Shopify for free, and explore all the tools and services you need to start, run, and grow your business. Start a Business Write a Business Plan Free Business Tools QR Code Generator Print on Demand Affiliate Marketing Free Video Editing Software Her LGBTQ+ Lifestyle Brand was Inspired by a Dog

  9. How to Start a Clothing Business with No Upfront Inventory Costs

    1 How to Start a Clothing Line or Brand in 2023: 10 Steps. 1. Identify a Need in the Market. → Click Here to Launch Your Online Business with Shopify. 2. Identify Your Target Audience. 3. Write Your Clothing Line Business Plan. 4.

  10. How to Create a Business Plan for a Clothing Line

    Making a business plan gives you an opportunity to examine the underlying components of your business, from the mission of your clothing brand to the goals you want to accomplish. It's a chance to examine your unique values as a company, and start developing a clear vision for your brand.

  11. How To Create a Clothing Line Business Plan In 6 Simple Steps

    A clothing line business plan is a strategic and detailed document that outlines the essential elements of launching and operating a clothing-related venture. It encompasses crucial aspects such as brand identity, the target market, product offerings, marketing strategies, operational procedures and financial projections.

  12. Free custom printable clothing business plan templates

    16 templates Create a blank Clothing Business Plan Clothing Business Plan in Dark Red Pink Color Blocks Style Document by Canva Creative Studio White and Blue Simple Clothing Business Plan Document Document by yellow bananas Clothing Business Plan in Dark Green White Minimal Corporate Style Document by Canva Creative Studio

  13. Clothing Line Business Plan Template + Example

    Clothing Line Business Plan You've come to the right place to create your clothing line business plan. We have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their clothing line.

  14. Create a Clothing Line Business Plan in 10 Easy Steps

    5. Explain the market overview. When writing the part of your business plan that analyzes the clothing market, devote a section to examining the buyer personas that make up your target audience. Explain the predominant age, sex, values, attitudes, and shopping styles of your prospective customers.

  15. Clothing & Fashion Brand Business Plans

    Shops, boutiques, clothing design, and eCommerce are all covered here to give you ideas and planning elements to successfully launch your own business. Or to develop a more modern business plan, that fits your retail business perfectly we recommend you try LivePlan.

  16. How to Start a Clothing Company

    Step 7: Hiring employees. If you plan on setting up a brick-and-mortar retail location, you'll need to hire employees for your store. Even if you don't plan on opening a physical storefront, depending on the scale of your clothing company, you may decide that you need to hire on additional help anyway.

  17. How to create a business plan for a clothing line

    Establishing the financial forecast is an integral step in the development of your clothing line's business plan. It is composed of 4 main tables, highlighting different financial aspects of the company: Projected P&L statement. Projected balance sheet. Projected cash flow statement. Initial financing plan.

  18. Clothing Line Business Plan

    Download Template Create a Business Plan Want to transform your passion for fashion and garments into a profitable business venture? Well, it takes a lot more than a few sketches, threads, and sewing machines to start your clothing store.

  19. How To Create A Clothing Line Business Plan

    Sections 1 + 2: Executive Summary and Company Overview. An executive summary and company overview are basically a recap of your overall business plan. While they are the first section of your clothing line business plan, you actually want to write them last. So, we will circle back at the end this guide.

  20. Clothing line Business Plan Sample [UPD 2023]

    1.1 Clothing Business. Lavish will be an independent clothing line owned by Julia Adam. The outlet will be based in Brooklyn, the most populous borough in New York City. In the initial stages, Lavish will just be selling apparel for women and juniors alongside accessories and gifts. The designs will include modern western, and southwestern wear.

  21. Clothing Manufacturer Business Plan

    Start your own clothing manufacturer business plan New Look, Inc. Executive Summary Opportunity Problem New Look intends to lever up its position as an established retail men's clothing business now to become a manufacturer of an upscale clothing line targeted at males between the ages of 20 and 40.

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  23. Clothing Line Business Plan Template [Updated 2023]

    Clothing Brand Business Plan Template. Below are links to each of the key sections of a business plan for your clothing line: I. Executive Summary. II. Company Overview. III. Industry Analysis. IV. Customer Analysis.