According to Global Industry Analysts, the sports apparel market is booming. The sector is projected to rake in a whopping $231.7 billion by 2024. The growth of the sports and fitness clothing sector is attributable to the increased participation in sports and fitness activities as the population shifts to healthier lifestyles. On top of that, athletic wear is quickly becoming a fixture in the mainstream apparel and fashion industry.
Just take a stroll down the streets of major cities and you’re bound to see people dressed like they’re headed to the gym, a spin class, or a yoga studio. From leggings to yoga pants, workout clothes and running gear, fitness apparel is becoming more and more popular in the United States and other parts of the world. This has created a lot of opportunities for prospective entrepreneurs. Would you like to know how to start a fitness clothing line? Here’s how.
Research the Industry and Target Market
Entrepreneurs who find a niche in the sports apparel world can build a lucrative business. But considering that you will be competing with giants such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shop, or The Sports Authority, you need to make sure that you have all the information you need before diving in. Just like any other type of business, understanding the market and knowing your customers are the key ingredients for success. Sportswear is as much about comfort and functionality as it’s about looking good.
Define Your Niche Market
As a small start-up in the cutthroat fitness clothing industry, a niche market is your best chance of success — unless you’ve got the resources to compete with industry moguls such as Nike, Adidas, and the rest. Use your research to determine your target market. With the information that you’ve gathered, put your ideas to work and design a clothing that fits the description of your target customer.
When designing your clothes, determine a product mix. Consider the number and types of designs, fabrics, and styles and come up with the best mix of these aspects. Take your direction from the sporting profile in your region, city, or community as well as what your competitors are stocking. For instance, there’s a big hockey presence in your locale — as demonstrated by sporting venues, inventory in other stores, and media — make sure that you have a sufficient inventory of hockey clothing.
Prepare a Business Plan
Use your research findings to draw up a business plan. A business plan will help you define the specifics of your company and establish a business model. It’s a valuable tool when it comes to starting and running a successful fitness clothing line. In fact, a business plan is required by banks and other financial institution to get funds for your business. There are experts who can help you prepare this critical documents. Also, there are books and online templates you can as guides when preparing a business plan.
Unless you’re loaded, you’ll have to get some sort of financial assistance. The good news is that you don’t need a lot to start a fitness clothing line, meaning that there are a lot of options to consider when it comes to funding. For instance, you can go apply for a no doc business line of credit to get your fitness clothing line business up and running. A no doc business line of credit is simply a type of funding you borrow increments and repay in installments.
This type of funding is unsecured hence easy to obtain. You don’t need assets or any other form of collateral for your application to be approved. This type of funding is perfect for small businesses or start-ups. Amount offered depends on your personal credit activity and usually ranges from a few thousand to over one million. With consistency — vis-à-vis timely payments, you will be able to build credit and improve your limit.
Obtain a License
Compared to sourcing staff, finding premises, securing funding, or drawing up a business plan, obtaining a license for a fitness clothing line is a pretty straightforward process. In most cases, all you have to do is fill in the application forms and wait for the license. Ask your local licensing authority about the licensing you’ll need to operate, just to be sure. Some licenses, however, may be issued only after you’ve submitted to some kind of inspection.
Since you’ll probably be employing people, get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) by visiting the Internal Revenue Service website. If it’s necessary for your area, get a sales tax registration and apply for a sales tax license with your local Department of Revenue. Request for application information for all the information on all the licenses you need to start a fitness clothing line, along with the required documentation.
Set Up Shop
Once you’ve obtained the necessary licenses, you’re good to set up your fitness clothing line store. The condition of the store you rent is contingent on the amount of energy, money, and time you must expend to ready the space for retail sport clothing sales. Remember that the location of your physical store or stores is key. Every business entity needs a name, it’s a very important element of the business. If you already have a name in mind, then that’s it.
Build Relationships with Manufacturers
Work on establishing a rapport with sports clothing manufacturers, distributors, and brokers. Hold meetings with these entities and inquire about factors such as volume discounts, delivery deadlines, and other issues that may affect the operations of your business. Before you start working with a particular manufacturer or distributor, ask for references from anyone who has worked with them before. This will help you assess whether they are reliable or not.
Starting a clothing line, or any other type of business for that matter is not easy. There are many challenges to overcome. Most importantly, you’ll need funding to get your business up and running. But that’s not all, you need a long-term financial strategy. When sourcing for funding, look for a financier that’s willing to share resources to help you overcome challenges, grow, and sustain your business. Small Business Brain has reputation for helping new entrepreneurs do exactly that.
She has spent the last decade assisting entrepreneurs with starting new businesses, obtaining startup and working capital and growing their customer base.
She enjoys writing about her experiences as an entrepreneur and using data and information from reliable sources to back up what she writes about. Through her writing she aims to educate other entrepreneurs on how to obtain capital and build successful businesses doing what they love.