How to Get Into Garment Business?

When someone plans to start a business in the fashion and clothing field, they look for answers to the below question.
  • How to get into the garment business?
  • What are the requirements for setting up a business?
  • How much money is needed to invest in the project?
I have covered answers to these topics in other articles that provide newcomers with the required information and guidance to start their garment business journey. Links are provided to all the garment business-related articles at the end of this article.

Let's explore the things one needs to look into for starting a small-scale business in garment manufacturing.

Garment business

Remember, it is unnecessary to learn everything about garment manufacturing. Just learn what areas you need to focus on and how to get into this business step by step. For other things, you can employ skilled professionals and experts. Also, remember by reading this small piece of article, you are not becoming an expert in starting a garment business, but you will get direction for your plan of action.

According to my experience, one needs to follow these key steps to get into the garment manufacturing business.

Select a product range

There is a wide range of apparel product categories - from basic items to complex one. Before entering into business and working on other steps, select a few products for your business. To select the right products, do some research on a couple of things, like - current trends, hot-selling products, and basic product ranges.

Make a list of products you like to manufacture. And concentrate on the selected product range to build your dream business. You can even come up with an idea to start a new product. If you are in touch with some buyers or clothing brands, you can take their advice to choose a product group for setting up the manufacturing setup.

Learn about the clothing manufacturing sector

Acquire knowledge about the garment industry, fashion supply chain, and mainly manufacturing sector. The Internet is a good help for exploring the garment industry. Let's say, you like to start a shirt-making factory. So, gather information related to shirt production. Look into the process flow of the shirt manufacturing, raw materials requirement, and machines to purchase for a shirt factory.

If your target is to make innerwear garments, or protective gear (personal protective clothing), or high fashion garments with complex design and embellishment, explore such fields of clothing items.

Raise money

Nothing to mention here as you know to set up a manufacturing business you have to invest in machines, materials, and manpower.

So you need to arrange a fund for capital investment and funding the factory running costs. How much money needed is depends completely on your business size and product profile.

The fund can be raised by partnering with someone who keeps the same interest to start a business in the same field. Alternatively, you can apply for a business loan from the bank. Check Govt. schemes on small-scale garment business start-ups.

Develop customers (buyers)

Whatever you make, you need to find customers to whom you can sell your products.

So find wholesalers (for the domestic market), open your own store for retailing your garments, or look for buying agencies for international buyers. If you plan to make garments for the local market, contact clothing shopkeepers and understand their requirements. You might get an idea of product selection after meeting shopkeepers.

This part is important in business success. Before jumping into setting up a manufacturing business, get some business contracts.

Build supplier database (for raw materials and services) 

In manufacturing business quality raw materials are key to producing quality garments. Major raw materials of the garment business are fabrics, trims, and packing accessories.

In this internet age, you can prepare a list of material suppliers from free classified websites and web searches. Shortlist suppliers for your business and contact them. Or you can talk to existing business owners for the required information for sourcing. Check with the business owners from where they source the raw materials for making goods.

Secondly, you need to research the market to understand the price of the raw materials. Aim to reduce sourcing cost and material costs as much as possible.

Learn business functions 

If you want to make a strong business strategy then learn the basics of the garment business process, supply chain and marketing of your business (product as well), cost accounting and business administration, etc. Read this free PDF document Garment Manufacturing Process from Fabric to Finished Product.

Hire a domain expert for guidance or mentoring

The most important thing to remember is that if you are new to this field, hire a domain expert (individual consultant or consulting firm). This has many benefits - you can invest money in the right types of machines. You will have the right factory layout, and develop systems from the beginning.

Working with an expert would help you in many ways - you will learn things quickly.

Purchase sewing machines, and other machines and equipment based on the products and planned production quantity. You will get guidance for a complete requirement for setting up your factory.

Find skilled professionals

Employ professionals for various business functions. For selecting the right professionals, you can also take the guidance of industry experts. Depending on the business size, you need to hire department heads like a production manager, supervisors for different production processes, merchandising, HR and admin, shipping and documentation, sales and marketing, purchasing, etc. Once you hire the HR and production manager, they will take care of hiring other teams and workers.

Read books on managing a small business

Read books on success stories, and failure stories related to the garment businesses or other manufacturing businesses. Though every business is unique, books will help you understand how to manage a business well. What path to follow and what to not follow.

Complete paperwork and legal documents

You can skip learning the paperwork required for setting up business and legal things by hiring a Chartered Accountant and other professionals. Let your CA take care of all the necessary documentation related to business registration and tax accounts. One needs clearance from local authorities in various things and certification on factory compliance. Handle these carefully with the guidance of a legal consultant.

Just do it 

You might have thought of starting a business for a long time but were unable to materialize it. Reasons might be due to a lack of confidence or lack of know-how.

Don’t wait for a perfect time. It will never come.

If you have a dream to start a business just start it. Pick a pen and paper and draft your business plan. Gather knowledge and required information as mentioned above pointers in this article. Start building your business step by step according to your business plan.

These are necessary points to follow if you want to enter into the garment business whether on a small scale or large scale.

For other business ideas read 10 small business ideas in the garment industry

If you have any questions related to starting a garment manufacturing business send me your queries.

I suggest you read the "FAQs on garment business start-up" page first, and check if your questions are already answered.

Wishing you all the best and have great success in your business.

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form