Wondering how to start a denim line from scratch? Starting your own denim line can be frustrating, not because the business model is hard to accomplish instead due to the insufficient resources available on this topic online. Today, in this step-by-step guide, I am going to provide you with all the resources and information you need in order to start your own denim line from scratch. For the sake of simplicity, I have divided this topic into three sections – planning, launching, and scaling.
Planning Your Denim Business
A lot of new entrepreneurs find this phase of owning a denim line, really boring and cumbersome. However, you must keep in mind that this is the foundation of your denim line. The better you plan your business, the better the end result it’s going to yield. Doing the market research, developing a denim line business plan, and setting up the legalities of your denim line are key phases while planning your denim business.
1. Market And Product Research
Denim products are always in demand. However, the trends change frequently. Make sure you research the past and present denim trends and forecast a product based on the research. Doing market research is quite simple. All you need to do is reverse engineer your competitors. See which denim product generates more interest among their customers and which doesn’t.
Another thing is to consider is what type of denim apparel do you want to offer to your customers. I would highly recommend you start with just one or two types while starting out.
Here are some of the most popular denim fabrics you can use to start a denim line from scratch.
- Poly Denims :
Poly denim fabrics are mostly used in jackets and jeans due to their softness. Though they are not truly authentic denim, they are really comfortable to wear and are made from a mixture of polyester, cotton, and nylon, and other fibers.
- Stretch Denims :
You must have come across stretchy jeans which are commonly used in skinny jeans. They are manufactured from a mixture of Spandex, Lycra, and other fibers. These fabrics are a little more expensive than the other options but their durability is one of the best.
- Acid Washed Denims :
Acid-washed denim is manufactured by partially bleaching denim with chlorine in order to achieve a lighter, bleached color than regular denim. They are most commonly seen in jackets and jeans.
- Raw Denim :
Raw denim is dry or unwashed denim. These types of denim come straight off the loom and are cut and sewn into jeans and are ready to be sold to customers. Jeans made of raw denim offer a darker tone and tougher construction making them a little heavier compared to washed denim.
- Selvedge Denims :
These types of denim are most probably one of the strongest forms of denim. The term ‘selvedge’ means self-finished. This type of denim prevents the edge of the denim from unraveling and shows a clean, finished look. Selvedge denim is most commonly used in Jackets.
2. Denim Line Business Plan
Prior to launching your denim line, you must write an actionable denim line business plan. A denim line business plan is a core document that you can check in for yourself and make sure you are meeting your goals and achievements. The business plan must explain your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also should include market/product research to support your plans.
How much does it cost to start a denim line from scratch?
You can realistically start a denim line from $12,000 to $25,000. However, the cost is going to come down to two main factors.
- Cost per unit
- Minimum Order Quantity
Cost per unit, as the name suggests, is the total cost to produce a pair of denim jeans. Cost per unit will highly depend on the specifications you adhere to while manufacturing your denim. For example, if you want to add premium materials like spandex while manufacturing the denim the cost per unit is going to rise significantly.
Minimum order quantity or simply MOQ is the minimum quantity of order the manufacturer or supplier will take if you want to source your denim with them. Therefore, even you find a manufacturer whose cost per unit is low, you need to look out for MOQ. If the minimum order quantity is really high, you will need a lot more capital while getting started.
3. Setting Up A Denim Line
Setting up a denim line starts with registering your denim business as a legal entity. Registering your denim line will help to protect against any legal problems from the government in the future. Furthermore, it also helps you establish your denim line as a credible brand which in turn strengthens the relationships among customers, suppliers, and manufacturers.
The most popular business structure to register your denim line is as a form of an LLC(Limited Liability Company). An LLC provides your business a safety blanket from bankruptcy and other legal lawsuits. Although this blank of protection is not full proof, it is significantly better than operating your denim line as a sole proprietorship. Once your brand is growing and stable, you can opt to change the business structure to S-corp or C-corps which will help your denim line compete with bigger companies in the denim niche.
Once you successfully register your business, the next step is getting an EIN(Employee Identification Number). EIN is a 9-digit number provided to every business by IRS to identify them as tax-paying entities. You will need an EIN in every phase of your business from opening a business bank account to hiring employees for your business. It is even a necessity while filing yearly tax returns. Fortunately, applying for an EIN is simple, free, and completely online. Head over to the IRS website to obtain your EIN today.
Once you register your business and get an EIN, you are ready to launch and start your denim line.
Launching Your Denim Business
Launching your denim line should be an exciting yet crucial step in this business venture. You have learned that planning your business gives you a foundational strength in order to start a denim line from scratch. The next step is launch. This is the phase where you have all your products ready to sell, have a marketing strategy to find your customers, and a top-notch social media game to build brand recognition.
1. Launching A Professional Website
Whether you plan to sell your denim apparel online or through a storefront, you will need a website. A website gives legitimacy to your denim line. Fortunately, creating an e-commerce website is really easy with all the drag and drop builders available in this modern-day and age. You can go for Shopify or Wix to design your own e-commerce website within a day. Alternatively, you can also consider Square’s free e-commerce solution if you want to save a few bucks while starting out.
All these website builders are a great way to start out. But if you have bigger aspirations and ambitions for your denim line – you will need a professional custom-made website for your business. Digital agencies charge thousands of dollars for a custom-made website, therefore we are currently offering a $499 digital package for small businesses. This package not only offers you a website but an experienced team of IT enthusiasts who are willing to solve all your digital problems. Our $499 package comes with lifetime support, maintenance, and unlimited edits to your website. Let us focus on your digital presence, while you focus on growing your business. Contact us today before the deal runs out.
2. Setting Up Social Media
Social media can help your business by engaging with followers and customers online. This will help you find out what other people are saying about your business and also be more informed about your target audience, likes, and dislikes. You should use this feedback to create a better marketing strategy to attract more customers. You can also use social media to advertise your products by organizing promotional giveaways.
Social media can also help your denim line to build customer loyalty. Keep in mind, loyalty can never be bought with paid ads or other marketing strategies. It can only be earned with better engagement and services.
3. Create A Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy should be as diverse as possible. Try to test both organic and paid marketing strategies and see what kind of balance you can achieve. Your denim line business plan should also address the marketing strategies you are going to deploy. I will talk more about paid and organic strategies in the scaling phase of the denim line.
Scaling Your Denim Business
At this point, you already know how to start a denim line. Learning how to scale is a different ball game altogether. The very first thing you need to do while scaling your denim line keeps doing whatever you are doing. A denim line scales itself with time. But the problem is it is really slow. Therefore you need to follow every strategy possible to elevate the growth of your denim line.
Here are a few of those strategies you can follow while scaling your denim line.
1. Paid Ads
Ideally, you will need one organic and one paid channel to scale your denim line. Whether you want to start an activewear business or a denim line, paid ads works really well with the clothing industry. The best platforms to run your ads in 2021/22 are Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Google. The only thing you need to identify while running these ads is how much is it costing your business to acquire a customer, in other words, cost per acquisition. If the profit margin of your denim apparel is $20 and it is costing you around $10 to acquire a customer, it is a great deal. This will cut your profit margin by half, however, if you were selling 5 items a day organically, you will be selling 20 items while running these paid ads.
Our $499 digital package comes bundled with digital marketing services which include paid ad setups for your business.
2. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing where your business employs leading content creators within your niche in order to create brand awareness, increase traffic and deliver your content and/or product to your target audience. This marketing strategy has become one of the most affordable yet highly scalable marketing tools of the 21st century. People tend to connect more to a person than a corporation.
Therefore go for an influencer hunt on your favorite social media platform. Try messaging them and getting the deal done. Have a problem finding influencers to work with? We will give you a checklist of social media influencers, who have worked with us in past, for absolutely free. All you need to do is contact us through this contact form.
Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is a great way to generate organic traffic to your website. No matter what your situation is, if you have an e-commerce website for your business, SEO is important. For a small business, specifically, SEO can be a powerful tool for scaling exponentially. It enables your business to be seen on the first page of Google which in turn will generate tonnes of organic visitors to your store. Once they are in your online store, it’s up to the branding of the website and pricing to increase the sales.
Our $499 digital packages include SEO services for free. With everything packed inside one package just for $499, you just can’t go wrong with it.