Do you feel your household income needs supplementing with another income stream? Have you always enjoyed fashion and wondered if selling from a range of wholesale clothing is a viable business to run?
Starting your own business can seem daunting, especially if you assume that you have to give up your job and run the gauntlet of not knowing how you will pay the mortgage or rent this month. Selling clothes online, either via your own website or online auction sites is a possibility that could reap financial reward.
Many people enjoy a substantial additional income stream by selling clothes online but like all businesses, you get out what you put in. With a lucrative market a few clicks away, just how do you go about setting up a home retail empire?
#1 Know your product
First and foremost is understanding your product. We all wear clothes thus we assume that we know clothing. But then there is fashion, on-trend items, colours and patterns, cuts of fabric, fabric types, as well as certain styles worn by some customers but not others, age, gender and budgets to consider.
Knowing your market niche is essential and how the wholesale clothing you select fits with this niche.
#2 Know your customer
The first point is tied closely to the second point and that is knowing your customer.
Who are you aiming your home fashion business at? Is it easy to wear, fashionable items for women aged 30 or are you appealing to the student population? Where are your customers? How do you reach them? These are questions that you need to be able to confidently answer.
The basis of any successful business whether it pays the mortgage or you are just dabbling is knowing that you have a market and how to sell to your customers.
For example, busy mums looking for smart casual wear will want a website that is quick and easy to use. The photos are clear, the descriptions good, the price reasonable and no hidden extra costs or extortionate postage and packaging charges.
This all sounds like it is getting a little serious for a home business that just wants to sell the off cardigan or two to add an extra stream of income to the household. But small gestures and changes can rocket your business from ‘dabbling’ to a successful business.
Branding is when you make something look extra brilliant. Big names do it all the time. Look at the well-known soft drink, Coca Cola. Using the same colour palette throughout its product in the range, the same style of writing etc. When you buy their drink, you know you are getting a great product.
And when people buy from you, you want them to have a great product and a great experience. Giving your home business a name is a start, and choose colours that appeal to your customers. Make sure the photos you take of your clothing shows them off to the best of their ability – a crumpled shirt will not sell as well as one that is ironed and displayed nicely.
Think carefully too about how you package your items. There is something appealing about receiving a parcel but imagine your customer’s delight when they open the package to fine their £10 cardigan wrapped in tissue paper and matching ribbon.
#4 The bottom line
The whole point of running any business is to make a profit. When you have bought wholesale clothing, photographed it, sold it online, paid fees for website, auction sites, payment processing, postage and packaging, you need to come out with a clear profit.
Clearly, the more cash you can keep in your pocket, the better but over pricing is not the way to go as this moves your product from one market niche to a different ball game altogether. Work out how much items are to buy at cost, and price out all the other costs you pay to be confident you are not making a loss.
#5 Marketing & promotion
With great excitement you have ordered wholesale clothing, opened an auction site and possibly created your own ecommerce site too. Now what?
Unfortunately, customers don’t automatically come tripping to your door. You need to let them know you are there and then you need to entice them. There are all kinds of marketing ways to do this and social media is one way of attracting attention.
Offline marketing can prove fruitful too but with a consistent effort, your home business selling wholesale clothing can be a gold mine.
Eles Clothing is an online wholesale clothing company who supply sole traders and larger businesses too. Supporting smaller retail and fashion businesses is key which is why they have a no minimum order value. With end of season items from many high street retailers, Eles Clothing have a vast range of items.