We’re all undoubtedly familiar with the phrase “clothes make the man.” But what about the people that make the clothes? If you are a business owner that is looking to sell clothes to the masses, finding clothing manufacturers that you can trust from a business and a quality perspective is an essential part of finding success within the industry. Of course, if you don’t have a whole lot of experience, this could be easier said than done. As anyone in the industry can tell you, the world of clothing manufacturers can be a rather unscrupulous place, as it is rife with various businesses cobbling together poorly constructed goods as well as scammers looking to rip people off. It may be enough to intimidate the newbie into thinking twice about opening up a shop that sells clothes.
However, finding the right clothing manufacturer is not all doom and gloom. The road to finding a good, trustworthy company that will provide you with quality clothing – and ultimately, a rock steady business relationship between you and your customers – is a path that can easily be walked upon. It just takes an adherence to a few basic rules.
Steps to Take When Finding a Clothing Manufacturer
The first step that you must take is something that, in a way, occurs before you even begin to sift through clothing manufacturers to find the items that fit your needs. Everything you do must be done with a great measure of diligence, which is brought about putting together a specific strategy and sticking to it from start to finish. Keep in mind that the clothes that you purchase from a clothing manufacturer are going to affect your business and its profitability in the long run. Not having a well thought out battle plan at the ready – or even worse, wavering from that plan once you get the ball rolling on things – could have a profoundly negative impact on the bottom line of your business.
Of course, there are a few key elements that must be in play regardless of what strategy you decide to deploy. For example, you need to clearly define who your clientele is going to be, and how the clothes that you purchase from a clothing manufacturer are going to reach out to that clientele. If you own a little boutique store on the coast and are surrounded by surfers and beach-going families, you are probably not going to be all that successful selling flannels and work boots. Conversely, you aren’t going to sell a whole lot of beachwear all year round if you live in a mountainous range or if you live in a place that has definitive seasons.
Another important task is to get yourself completely assured of the clothing manufacturer’s reputation. This is a critical step for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it would behoove you to make sure that the company that you are working with is not in the habit of acting unscrupulous or shady. Secondly, working with a clothing manufacturer that has a poor reputation may make some of your more industry-savvy customers a little gun shy in doing business with you. Both reasons could end up making your business less profitable.
In order to ensure that you are working with a clothing manufacturer is on the up and up, you need to do a little more than just check their website. The company page is undoubtedly going to tell you what they want you to know, so you need to do a little digging. This can be accomplished by performing the following tasks:
- Check what other people are saying – There are plenty of other websites that are out there that will go beyond what the manufacturers’ website is saying. Because of this, you should go elsewhere online and check various reviews that may have been written about the company and its standards and practices.
- Follow up on website accolades – If the company has testimonies listed somewhere on their site, follow up with the people and companies that gave such web-based praise and dive a little deeper into what those words actually mean.
- Pay a visit to the factory where the goods are being made – If at all possible, you should try and visit the factory where the clothes are being made. Getting a distinctive visual as to how the clothes are constructed will go a long way into helping you decide how ethical and forthright the company truly is on a business level and on an employer level.
Other Important Tips
Another thing that you may want to consider as you try to find a clothing manufacturer that works for you is to find a few local companies that you may be able to feature in your store. Keeping things local is a big selling point in plenty of other business ventures, so it stands to reason that a similar motif would play very well in the world of clothing design. A local manufacturer may have a solid pulse on the likes and dislikes of your potential clientele even before you stock their stores with their wares, so featuring them in your store could enable you to reach out to your surrounding area in a more personalized manner; something that may not be as readily possible if you look beyond local borders.
But perhaps the biggest thing you can do on your quest to finding the right clothing manufacturer for your store is to reside yourself to the fact that it won’t be easy. Yes, you could strike gold immediately and find the perfect manufacturer, but these types of scenarios are few and far between. The actual work involved is uncomplicated on the surface, but the likely probability of you needing to research several companies in order to find just the right one is a process that can be time-consuming. However, if you manage to remain patient throughout the process, you will most likely find the clothing manufacturer that speaks to the soul of your business, and ultimately, your customers.