Published on 14th April, 2020
Starting a clothing business can be a particularly daunting time – and that goes for any industry, for example, sports and fashion. You want your business to be as successful as possible, however, you’ll be up against a wide range of competitors within your market, including well-established global brands.
So, what makes a successful sports clothing business? And why will customers choose to opt for your products rather than those of their favourite brands? Don’t worry if you’re not sure. This post will explain everything you need to know and how you can lay the foundations to ensure that your sports clothing business is primed for success.
From Nike’s iconic swoosh to Lacoste’s little crocodile emblem on their garments, branding is key to the success of your business. Without top-quality branding, your company is likely to go unnoticed and, therefore, won’t be as successful as you’d like it to be. As you can see from the aforementioned global examples, successful branding is simple, clean and most importantly, memorable.
If your branding is too complex, you run the risk of bombarding your audience and it can be too in your face. Plus, when it comes to personalising your products, over the top ideas may look too loud and silly on garments. The more intricate the design, the more stitches and materials needed too. Simplicity when personalising sportswear is always a strong choice.
Of course, your brand isn’t all about the emblem that makes your business recognisable – it’s about your audience’s whole perception of you. From your marketing messaging to your staff uniforms, your branding should be consistent throughout the core of your business. People should be able to resonate with your branding with clear transparency of your core values shining through.
If your branding is poor, you could be in the industry spotlight for all the wrong reasons. This may result in your business gaining a poor reputation that’ll prove hard to reverse once established. To make sure that your audience can resonate with your brand, you should conduct extensive market research and implement the feedback throughout. If you start making blind decisions, you’ll leave yourself wide open for failure.
The sportswear industry is heavily saturated, so you need to establish a niche to be able to compete with the rest of the market. Otherwise, you’ll be producing the same products as you can get elsewhere and people will tend to stick to their usual buying habits. Luckily, there are many sports that you can produce clothing for and establish a unique selling point (USP).
Rather than trying to create garments that span over various sports from the off, we advise that you find one niche area and try to grow within that. This is a model that the big players in the industry once started out with and now look at where they are! For example, Adidas started out creating sports shoes and have eventually branched out into clothing, equipment and much more.
Trying to do too much from the off may impact the quality of your garments or your brand efforts. You’ll have too much to focus on and not enough time or resources, so naturally, something has to give. Rather than releasing products that aren’t your best work, we recommend that you find one area of particular interest and put your all into producing and marketing the product as best you can.
Low-quality products are a factor that can bring companies to their knees – especially when starting out. You don’t want to be known as the business who produces poor sportswear, that definitely won’t help you on your journey to becoming as successful as you can. So, by exploiting your niche opportunity and producing the best products, you rule out any risk of customer dissatisfaction with your quality garments.
Some examples of sportswear niches are:
Your equipment is arguably the most valuable commodity in your business. Without the right equipment, you have no product range – and without any products, you’re going to struggle to be successful, right? So, you need to make sure that you have the right equipment in place to meet customer demands, turn around orders quickly and create quality products that’ll make a statement.
But what equipment do you need to start a sports clothing business? Well, it all depends on whether you’re looking to sell your products online, in-store or both. Online stores require a lot less equipment and are cheaper to set up. Businesses with brick and mortar stores will need to purchase racking, storage, displays and more to get off the ground.
You’ll also need equipment to produce your clothing – unless you’re outsourcing to a third-party. For example, you’ll need an industrial embroidery machine to personalise your garments and make your mark on your clothing. When producing your clothing, you can’t afford to cut corners on the equipment you need. Not only will you end up with an insufficient product but you may end up increasing costs in the long run too.
A lot of people are often swayed by price when it comes to choosing equipment but various factors need to be considered. Selecting your equipment isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly, so when the time comes, make sure you consider size, scope for growth, performance – as well as keeping it within budget too.
You could have the best products in the world but if they’re not marketed effectively, your efforts will likely be in vain. You need to appeal to your target audience as best as you can and ensure that they resonate with the brand. One of the main decisions you need to make is choosing whether to sell your clothes online or in-store – you’ll find that a lot of sportswear brands opt for both online and brick and mortar stores.
Your marketing strategy is what will get your brand and products noticed. However, you can’t aimlessly post any random messaging across the platforms and expect sweet success – there’s much more to it than that. You should be making a lot of noise about your amazing sports clothing business but you need to be doing it within the right channels and platforms. You should consult your market research and see which are the most effective areas to reach out to your ideal audience.
Plan. Plan. And plan some more. That’s what you’ll need to do to create the most effective marketing strategies. If not, your channels and messaging will all be working in different directions and will contradict each other. Conflicting messaging can leave doubts over a brand’s credibility, which isn’t a good start for your business.
As we mentioned, choosing the right equipment is a big part of what makes a sports clothing business successful. As you start to grow in popularity, more orders will start flooding through your business – which is a nice problem to have, but you must be prepared to turn them around efficiently and at a high-quality too.
So, you need an industrial embroidery machine that you can rely on to produce the best results every time it’s called upon. You should also factor growth in your decision when considering choosing a machine. Is the machine you start with going to last you a long time? Or, will you soon outgrow it and need to invest again?
To help showcase the benefits and features of an industrial embroidery machine, we’ve put together a free guide that outlines the perfect choices for startup businesses. So, grab your copy today and take the first step towards becoming a successful sports clothing business.