The first place to start is to put together a business plan. Start with what you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve it. You can find business plan templates on the Small Business Website. You need a good plan showing how you can effectively build this business on a solid foundation and every facet of how you foresee it operating before you can even begin to obtain loans, investors or any sort of financing. Financial institutions want to see success laid out in writing and won't just hand over money based on someone's verbal theory of how successful their idea can be.
Also, I would take what you have "on paper" and organize it into a professional looking portfolio that can be utilized when necessary. Getting things started and organized takes a lot of work and effort. It is confusing and arduous at times. You might want to consider finding and working with a mentor, as well. Just make sure to protect your intellectual rights to your content and material before handing over any designs.
Additionally to above, you may need some tools for crafting a business plan and your initial financials.
smetoolkit.org is a great starting point for every small business owner, wickedstart.com offers wide range of SME tools and resources (free and low cost), and from iplanner.net you may find business plan templates and software.
While it may be a good idea to lay out a business outline (a flow chart type of thing), I dont think you need to be putting together a business plan just yet. Those are good for investors, which you wont be needing.
I used to have a shirt company. The most important thing you can do is start building a presence and creating designs.
I work at an online marketing management and consulting company...here is what I would do if you were my client -
Set up a pre-launch marketing campaign
Create brand awareness among social media networks
Run incentivized contest to build buzz
Spread contest among industry news blogs/influencers
Set up pre-sale campaign
Allow voting and submissions on designs from community
Weed down designs to desired amount, use pre-sale revenue to help on first run of shirts from press
With that marketing plan you could easily build income before you even launched the company, and likely pay for your first run entirely.
We usually charge a lot of money for coming up with a plan like that, so dont underestimate it
Hope this helps!
This is good advice. I would also be piecing together a business plan as it can be very time consuming when people start asking for it. BTW if you follow Clear Presence Media's advice you may need that business plan quite quickly.
I am assuming CPM meant "Spread content among industry news blogs/influencers"
By piecing together a business plan I mean familiarizing yourself with the various parts of a business plan. This way as you are working on your line you can be preparing yourself to answer questions from investors. Once you are comfortable saying outloud what it is you wish to communicate, it will be easier to write down. I tell my clients to pretend that they are going for an interview where the success of what they say could mean the end of their career. And then be even more clear and concise when they actually write it in their plan. Sometimes its best to hire someone with experience to do the writing, this however will not let you off the hook from knowing exactly what needs to be in the plan. It is serious, time consuming planning and you need to work it into your daily routine little by little.
Starting a clothing line takes lots of effort and enthusiasm, it also needs thorough research, help from others, a firm belief in your vision, and above all, a good sense of fashion.
If you’re serious about starting a clothing business. You have to be constantly thinking about new products and new ways to improve your brand.
The more you know beforehand, the less time and money wasted on doing the wrong things, so you need to do some researches, test the market with a few samples, check on what your competitors offer and how successful they are and then set up a SEO friendly website, social networks to get the ball rolling.