There has never been a better time for entrepreneurship than today. Due to the emergence of e-commerce, there is a great opportunity for small businesses to flourish without fearing overwhelming competition and market dominance of bigger and more established companies. E-commerce has paved the way for small up to mid-sized entrepreneurs to bridge the competition gap due to having the internet as a marketplace. A big percentage of people these days prefer online shopping instead of the traditional method which gives online merchants better opportunity.
One of the most common business ideas out there is to start a clothing line. Even though the idea is very common, it does not mean this is already used up and the chance to succeed is very low. A clothing business will remain to be feasible regardless of the season, economy and competition. As long as you are able to implement the right marketing strategy, are able to create unique products and, of course, work with the right clothing manufacturer; finding success in a clothing niche is not too hard to achieve.
In this article, we will focus on how to find a clothing manufacturer considering you are a small startup business with only low minimum orders.
What exactly are you looking for in a clothing manufacturer?
A clothing manufacturer is someone who will incorporate your ideas and turn them into a real clothing product by implementing them into their production line. They are also referred to as suppliers since they are the ones who will provide the necessary materials and components needed for your clothing product. The company you are looking for is someone who has vast experience producing clothing and other garments in the industry. A company who has worked with successful clients and brands is exactly what you are looking for.
The main predicament here is the minimum order quantity (MOQ) which manufacturers have as a requirement for clients to comply with. The MOQ is a minimum number needed by a company before they are able to accept a given client’s order. This is a protocol for them because if the order does not reach the MOQ, it will be a loss on their end unless they charge a bit more expensive than their usual rates. A clothing manufacturer has fixed cost that they have to recover. Most of the time, clients back off because these MOQ used to be rather high with several thousand units.
Fortunately, the rise of small entrepreneurs further moved the bar of MOQs to an all-time low. Some manufacturers now cater to small businesses even though the quantity ordered is less than what their regular customers order for. There is a growing number of small entrepreneurs out there and there is no longer a reason why manufacturers shouldn’t be able to accommodate them as customers.
Where to look for clothing manufacturers?
The internet is the easiest avenue to look for potential low quantity clothing manufacturers. Simply by using Google, you can already be given access to thousands of potential manufacturers all around the globe. Most of these manufacturers already have their own websites or social media accounts which make them reachable even via online. You can just directly email them or message them in one of their social media channels and expect a reply in an hour or so.
Another popular option where you can find potential clothing manufacturers is in online marketplaces such as Alibaba etc. These online marketplaces are homes to thousands of online merchants from all around the world. By using the search function of their sites, you are able to trim down your options by looking exclusively for clothing companies or merchants. By then, you can ask around and engage with people in there to find out clothing manufacturers these people are working with.
Negotiating for low minimum orders with clothing manufacturers
It is not surprising if a potential manufacturer will right away present their MOQ when talking to a client. This is their business protocol and it would be up to you to lower this MOQ as long as you are able to say the right things and present the right documents. My tip here is to be honest and direct. Do not pretend to be a big company because you’re not and lying will eventually backfire towards your plans and reputation.
You are not the only small clothing business asking for a favor in this industry. There is no reason for you to be shy around manufacturers because these companies are the ones you are going to work with for your success in the future. As long as you present to them a solid business plan, excellent clothing designs and a promising business vision, it would be easy to convince them to work with you and allow a low minimum order. Manufacturers are business people as well just like you. Not all of them started out as a big company which gives room for them to accept clients with less capabilities.