If you're trying to find the perfect manufacturer for your clothing business, you're in the right place.
The clothing and apparel production business is booming. In 2019 the U.S. apparel market alone was valued at over $360 Billion. (Statista)
However, to efficiently run your business, you'll need to find a manufacturer that matches your budget, designs, benefits, and values.
Modern clothing businesses need to keep up with selling their products online. You'll need to be well-versed in understanding how eCommerce will affect your relationship with manufacturers.
Here's your step-by-step guide to finding the right manufacturer for your clothing business.
Step 1: Know The Type of Manufacturer You Want
Like anything, you start your manufacturing process by knowing what you want.
This, of course, starts with knowing your business goals.
Are you running a boutique or large scale operations?
Will your products be commodity or premium?
If you know your own business goals, you'll have a clear understanding of the kind of manufacturers you should be reaching out to.
Ideally, you'll want to have a list of particular criteria that define your manufacturer's top choices.
Here are a few critical criteria that you should consider when choosing a manufacturer for your business:
- Types of material available
- Your business's material spending budget
- Prices and profit margin
- Factory location (for shipping and communicative purposes)
- Design capabilities
- Shipping in bulk vs. shipping in small quantities
Prepare a questionnaire of the critical elements that you need from your manufacturer and use them as a guidepost as you begin your search.
Step 2: Research Manufacturers and List Out All Possibilities
Now it's time to dive into the research component of your search.
Sift through Google to find manufacturers that match the product you want to produce.
Make sure that you're specific with your search queries. Instead of searching "best clothing manufacturers," search "top premium silk clothing manufacturers near New York."
There are tons of clothing manufacturers out there, so be specific when you do your research.
Besides the typical Google search, you can also find your manufacturer through search directories like Maker's Row.
Other ways you can find manufacturers include:
- Social Media
- Friends and Family
- Local Manufacturers
If you're looking into working with manufacturers overseas, make sure that you know the ins and outs of drop shipping.
Dropshipping and other eCommerce tactics will be essential for ensuring a quick delivery without cutting into profit margins.
Are you in need of a premium manufacturer for your clothing business? POND Threads is the perfect solution for you. Contact Us today for more information on how our team can manufacture your products.
Step 3: Contact and Receive Quotes From the Best Manufacturers
Once you have a substantial list of manufacturers to choose from, you need to narrow down.
Pick the top 5-10 manufacturers you prefer based on your criteria in Step 1 and call or message to receive a quote from them.
A quote will help you understand how much the manufacturer will be charging and what kind of quantity you can order at one time.
Quotes can also help determine the length of shipping time and other essential manufacturing details.
Before asking for quotations, make sure that you have your designs and proposals ready. This will make the estimates more accurate if you choose to go with a specific manufacturer.
Be sure to keep the minimum order quantity and production quality in mind.
Step 4: Narrow Down Your Favorite Manufacturers With An Audit
Once you've got 5-10 quotes (or less if you prefer), it's time to narrow down and choose the manufacturers that are most suitable for your business.
Audit your list by charting out each potential manufacturer and the Pros/Cons of each.
Is one of the manufacturer's high in quality while another is low in price?
What are the shipping costs and times like for each?
You'll want to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each manufacturer before you build a long-term relationship with them.
Keep in mind that the manufacturers you work with should match your business's mission and values.
If you're running a sustainability clothing brand, you don't want to be caught sourcing from sweatshops.
Do you need to develop a relationship with a quality manufacturer? At POND Threads, we value building long-term relationships with businesses like yours.
Step 5: Build a Strong Relationship With The Manufacturer of Your Choice
Pick the best manufacturer from your list. Did you get them? Great.
Now's your chance to build an excellent relationship with your manufacturer.
Give them a call, text, email, or other communication forms and explain to them who you are and what your business needs.
It's essential to leave a positive lasting impression with people responsible for sourcing and making your product.
At this point, you'll want to do your due diligence to find out how your manufacturer gets their source material.
You should also know how your manufacturer treats their employees, envisions their company, etc.
You're looking to become long-term partners with these businesses, so make sure that you have a good understanding of what's going on behind the scenes.
Be mindful of any language, cultural, or communicative barriers.
Once you've established a strong relationship with your manufacturers, make sure that you have all of the marketing to back it up!
Step 6: Start Producing!
All that's left now is to start producing your product.
This announces the start of your relationship with a manufacturer and actually gets your business running.
By now, you should have come to an agreement with your manufacturer for your first run.
List out the type of products you need to be produced and the timeline that you need them by. Iron out any shipping and packaging difficulties then you're good to go!
Finding quality manufacturers isn't always easy.
This step-by-step guide will ensure that you're taking a complete route in finding the most suitable manufacturer for you.