To Import or Not For Your Clothing Brand?

So you chose to build a clothing business. You already finished the business plan, and you have the capital ready for this new venture. You are excited, and you can’t wait to open the business. However, one of the things that you need to prepare first is the supplier. There are a lot of options today for business owners. Importing is maybe one of the options that you are trying to consider. You may have heard a lot of good things about importing materials from other countries; however, you may not be so sure if you should do this in your business. This article will help you weigh your options, and decide what’s best for your company.

Two Kinds of Suppliers

When you hear the word “suppliers” the first thing that comes to mind is another company that would supply the products to business. These are the items that you will offer to your clients. But are you aware that there are two kinds of suppliers that you can get for your business? Before you contact a manufacturer, here are some of the things that you need to know first.

Manufacturer

A manufacturer is another company that will handle the production process of your clothes or designs for you. Having a manufacturer is the perfect choice if you want to provide fresh and unique items to your customers. The fashion industry is very competitive. There are a lot of clothing businesses, and you have to stand out from the crowd. That is why creating new designs is a must if you want people to notice your brand. A manufacturer will help you bring your creations to come to life. If you want to find the best manufacturing company out there, you need to know how to talk to these companies, and you will land a great contract.

PROS

•           Would allow you to create unique clothes
•           You have full control over the kind of fabric they will use on your items
•           Enables you to monitor how your products are produced

CONS

•           The process can be a little long, so it requires a lot of patience
•           There are a lot of things to take care of

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a popular way of getting supplies from various companies around the world. Unlike getting your items manufactured, this one doesn’t take a lot of effort to complete the process. The dropshipping company is like your business partner. Once your clients send their orders, you will send them to the dropshipping company, and they will be the one to complete the process up to the delivery stage. However, there is an important thing that you have to be aware of when using a dropshipping method.

The dropshipping company would have a lot of similar businesses like yours. There are limited designs to choose from, and there is a big chance that some of your competitors will be selling the same designs or items like yours.

PROS

•           Hassle free
•           Can be cheaper than manufacturing
•           Reduces the tasks that you have to do in the business

CONS

•           Limited designs to choose from
•           You don’t have a lot of control over the supplies or the items
•           There is a big chance that you’ll have similar products as your competitors

Domestic VS. Overseas

Now that you know the two different kinds of suppliers that you can get for your business. The next thing that you have to think about is whether to get the supplies domestically or overseas. There are a lot of things to consider before you decide between these two options.

Getting the items produced domestically means you can visit the factory any time you want. There won’t be a lot of hassle because the company is in the same country as you are. Another good thing about it is that you can easily check the reputation of the company before you sign a contract with them. Are they complying to legal requirements in your country? That’s just one of the things that you would easily know if you look for domestic suppliers

Meanwhile, dealing with an overseas supplier can be a little bit more challenging. There is a language barrier most of the time so you’ll have to find a way to give clear instructions. Additionally, it would be difficult to check a foreign company’s background. However, the best thing about getting your items overseas is the cheaper rates. Compared to local prices, the price of labor in other countries is a lot lower so you would be able to maximize the capital that you have. Be ready for a lengthy delivery time though.

Which Is The Best One For You

Before you decide which kind of supplier you should get for your business, first you have to identify the needs of your company and evaluate if a dropshipping or a manufacturer would be the best for you. You have to know your priorities as well in the business. If you are low on capital, but you want to start your business already, then a dropshipping set up from overseas companies may be okay for now.

But if you have enough funds for your business, looking for a good manufacturer still gives you better benefits. It would allow you to create your designs and therefore make a unique personality for your brand. Creating unique designs for your clients is important because it will make them remember you better. Aside from this, you get to give the best quality to your customers as well because you can offer suggestions and instructions to your manufacturer.

On the other hand, there is also no problem with importing your items. Just make sure to ask essential questions to the company first before you sign your contract. Do a thorough background check to make sure that their business is legal and ask for references. Knowing the brands that they already worked with before will give you the chance to inspect whether they produce quality work or not.

Image Credits: Import from jeandum/Shutterstock

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