Keep your day job
Perhaps most importantly, keep your day job for as long as possible. This income will help you with the set up of your business, and relieve some of the financial pressure of launching a new company. You want to invest your money into printing the hats and marketing your business, so be sure to have a secondary income to help with this before you go ahead and rely on your hat business to pay for itself.
Do a lot of research! Find a niche in the market to target, particularly one where there is a lack of product. Think where your brand may belong in the hat market, and what styles you’re going to go for with your designs. Shop around and see what is in fashion, and what’s not selling very well. Spotting trends that are on the rise is great, as you’ll be able to cater for a growing market that is yet to be dominated. Coming up with custom designs and images that you want to have printed on your caps is a great way to stand out against the other brands out there.
If you intend to sell your hats or caps in a physical store and not just online, your research should extend beyond what is in fashion. Visit similar stores or stalls to what you would be utilising for your business, and pay close attention to the layout and design of the store, particularly how the stock is displayed. This is a good way to get ideas on how to set up your own store, how much space you may need, and how to best display the stock so as to grab the attention of passers by.
Apply for the appropriate business licenses, and look into what is required of you by the tax department. If you’re unsure or don’t understand what is required, invest in the services of a good accountant. Their advice will be invaluable, particularly with the launch of the business, and you can always claim the fee back on next year’s tax return.
Design a catchy logo for your company that complements the name. Your logo needs to stand out, be unique, and if you want to have it printed on the hats you design, be sure the colours are neutral and won’t be difficult to match. If you’re unsure about your logo, hiring a professional could well be worth the expense. The logo is arguably one of the most important aspects of a fashion brand, so don’t rush this step and consider it carefully.
If you’re planning on producing a lot of stock, it’s necessary to source suppliers and other people who may help you achieve your goals. A printing company is vital if you intend on selling hats with your own unique designs on them. Custom Snapbacks is the perfect choice for this, as we specialise in hats (snapbacks – the hottest style of hat at the moment), and already have a great portfolio of custom hats we’ve helped make a reality.
Consider online stores
Even if you intend to set up a small store or stall in your local shopping centre, it’s still an excellent idea to sell your stock online. Not only will your products have a wider reach, but you’ll be able to utilise different marketing strategies to get a lot more visitors interested and buying your stuff. Have a browse at what websites you can use to sell your products online, and then share the URL with friends and online communities to start building interest.
Look for the right spot
If you are looking to set up a physical store, be sure you look at a good range of different premises in different areas to get an idea of what’s available. Although you may be excited to launch your business, the space from which you sell will impact on your success dramatically. Think carefully about the space, what shops are around it, and how easily the store is accessed by passers by. It’s worth spending some time near the store and seeing how much traffic passes by throughout the day.
Once you’ve found your space, consider what decor will make your store appealing in its surroundings – from seating to posters to pictures. Try to choose a colour scheme that complements your business logo or the major colours used in your hat designs. Don’t forget liability and contents insurance! Both are necessary as a business owner.
Once you’re set up and almost ready to open, start advertising your store. This could be in the form of advertisements in the local paper, fliers in letter boxes, or social media. Set up a Facebook and Twitter account prior to opening so that you can encourage your friends to share the news. If you have an online store, source online communities and groups that may be interested in the products you’re offering, and share your website. Partner up with similar brands and stores and see if you could reach an agreement to market each other’s brands with your customers.
So there you have it, the basic steps towards starting your own headwear brand. If you feel like you’ve got a lot of good ideas that could potentially make you a success, what are you waiting for?
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