Do you want to start a jeans brand? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a profitable denim line business from home with no money and no experience. If you are looking towards starting a cloth manufacturing business, one of the niche areas you can settle for is to go into the production of denim (jeans). The fact that both male and female, children and adults wear jeans all across the world makes this business a thriving and of course profitable business.
We are not ruling out the fact that you are bound to be confronted with what may seem like insurmountable competitions at various levels when you start your own denim line (jeans brand), but if you are determined and creative, you will be able to come out with a unique style and you will make your mark in the industry.
Please note that before launching this type of business, it will pay you carry out your due diligence as it relates to market research, economic and cost analysis and of course feasibility studies. If you get things right before launching your denim line, it will not take you long before you breakeven and start smiling to the bank.
So, if you have the desires to start your own denim line (jeans brand), all you need do is to read this article and you will be well equipped. You can start your denim line from a small town in the United States and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes a recognized brand.
20 Steps to Starting a Denim Line Business
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
- 18. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
- 19. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
Jeans are a type of pants or trousers, which is made from denim or dungaree cloth. Often the term “jeans” refers to a particular style of trousers, called “blue jeans”, which were invented by Jacob W. Davis in partnership with Levi Strauss & Co. in 1871 and patented by Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss on May 20, 1873.
Denim line (jeans brand) manufacturing businesses fall under the Global Ready-Made Garment manufacturing industry and players in this industry produce men’s, women’s and children’s apparel. The industry includes manufacturers that purchase fabrics and those that manufacture the fabrics themselves and have fixed operational facilities.
Recent statistics shows that North America accounts for 39 percent of global purchases for jeans, followed by Western Europe at 20 percent, Japan and Korea at 10 percent and the rest of the world at 31 percent. united states consumers spent more than US billion on jeans in 2004 and US billion in 2005. US consumers bought US$13.8 billion of men’s and women’s jeans as of 30 April 2011, according to market-research firm NPD Group.
If you are a close observer of happenings in the Global Ready-Made Garment manufacturing industry, you will agree that the industry has greatly benefited from an increasing number of consumers choosing to purchase more garments at lesser prices.
In few of that, the revenue for this industry is expected rise going forward. Rising disposable income levels across both developed and emerging economies are expected to be the main driving force behind the industry’s renewed growth.
Continually improving global economic conditions are anticipated to benefit the industry over the five years to 2022. Rising per capita disposable incomes, coupled with the steady upward trend in the global population, will give way to rising demand for ready-made garment
The Global Ready-Made Garment Manufacturing industry is indeed a major sector of the economy of the world and the industry generates over $696 billion annually from more than 284,571 ready – made garment manufacturing companies scattered all around the world.
The industry is responsible for the employment of over 11.6 million people. Experts project the ready-made garment manufacturing industry to grow at a 4.5 percent annual rate. Please note that there is no single company that can boast of having a lion share of the available market in this industry.
Research shows that the hurdles to enter into the Global Ready-Made Garment Manufacturing industry are lower in countries like China, Bangladesh and Vietnam. Governments and companies in these countries actively seek foreign investment to develop the industry and exploit the comparative advantage they have over more developed nations. Industry operators in these countries also have greater access to less costly labor.
On the other hand, it can be costly to acquire capital equipment and machinery to manufacture apparel on a large scale. Companies from developed countries looking to manufacture have to compete with low – cost countries and large multinational companies that have the capability to set up manufacturing operations overseas.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs cum investors to go into denim production is that the industry is still open and you can be rest assured to make profits no matter the part of the United States that you choose to start the business. The denim manufacturing business will continue to blossom because jeans is a universal cloth that is worn by both the old and young, male and female not just in the United States of America, but also all across the world.
The denim manufacturing line of business is profitable and it is open for any aspiring entrepreneur to come in and establish his or her business; you don’t necessarily need to situate your factory in the United States of America if the indices do not favor you. You can take your factory to Bangladesh or Thailand or elsewhere in Asia or even Africa and South America.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who wear denim cut across all genders and age groups; male and female, adults and children all wear denim, hence the demographic composition for denim the manufacturing business is all encompassing.
So, if you are thinking of starting your own denim (jeans) manufacturing business, then you should look beyond producing and marketing your denim to just people in your city, but also people across the United States of America and other parts of the world.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
It is important to state that there is no known niche areas when it comes to denim production business. Every player in this line of business usually produces a wide of jeans such as;
- Slim fit
- Baggy jeans
- Denim skirt
- Drainpipe jeans
- Mom jeans
- Children jeans
The Level of Competition in the Industry
Please note that there are two levels of competition that exist in this line of business; there are competitions amongst unknown brands and competitions amongst known brands. Besides, the competition that exists in the industry goes beyond competitions amongst denim production companies in your city or country; it is both national and international.
This is because, major denim production brands in China, Germany, France, Italy, united kingdom and in any part of the world can be found in boutiques and cloth shops all across the United States of America. So, it will be right to say the competition in the denim manufacturing business is tough.
The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your products or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure you have what it takes to churn out quality and stylish products and, you know how to reach out to your target market.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
You will agree with me that in every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and general public than the others due to the fact that their products are highly durable. Some of these brands have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.
These are some of the leading denim (jeans) line manufacturing brands in the United States of America and in the globe;
- Levi Strauss & Co.
- Wrangler (jeans)
- Gap Inc.
- Gas Jeans
- 7 For All Mankind
- Aarvee Denims & Exports Ltd.
- Arvind Limited
- Black Peony (Group) Co., Ltd.
- Diesel S.p.A
- Lee (jeans)
- Lee Cooper
- Just Jeans
- Calvin Klein (company)
- Outland Denim
- London Denim
- Silver Jeans Co.
- Great Western Garment Co.
- Guess (clothing)
- Angels Jeanswear
- Arizona Jean Co.
The fact that you are looking towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, means that you must ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt international best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
In essence, if you want to start your denim (jeans) manufacturing business, then you should endeavor to carryout detailed economic analysis so as to know the amount to invest in the business, the ideal location to build your factory, running cost and overhead cost of owning a denim manufacturing company especially on a large scale and of course pricing and the projection of profits you are expected to generate from the business.
Please note that in order to carry out a thorough economic analysis for your denim manufacturing business, it will profit you to engage the services of a business consultant to come up with tailored economic analysis that will help properly structure your business with less issues.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
Unfortunately, you can hardly find the franchise of a denim manufacturing company to purchase meaning that if you want to own a denim manufacturing business, then you must be ready to start from the scratch, because the business is still thriving and there are loads of opportunities available to aspiring entrepreneurs that are interested in the industry, especially those who are interested in starting the business on a small scale servicing a defined market.
The truth is that it will pay you to start your company from the scratch. Starting from the scratch will afford you the opportunity to conduct thorough market survey and feasibility studies before choosing a location to launch the business.
Please note that most of the successful denim manufacturing companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
In business, no matter the industry you choose to operate in, you are going to be confronted with threats and challenges. Hence, if you decide to start your own denim manufacturing business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established denim brands cum companies whose products can be found all across the United States and the global market. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
So also, just like any other business, one of the major threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. It is a fact that economic downturn affects purchasing power. You may also face the arrival of a new denim manufacturing company in same location where yours is located.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
If you want to venture into denim manufacturing, the legal entity you choose to build the business on will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow.
From a general perspective, you can either choose a general partnership, limited liability company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship for your denim manufacturing company. Basically, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale / customized denim (jeans) manufacturing business especially if you are just starting out with a moderate capital and operating from your home or a small shop.
But if your intention is to grow the business and have your denim (jeans) distributed across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes. If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities available for your denim manufacturing business, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is the most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or a ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
If you decide to upgrade your denim manufacturing company to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation you will have the opportunity to grow your business so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
The general practice in business is that when it comes to Choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose to call your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. If you are considering starting your own denim manufacturing company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- El Classic® Jeans Manufacturing, Inc.
- Gunners® Denim (Jeans) Manufacturing, Inc.
- Alex Rooney® Jeans, Inc.
- The Reds™ Denim (Jeans) Production Company
- High – Class® Denim Wears Brand, Inc.
- World Champ® Denim (Jeans) Manufacturing, Inc.
- Blue Ribbon® Denim (Jeans) Production Company
- Chris & Charis™ Denim (Jeans) Brand, LLC
- One Nation® Denim Wears, Inc.
- Jaded Montana® Denim (jeans) Manufacturing, Inc.
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
If you want to start your business legally in the United States of America, you can’t operate the business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own denim line in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If at all there is any business that requires intellectual property protection (copyright ©), then a denim line business should be one of them. The truth is that your label, design and style need to be protected or else anybody can successfully fake or create similar products and go free making money off your brand name.
So, all you have to do is to ensure that you file for intellectual property protection. In the United States of America, if you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Even though you do not need any special professional certification before you can successfully start your own denim line, but you will do yourself a whole lot of favor if you study clothe designing or related course before starting this this type of business. It will afford you the opportunity to truly maximize the business; you will be able to have full grasp of the business from start to finish especially as it relates to producing trendy and durable denim.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own denim line in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Apostille (for those who intend operating beyond the United States of America)
- Building permit
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
When it comes to starting an on demand denim production business, trust me, it can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale making customized denim based on demand. Securing a standard and well – equipped production facility and purchasing industrial sewing machines are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital, but if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a large scale denim (jeans) production company.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you need to consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your denim manufacturing production business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for Loan from your Bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
The location you choose to start your denim line production factory has relative influence on the success of this business. As a matter of fact, you can be in the United States of America and have your denim production factory in Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia or any other country in Asia, Africa or South America as long as it will enable you leverage economies of scales and maximize profits from the business and reach out to a larger global market.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your denim manufacturing company;
- The demography of the location
- The access to raw materials and cheap labor
- The number of denim (jeans) manufacturing companies in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community
- Traffic, parking and security
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
If you are considering setting up a denim manufacturing company, it means that you should be prepared to purchase equipment and machines like industrial sewing machines, dyeing machine/chambers, cutting and ironing machines amongst others. If you don’t have enough cash, you can start with fairly used machines but if you are financially buoyant, then you should go for brand new ones since they usually have a longer life span.
As regard leasing or outright purchase of a production or warehouse facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standings, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent / lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location / facility for such business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard denim manufacturing company, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Sales and Marketing Manager, Denim (jeans) Designers, Tailors, Quality Control Officer, Accountant, Distribution / Delivery Van Drivers and Client Services Executive. On the average, you will need a minimum of 10 to 15 key staff members to run a small – scale but standard denim manufacturing business.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
When it comes to the manufacturing of denim, the first step to take is to come up with a design and then have the design approved by the board. After that, you should determine the quantity and types (colors and sizes et al) of the denim to be produced.
Other steps involved in the entire process are cutting the materials, sewing, trimming and putting finishing touches. The next step is to pass the jeans through quality control before properly packaging, labeling and branding the products for distribution.
Please note that traditionally, jeans were dyed to a blue color using natural indigo dye. Most denim is now dyed using synthetic indigo. Approximately 20 thousand tons of indigo are produced annually for this purpose, though only a few grams of the dye are required for each pair. For other colors of denim other dyes must be used. Currently, jeans are produced in any color that can be achieved with cotton.
It is important to state that a denim (jeans) manufacturing company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
The fact that you want to compete with other players in this line of business means that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods. If you choose to launch a denim manufacturing business, then you must employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands that determine the market direction for the denim manufacturing industry.
People and boutiques will patronize your denim if they know that they are going to get value for their money.
As a matter of fact, your marketing strategy should center on quality, and pricing, and above all excellent customer service. You should ensure that whenever your customers order for your denim, they will get quality products and excellent service. The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers.
Businesses these days are aware of the power of the internet and which is why they will do all they can to maximize the internet to market their services or products. These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your denim manufacturing business;
- Introduce your denim company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to clothing shops and other retailers in and around the location of your factory.
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for your business, so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your products.
- Engage in road shows in targeted communities and campuses from time to time to sell your denim (jeans)
- Provide discount days and promo such as buy one get one free et al for your customers
- Advertise your business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
17. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The quality and uniqueness of your denim, your business process and of course your pricing model are part of what you need to stay competitive in the industry. If wholesale distributors are making profits from selling your products, they will be more than willing to go the extra mile to help you push your products.
Another possible competitive strategy for winning your competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust distribution cum business network. The truth is that if you are able to seal a deal with a major retail outlet, you will be able to generate enough revenue and retail your denim to their fan base.
18. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps to attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your services delivery, they can hardly source for alternative products.
If you can continue to improve on the quality of your denim and your customer service delivery, then you won’t struggle to maintain loyal customers.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers, and building loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).
19. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand awareness.
If your intention of starting a denim manufacturing company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your denim (jeans) manufacturing company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and sports magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community – based events / programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your business
- Install your Billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to retail your jeans
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- List your denim manufacturing company in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise your denim manufacturing company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and distribution trucks/vans are well branded with your company logo et al.
20. Create a Suppliers/Distribution Network
If indeed you want to increase sales for your denim line, then you must go out of your way to explore and engage different distribution networks. Just ensure that you look towards the international market, especially merchants that have in – road in the African market.