Are you about starting a sweater & cardigan production business? If YES, here is a complete sample sweater & cardigan production business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a sweater & cardigan production business. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample sweater & cardigan production marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for sweater & cardigan production companies. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Why Start a Sweater & Cardigan Production Business?
A sweater and cardigan business can be started in any part of the world and the owner of the business can still penetrate the world market once the design is good and it meets a need in the fashion market.
An entrepreneur who intends starting a sweater and cardigan business can start their own label from their home on a small scale and service a customized market like schools in the neighborhood or big time investors can open a sweater and cardigan knitting factory and dominate both the U.S. and international market.
The bottom line is that there is always a ready market for manufacturers of sweaters and cardigans. All a designer needs to do is to ensure that he or she carves a niche for his business and build their brand name to be accepted beyond his/her city of operation.
Another important factor that counts in this line of business is the brand name of the sweater and cardigan knitting line. Once you are able to secure a good name for your knitting line, you can hire graphic artists to help you create a compelling logo.
Below is a sample Sweater and Cardigan Production business plan template that can help you to successfully write your own with little or no difficulty.
A Sample Sweater and Cardigan Production Business Plan Template
- Industry Overview
Sweater and Cardigan knitting companies are part of the Apparel Knitting Mills industry and players in this industry basically knit and manufacture underwear, outerwear, nightwear and knitting fabric. Please note that knitted apparels is different from cut and sew apparel products, which are generally manufactured from broad woven fabrics purchased from textile mills.
A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that the revenue for the Apparel Knitting industry has declined over the past five years. The decline in revenue is in line with the industry as a whole, which has been contracting for the last decade as more clothing manufacturing is done in low-cost countries abroad. Per capita disposable income growth over the past five years has helped offset further losses for the industry.
In line with declining revenue due to lower production levels, profit margins for industry operators have also declined during the five-year period as companies fighting for business undercut bargaining power. Industry revenue is expected to continue its decline over the five years to 2022.
Please note that entrepreneurs who intend coming into the Apparel Knitting industry may have difficulty establishing operations within this industry since it produces largely homogeneous products. Successful industry operators rely on their outsource contracts, which permit them to provide low-priced knits from low-labor-cost countries.
Large volumes of low-priced competing imports place additional pressures on domestic operators to keep prices low and offer new, innovative knitted products. New entrants may not be able to secure such contracts. Small apparel knitting mills also have difficulty in obtaining accounts and establishing relationships with downstream wholesalers and retailers.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, the Apparel Knitting industry generates over $528 million annually from more than 102 registered knitting mills scattered all around the United States of America. The industry is responsible for the employment of over 2,437 people.
Experts project the industry to grow at a -5.5 percent annual rate between 2012 and 2017. The establishment in this industry that has a dominant market share in the United States of America are; Fruit of the Loom and Hanesbrands. A close study of sweater and cardigan knitting business shows that the business exhibits low barriers to entry as the industry is highly fragmented because there are smaller knitting shops that cater to a market niche of consumers.
The sweater and cardigan knitting business will continue to blossom because when the weather is cold especially during spring and winter, and people would need sweaters and cardigans to stay warm. From all available statistics, it is safer to say that the industry is growing steadily despite the competition.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own sweater and cardigan knitting business could be that the business is easy to set up and the startup capital is indeed affordable.
Sweater & Cardigan Production Business Plan – Executive Summary
Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. is an international cardigan and sweater production company that will be located in Santa Fe – New Mexico. We have been able to secure a large warehouse in a strategic part of town that will be converted to our production factory. We were able to buy over the facility with the help of our bank and support from family and friends.
Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. will be involved in the production of outerwear, including shirts, shorts, sweaters, pants and gloves mittens, hats, mufflers and other apparel products. Our business goal is to become one of the leading cardigan and sweater companies in the United States and we will make sure that every knitted outwear that leaves our factory can favorable compete with the best brands in the industry.
Our workers are going to be selected from a pool of talented designers in and around Santa Fe – New Mexico. We will make sure that we take all our workers through the required training that will position them to meet the expectation of the company and to compete with leading companies in the United States.
We have put plans in place to build a state of the art cardigan and sweater production factory in Santa Fe – New Mexico, which is why we have entered agreement with some manufacturers of knitting machines to produce customized machines for us.
Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. will produce high quality cardigans and sweaters for both the high – end customers and low income earners. Apart from mass production of cardigans and sweaters, we will also be engaged in customized production of cardigans and sweaters based on demand. We are quite aware that there are clients that would need quality customized cardigans and sweaters for specific purposes and we are prepared to deliver as requested.
Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. is own by Marie Lipton and her immediate family members. She is an American fashion enthusiast with over two decades experience in the fashion industry. She will be the chief executive officer (CEO)/President of the organization. Marie Lipton has Degree in Fashion Designing from Milan School of Fashion and also an MBA from Harvard Business School.
- Our Product Offerings
Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. is established with the aim of producing high quality and highly fashionable knitted outerwear including shirts, shorts, sweaters, pants and gloves mittens, hats, mufflers and other apparels.
We know that quality is a key factor that will help us sell our brand which is why we have put in place a competent quality assurance team that will ensure that all our products meet and even surpass our customers’ expectations.
- Our Vision Statement
Our vision is to establish a cardigan and sweater production company whose products will not only be sold in the United States of America, but also in other parts of the world.
- Our Mission Statement
Our mission is to establish a cardigan and sweater production company that will design high quality knitted outwears for male, female, young adults and children, and that will compete favorably with international knitted outwear labels.
- Our Business Structure
Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. intends to start small in Santa Fe – New Mexico, but looks to grow big in order to compete favorably with leading cardigan and sweater production companies both in the United States and on a global stage.
We are aware of the importance of building a solid business structure that can support the picture of the kind of world class business we want to own. This is why we are committed to only hiring the best hands within our area of operations.
We will hire people that are qualified, hardworking and are ready to help us build a prosperous business. As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of ten years or more as agreed by the board of trustees of the company.
In view of the above, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions; Chief Executive Officer (Owner), Production Manager, Human Resources and Admin Manager, Sales and Marketing Executive, Accountant, Fashion Designers, Quality Control Officer, Tailors, and Factory Workers.
Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Officer – CEO:
- Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives.
- Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Provides direction for the business
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Assesses the success of the organization
- Reports to the board
- Builds company image by collaborating with customers and employees; enforcing ethical business practices.
- Maintains quality service by establishing and enforcing organization standards.
- Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing professional publications; establishing personal networks; benchmarking state-of-the-art practices; participating in professional societies.
- Responsible for managing the daily activities in the factory
- In control of supervising all the employees
- Responsible for planning sales, monitoring inventory, selecting the merchandise, and writing and pricing orders to vendors.
Human Resources and Admin Manager
- Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
- Design job descriptions with KPI to drive performance management for clients
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders
- Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
- Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carries out induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
- Oversee the smooth running of the daily office activities.
Sales and Marketing Manager
- Models demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer purchases
- Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
- Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects
- Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding sales
- Documents all customer contact and information
- Represents the company in strategic meetings
- Helps to increase sales and growth for the company
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the organization
- Serves as internal auditor for the organization
- Responsible for designing knitted outwears to meet the latest trend
- Stay abreast with the dynamics of the fashion industry
- Research and advice the organization on style, size and other trendy fashion statements.
Quality Control Officer
- Ensures that all cardigans and sweaters in our production line meets the required quality before they are released in the market
- Devises ways of improving the manufacturing process to ensure higher-quality and durable knitted apparels
- Ensures that manufacturing production lines run smoothly and generate a consistently suitable output for their employers
- Ensures that the organization work in line with international best practices
- Handles any other responsibility as assigned by the general manager
Tailors (Industrial Knitting Machine Operators)
- Responsible for knitting outerwear, including shirts, shorts, sweaters, pants and gloves mittens, hats, mufflers and other apparels as instructed by the supervisor / fashion designer
- Responsible for cutting cardigan and sweater materials to fit the expected design and size
- Handles any other duty as assigned by the production manager
- Responsible for ironing and packaging of knitted wears
- Responsible for movement of equipment and raw materials as required
- Ensure that toiletries and supplies don’t run out of stock
- Cleans the factory, machines and other equipment
- Handle any other duty as assigned by the production manager.
Sweater & Cardigan Production Business Plan – SWOT Analysis
Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. intends to build a business that will manufacture knitted apparels for men, women, young adult and children. We will be based in Santa Fe – New Mexico, but we will not restrict the sale of our products to the U.S market alone, we will sell to other parts of the world.
In other to achieve this in a highly competitive industry, we must ensure that we look through our strength, weaknesses, the opportunities available in the industry and the threats that we will are likely going to face.
Because of the nature of the business we are involved in and the brand we want to build, we hired the services of an HR and Business consultant with bias in fashion and retailing to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and to help us create a business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives.
This is the summary of the SWOT analysis that was conducted for Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc.;
One of our strongest strengths could be attributed to the quality of employees and the latest knitting machines and equipment that we have in our factory. Our chief executive officer, Mrs. Marie Lipton will be bringing her vast wealth of experience to the table and that is indeed a huge positive for us.
A major weakness that may count against us is the fact that we are a new company and we don’t have the financial capacity to compete with multi – billion dollar knitting mills when it comes to controlling the market.
One thing is certain, whether good or bad, people will always look for cardigans and sweaters to wear especially during winter and when the weather is generally cold. Besides, the opportunity for cardigan and sweater knitting mills to sell their products is massive and we hope to leverage on these opportunities too.
Just like any other business, one of the major threats that we are likely going to face is economic downturn. Another threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of mass produced knitted outerwear, including shirts, shorts, sweaters, pants, mittens, hats, mufflers and other apparel products that are produced in China and other Asian countries.
Sweater & Cardigan Production Business Plan – MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
In recent time, the fashion industry relies more on mass market sales for them to make the kind of income that will sustain the business. The mass market takes care of a wide range of customers that cuts across the rich and the poor.
Most of the new cardigan and sweater line that are trying to catch up with the market ensure that they produce ready-to-wear cardigans using trends set by leading fashion labels. They can comfortably sell such product at a cheaper price to the masses who can’t afford to buy the original which is often way too expensive for the common man.
As a matter of fact, cardigan and sweater production companies now leverage on fashion expos to promote and attract market for their products. Any cardigan and sweater designer who is recognized in Paris, Milan, New York City, or London can comfortably become a globally recognized fashion label.
Smaller companies leverage on small markets like companies, churches, schools, organized groups and sport fans to sell their apparels. These groups of people can order large number of customized cardigans and sweaters for special purposes. For example, a school can enter into a business deal with a company to help them produce cardigans and sweaters to be used by their students.
- Our Target Market
Despite the fact that Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. will start operation from a single factory in Santa Fe – New Mexico, we have a holistic view of the kind of business we want to build; we want to grow to the level where we will build factories in Thailand and China.
Our cardigan and sweater brand is going to be designed to penetrate not just the United States market, but also the world’s fashion industry.
We want people of all walks of life to someday put on our apparels; we want to see our cardigans, sweaters and knitted apparels being worn in Paris, London, Tokyo, Lagos, Madrid, Johannesburg, Bueno Aries, Sao Paulo, Port Elizabeth, Dubai and all over the world. We are in business to retail our cardigans, sweaters and other knitted apparels to the following groups of people;
- Security Outfits
- Para – military organizations
- Businesses and Corporate Organizations
- Sports organizations
- Every adult that resides within the locations where our cardigans, sweaters and knitted apparels will be retailed
Our Competitive Advantage
A close study of the industry reveals that the market has become much more intensely competitive over the last decade. As a matter of fact, you have to be highly creative, customer centric and proactive if you must survive in this industry. We are aware of the competition and we are prepared to compete favorably with other companies both in the United States of America and other parts of the world.
Another competitive advantage for Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. is the wealth of experience of its management team. Their management team comprise of professionals who have worked with some of the leading international brands in the industry. Our latest machines and equipment also count as our advantage especially when it comes to competing with other companies within the same category that we operate.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category (startups cardigan and sweater production companies) in the industry, meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our aims and objectives. We will also give good working conditions and commissions to freelance sales agents that we will recruit from time to time.
Sweater & Cardigan Production Business Plan – SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. is in business to retail a wide range of knitting outerwear in the United States and other countries of the world. We are in the apparel knitting mills industry to maximize profits and we are going to ensure that we achieve or business goals and objectives.
In essence, our source of income will be the production and retailing of a wide range of both casual and corporate cardigans, sweaters and other knitted apparels for both adults and children.
- Sales Forecast
One thing is certain when it comes to cardigan and sweater business, if you manufacture a wide range of cardigans and sweaters, you will always attract customers cum sales and that will sure translate to increase in revenue generation for the business.
We are well positioned to take on the available market in and around Santa Fe – New Mexico and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough profits from the first six months of operation and grow the business and our clientele base.
Below are the sales projections for Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc., it is based on the location of our business and other factors as it relates to cardigan and sweater production company startups in the United States.
- First Fiscal Year: $450,000
- Second Fiscal Year: $750,000
- Third Fiscal Year: $1.5 Million
N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same products as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
Before choosing a location for Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc., we conducted a thorough market survey and feasibility studies in order for us to penetrate the available market.
We hired experts who have good understanding of the apparel knitting industry to help us develop marketing strategies that will help us achieve our business goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market in New Mexico.
In summary, Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to win customers over;
- Introduce our clothing label by sending introductory letters to churches, schools, corporate organizations, political parties, groups, and other establishments
- Attend fashion expos in the U.S and in other parts of the world
- Organize our own fashion show in order for us to display our designs
- Advertise our clothing label in newspapers, TV and radio stations
- Canvass celebrities to wear and help us promote our cardigan and sweater label
- List our business on yellow pages ads / local directories
- Leverage on the internet to promote our business
- Engage in direct marketing
- Leverage on word of mouth marketing (referrals).
Sweater & Cardigan Production Business Plan – Publicity and Advertising Strategy
The media plays a very big role when it comes to helping a clothing label gain international significance. The social media also plays an important role in modern day fashion publicity as it gives fashion labels the ability to reach out to a wide range of customers all over the world within a short period of time, and of course at a very cheaper rate when compared to other publicity platforms.
Any player in the apparel knitting industry that wants to take on the market must be deliberate when it comes to building brand awareness and credibility. Most often than not, huge clothing labels ensure that they create a hype whenever they are about to release any design from their stable.
Social media, such as blogs, micro blogs, podcasts, photo and video sharing sites are some of the tools fashion designers leverage on to promote their labels. Some of the preferred social media platforms that are used in the fashion industry are Instagram, Tumblr, WordPress, Facebook, twitter, YouTube and other sharing sites.
Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc.;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and fashion magazines) and electronic (radio and TV) media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community programs like school fashion shows et al
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Tumblr, WordPress, Facebook, twitter, YouTube and other sharing sites et al. to promote our brand
- Attend local and intentional fashion expos
- Organize our own fashion show
- Promote our cardigan and sweater label on our own official websites and online fashion community
- Build relationships with celebrities especially in the entertainment industry to endorse our label.
Our Pricing Strategy
The prices for all our knitting outerwear, including shirts, shorts, sweaters, pants, gloves, mittens, hats, mufflers and other apparel products will be affordable and at the same time competitive with what is obtainable in the industry.
- Payment Options
The payment policy adopted by Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by financial rules and regulations.
Here are the payment options that Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. will make available to her clients;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards / Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines)
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via mobile money transfer
- Payment via bank draft
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for products purchased without any stress on their part.
- Startup Expenditure (Budget)
Here are the areas where we intend spending our startup capital on;
- The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $3,300.
- Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
- The total cost for hiring business consultant – $2,500.
- The total cost for the purchase of insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
- The cost for payment of lease for manufacturing factory for 24 months – $350,000
- Factory remodeling (construction of racks and shelves) – $20,000
- The amount required for the purchase of industrial knitting machines and clothes making tools – $200,000
- Other startup expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $250,000
- The cost of start-up inventory – $100,000
- The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
- The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs – $5,000
- The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al) – $4,000.
- The cost of launching a website – $600
- Miscellaneous – $5,000
We would need an estimate of $1.5 million to successfully set up our cardigan and sweater production factory in Santa Fe – New Mexico.
Generating Startup Capital for Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc.
Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. is a family business that is solely owned and financed by Marie Lipton and her immediate family members. They do not intend to welcome any external business partner which is why she has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.
These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;
- Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
- Source for soft loans from family members and friends
- Apply for loan from the bank
N.B: We have been able to generate about $500,000 (Personal savings $400,000 and soft loan from family members $100,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $1 million from our bank. All the papers and documents have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.
Sweater & Cardigan Production Business Plan – Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.
One of our major goals of starting Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.
We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to retail our cardigans, sweaters and other knitted outwears a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
Marie Lipton™ Cardigan & Sweater Knitting Mills, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.
We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Registration: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
- Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Leasing of facility and remodeling the factory: In Progress
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating capital from family members: Completed
- Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Printing of Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of industrial knitting and sewing machines: In Progress
- Purchase of the needed furniture, racks, shelves, computers, electronic appliances, office appliances and CCTV: In progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
- Establishing business relationship with vendors: In Progress