Running a clothing store presents you with many elements to consider, such as where to get your clothes, whether to maintain a store front and/or online sales, how much to mark up clothing items, and how to market your store and protect yourself from liability. Making decisions on these matters requires careful planning in the form of a business plan. A well thought-out business plan will give your business a greater chance at success and help you avoid common pitfalls, such as unrealistic predictions of expenses and revenue.
The executive summary is the first and most important section of your business plan, as it gives potential investors and decision-makers a snapshot of the types of clothes you offer, identifies the potential market for your products, lists your mission statement, your qualifications to run your retail business and details how your expertise will be an advantage in your competitive industry. The executive summary should be between one and four pages and should be written in plain language, or without too much clothing industry jargon, so that anyone can understand it.
Whereas your executive summary describes the mission and vision of your company, your company description, which is the next section of your plan, expands on the competitive edge of your business. List any unique processes you use in obtaining, storing or shipping your clothes, explain the history of your company, what inspired its formation and expand on the specific market needs it will fulfill. If you serve a niche, such as certain shapes and sizes of people, or if each outfit is tailored to the individual, this is the place to list it.
Organization Structure and Management Team
Inform readers of your business structure, such as sole proprietorship, corporation or partnership, and explain who does what in the organization. Provide a professional profile of key managers and owners by listing related education, accomplishments and expertise details that will help your clothing store succeed. Previous retail management experience, fashion or design industry work and business management training are examples of applicable experience.
Products and Services
Elaborate on your clothing lines and any other products/services you’ll sell. Explain the benefits customers will experience by buying from you. Use this section to assure your business plan’s readers that there are people currently interested in buying your product and that future sales will only increase. Provide information on your clothing designers and/or suppliers, the costs of your clothes, and any copyrights/patents your company holds that give you an advantage.
Analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for your business, a process often called SWOT analysis. Give detailed information on the retail clothing industry in your area, stores you are in competition with, your target market, how you will market to your customers, your sales distribution channels, such as in-store and/or online purchases, and the sustainability of your competitive edge.
Describe how you plan to advertise to consumers shopping for the types of clothes you sell. Show how your plan will appeal to people in targeted ways; your shopper’s demographics, including age, education, interests and location, should direct your marketing efforts. For example, if your average consumer will be 30 and under, consider investing in a heavy online presence.
Financial Planning and Funding
Develop estimates of your store’s profit potential; this will require some market research. Specifically forecast your expenses and revenues in the form of income statements, cash flow statements and balance sheets for five years. Provide an estimate of your break-even point, or when your clothing costs and other expenses equal your revenue, which will let investors know how much product you need to sell in order to make money. The funding section is also the place to ask potential investors for capital and show them how it will be used.
Worry less about rent, our sewing space is available and affordable.
Growth and Expansion
It is important for you and your investors to know the ways in which you plan to grow the business in the future. Predict the type of growth your store will experience and set goal markers to achieve it. For example, if you want to expand your store to two locations within the first five years or expand your selection of clothing or accessories, include these plans in this section.