Starting a fitness clothing line can be a great way to get involved in the fashion industry and tap into the growing market for activewear. However, before you start your own line, it’s important to do your research and to plan carefully. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you start your fitness clothing line.
10 Steps to Launching a New Fitness Clothing Line
1. Choose Your Type of Fitness Clothing Line
The first step in launching a fitness clothing line business is to identify the type of fitness clothing line business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- Fitness Apparel Retail Sales: This type of fitness clothing line focuses on selling workout clothes; such as leggings, sports bras, tank tops, and other types of activewear with distribution at retail stores.
- Athleisure via Online Sales: An athleisure line is a combination of athletic and leisure wear; selling items like joggers, hoodies, and t-shirts that can be worn both during and after a workout. Online sales can be global, so this is a typically successful business structure.
Learn more about the types of fitness clothing line businesses.
2. Name Your Fitness Clothing Line Business
Give your fitness clothing line business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your fitness clothing line business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your fitness clothing line business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so customers will want to buy from you.
3. Determine Your Fitness Clothing Line Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a fitness clothing line business including:
- Direct to Consumer (D2C): You sell your fitness clothing line products directly to customers through your own website or brick-and-mortar store.
- Wholesale: You sell your fitness clothing line products to retailers who then sell them to consumers.
- Private Label: You manufacture products for another company that puts its own brand name on the products.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the products you offer.
Read more about choosing the right business model for your fitness clothing line business.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your fitness clothing line business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your fitness clothing line business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common fitness clothing line business structures.
5. Write a Fitness Clothing Line Business Plan
All fitness clothing line business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
When developing your fitness clothing line business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- How does your product or service compare to others in the market?
- What are your unique selling points?
- Who is your target customer?
- What is your pricing strategy?
- Do you offer a money-back guarantee on your clothing?
Read our article about how to write a fitness clothing line business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your fitness clothing line business.
For example, you will need a business license if you are selling products or services. And, if your fitness clothing line business is located in a brick and mortar store, you will need to obtain a zoning permit.
You must also register your fitness clothing line business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper fitness clothing line business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your fitness clothing line business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your fitness clothing line business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your fitness clothing line business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a fitness clothing line business to help you determine if funding is needed.
Read our article about how to fund your fitness clothing line business.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your fitness clothing line business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in point-of-sale software, which will help track inventory and sales. And, if you plan to sell online, you will need a shopping cart software solution and a payment gateway account.
Read our article about the technology and software you need to run a fitness clothing line business.
9. Market Your Fitness Clothing Line Business to Potential Customers
Before you start selling your products, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your products and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the fitness clothing line industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Fitness clothing line businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Events and tradeshows
- Advertising in community races/walks
- Promotional products
- Seasonal catalogs
- BOGO (Buy one-get one free) coupons
Read our article about how to market your fitness clothing line business for more tips.
10. Get New Customers & Grow Your Business
When you promote your products, you’ll start to get interest from potential customers.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these customers. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your fitness clothing line business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your fitness clothing line business to learn more.
Starting a Fitness Clothing Line Business FAQs
Fitness clothing line businesses offer a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to get involved in an industry that is growing rapidly. The fitness industry has grown 2.8 percent annually and the global sports apparel market is currently valued at over $200 billion.
You can start a fitness clothing line business from home by following the steps outlined in this article. You will need to research the industry, create a business plan, obtain funding, get the technology and software you need to run your business, market your products to potential customers and grow your business.
There are a number of ways to market a fitness clothing line business online. You can start by creating a website and promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You should also consider networking with other people in the fitness clothing line industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business. Additionally, you can use events and tradeshows, sponsorships, publicity stunts, promotional products and coupons to market your business online.
Here are some tips for starting a fitness clothing line business:
- Research the industry.
- Create a business plan.
- Obtain funding.
- Get the technology and software you need to run your business.
- Market your products to potential customers.
A simple checklist to use when starting a fitness clothing line business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Fitness Clothing Line: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Fitness Clothing Line Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Fitness Clothing Line Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Fitness Clothing Line Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Fitness Clothing Line Business to Potential Customers: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the products they truly need.
- Get Customers & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your products.
Starting a fitness clothing line can be a great way to tap into the growing demand for athletic and workout clothing. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind if you want to be successful. First, you need to research the industry and create a business plan. Additionally, you’ll need to obtain funding, get the technology and software you need to run your business, and market your products to potential customers. Finally, make sure you have a solid marketing plan in place before pursuing and securing customers. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to starting a successful fitness clothing line business.