Swimwear is highly popular within the fashion and fitness industries, so it presents a wealth of opportunity for creative branding and exciting marketing.
Starting any line of products within a business has its own set of challenges, but a swimwear line requires a significant amount of attention, commitment, effort and – most importantly – desire.
How to Start a Swimwear line (in 5 steps)
Below, we’ve put together an easy 5-step checklist on how you can kickstart a swimwear line – whether you’re selling bikinis, one-pieces, speedos or board shorts.
The 5 steps are essentially:
1. Pinpointing your market
2. Working out the costs
3. Preparing a techpack
4. Sourcing a swimwear manufacturer
5. Specifying quantities and delivery times
If you’re eager to create the best swimwear line for your market, then following this list will put you on the right track to successfully incorporating this fashion into your company – ready to sell to your customers.
1.Pinpoint your market
The first thing to do before you even start thinking about a manufacturer is to think carefully about your marketing strategy, and that involves considering your target market.
At the end of the day, you’re not just selling swimwear. You’re selling a result or a benefit that comes with your swimwear. Whether that be feeling comfortable in a swim, looking fantastic, saving the environment (say, with eco-friendly material) or all of the above – it is important to get this forefront of mind.
You’ll need to think clearly about what you’re going to offer, what problems your ideal customers are facing and how an incredible piece of swimwear from your company is going to help them.
Many entrepreneurs dismiss this process at the outset, thinking “I know what my customers want”. And, at the end of the day, they get so focused on selling their product, that they forget about creating value.
That is, they forget who their market is, what their market is looking for and end up selling swimwear that nobody really cares about.
Figuring out what your target market want sis absolutely essential to then crafting your product. Will it be polyester or nylon? Will it be chlorine-resistant? Will it adopt a particular type of trends or will it set a new trend?
Do your market research and get this step solved first and foremost. It may even be worth creating a swimwear business plan to help you.
2.Work out the costs
As with developing any new set of products, start-up costs are critical to determine.
If you do not think about the cost of every single rivet, fastener, flounce, trim and hinge that makes up your swimwear, you will soon discover that costs can balloon far more than you expect.
This requires asking the big question:
How much does it cost to start a swimwear line?
Starting a swimwear line can cost anywhere between $1,500 USD to $35,000 USD, but of course those costs can vary.
A precise figure will depend on a range of factors such as your market size, your swimsuit design, brand, business goals, where you’re going to sell and how much you want to manufacture.
If you have created other pieces of fashion before, you may have a generally good idea of the costs involved generally – so that gives you a headstart right there.
But if you’re new to the game, get in touch with your network, undertake further research and put together a comprehensive financial plan you know you can stick to as the process goes on.
3.Prepare a techpack
The next step in the process is to prepare a technical packet with everything you need to give to a manufacturer (if you’re not sure what a ‘techpack’ is, read more HERE).
The techpack should feature very specific technical swimwear drawings of all the products you’ll be selling when starting your new product line.
It should include the detail of every fabric, colour, effect, seam and the compliance requirements you need (for example, there may be sun protective clothing standards applicable).
Ultimately, the purpose of a tech pack is to prevent breakdowns in communication. It will go a long way to making sure your manufacturer does not create a poor swimsuit design, make your product out of the wrong material or ultimately build something you are not satisfied with.
4. Source a swimwear manufacturer
The next step on your list is to find the perfect manufacturer with the skills, experience and know-how to build your swimwear exactly to your specifications.
You may want to make your own swimwear in-house, but we’ve found that outsourcing of this job can substantially reduce delays and fast-track your product to market.
There is a whole raft of criteria you’ll need to consider when finding a manufacturer such as:
· Their minimum order quantity (MOQ) – some suppliers will require you to purchase a minimum number of products, which may or may not be suitable to you depending on your budget and stock limitations.
· Their sample price ranges – you can get a pretty good idea of how much your manufacturer will charge by first requesting samples.
· Turnaround time – this is very important to know, as it will inform step #5 (below)
· Incoterms – these are the international commercial terms governing the allocation of risk in your shipment once the products are ready to be delivered (read more about the Incoterms in our article HERE).
· Payment terms – do they require a payment up front? Are you able to pay in instalments? How open is the supplier to negotiate?
5. Specify quantities and delivery times
You’ll need to communicate very clearly your quantities and your delivery time expectations to your manufacturer. The more detailed in what you want, the better outcome you will achieve.
For instance, if you plan for your swimwear to hit your shelves at summer, it’s critical to factor the time it takes for your manufacturer to build and deliver the final product.
That way, your product can hit the shelves by the time people are ready to go out to the beach (and swim)!
Build your professional swimwear line with us
If you’re serious about starting a swimwear line that’s unique and bold, then you’ll need the help a professional sourcing company to manufacture, market and ship your product.
At The Sourcing Company, that’s exactly where our expertise is unmatched. We’re the one-stop shop for product development - we design your product concept, find the perfect supplier and organise all transport and warehousing associated with getting your product to market in the fastest possible timeframe.
We’re specialists in helping businesses of all sizes, from SMEs to large-scale corporations, develop high-quality product lines to promote their band and sell to new and existing customers. You can discover some of our product line projects here.
Contact us today to bring your vision for an incredible swimwear design to life.