Thinking about opening a textiles store? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Becoming a Textile Retailer
Textile manufacturing is a $60 billion per year industry in the U.S. With numbers like that, it's easy to see why textile retailing is an appealing business concept for entrepreneurs. From local craft stores to online textile providers, the retail textile trade is a vibrant business sector.
But since no single startup is capable of meeting the needs of the entire marketplace, the first step in becoming a textile retailer is to discern which segment(s) of the marketplace you will target in your startup. In many cases, a narrower market approach is capable of delivering better bottom line results than a broad marketing philosophy.
For some textile retailers, a niche strategy tailored to the local craft community will offer the best chance for startup success. For others, a combined retail/wholesale approach, sourcing individual consumers and small-scale commercial manufacturers with material, will be the more lucrative option.
The key is to properly analyze the marketplace to determine how your business will offer a unique value proposition to buyers. In other words, you will need to decide what special characteristics your business can bring to a marketplace already full of established competitors.
Stocking a Textiles Startup
Inventory should be a major concern for textiles providers. Whether you are taking a retail or wholesale approach, maintaining a diverse inventory of materials will be a core business requirement. Here a few things you'll want to consider when it comes to sourcing your startup and performing effective inventory management.
- Manufacturer Relationships. The development of manufacturer or distributor relationships is essential for textile startups. If you can't create reliable supply chains, your ability to deliver products to your customers will be seriously impaired. Diligently explore and cultivate supplier relationships early in the startup process.
- Inventory Management Solutions. Trying to stay on top of inventory without the aid of technological solutions is futile. The best textiles startups incorporate inventory management systems into their operations from the beginning. Network with other textile providers to learn which solutions are most effective.
- Importing. Eventually, you may want to consider adding textile importing to your startup's core competencies. By becoming a textiles importer, you can eliminate middlemen and create cost-savings for your customers, enabling you to become more competitive in the area of price.
For more information about U.S. textile suppliers and manufacturers, contact the National Textile Association (NTA).
Creating Business Plans for a Retail Textiles Business
Does your textiles store have a business plan? If not, your company is lacking a critical business tool. With the right ingredients, your textiles store's business plan will serve as a blueprint for success.
A professional business plan writer can be a big help in creating a first-rate plan.
Time and time again, the best entrepreneurs we see rely on professionally crafted plans to guide their decision making. However, outsourcing doesn't completely eliminate your responsibilities in the writing process.
As the primary stakeholder in your textiles store, you will intentionally need to insert yourself in various stages of the plan's development.
Take a Look at Competitors
Long before you open a textiles store in your area, it's a good idea to find out how strong the competition is. Use the link below to generate a list of competitors in your area. Just enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of textile stores in your community.
It's important to be aware of what the competition is doing. Take the time to visit the competition to properly assess their strengths and weaknesses.
A Good Source of Advice
As part of your due diligence on opening a textiles store, it's a smart move to learn as much as you can from somebody who is already in the business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
Thankfully, an owner of a a textiles store in a location that is not competitive to you may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, as long as they don't view you as a competitive threat. Indeed, many experienced entrepreneurs enjoy offering advice to startup entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How would you find an owner of a textiles store outside of your area who is willing to talk?
We can help. Follow the link below, try a few city/state combos or zipcodes, and then start calling!
Should You Buy or Start a Retail Textiles Business?
Competition is tight these days and entrepreneurs can't afford to make many mistakes. So it's critical to get it right when deciding whether to start a business from scratch or buy an existing textiles store.
Time and time again, we see entrepreneurs struggle to launch a new textiles store when they could have bought a first-rate textiles store. When you buy an established textiles store, you gain access to a functional business operation with a customer base and a steady revenue stream.
Entrepreneurs who are committed to a highly unique value proposition may need to pursue a startup approach. However, in today's business-for-sale marketplace, there is an abundance of textile stores worth considering.
Franchising May Be a Better Way to Go
Your chances for achieving your top business goals immediately improve if you purchase a franchise and leverage their successful brand and track record.
Prior to making the decision to open a textiles store, you may want to assess whether franchise opportunities in your space might make your life much easier.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you sell to textile stores, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.