Starting a lingerie line can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful lingerie line.
Importantly, a critical step in starting a lingerie line is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here.
14 Steps To Start a Lingerie Line:
- Choose the Name for Your Lingerie Line
- Develop Your Lingerie Line Business Plan
- Choose the Legal Structure for Your Lingerie Line
- Secure Startup Funding for Your Lingerie Line (If Needed)
- Secure a Location for Your Business
- Register Your Lingerie Line with the IRS
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Get a Business Credit Card
- Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
- Get Business Insurance for Your Lingerie Line
- Buy or Lease the Right Lingerie Line Equipment
- Develop Your Lingerie Line Marketing Materials
- Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Lingerie Line
- Open for Business
1. Choose the Name for Your Lingerie Line
The first step to starting a lingerie line is to choose your business’ name.
This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your lingerie line:
- Make sure the name is available. Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
- Keep it simple. The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
- Think about marketing. Come up with a name that reflects the desired brand and/or focus of your lingerie line.
2. Develop Your Lingerie Line Business Plan
One of the most important steps in starting a lingerie business is to develop your business plan. The process of creating your plan ensures that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.
Your business plan should include the following sections:
- Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your lingerie brand.
- Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your lingerie line and what type of lingerie business you operate. For example, are you an everyday bra and panty, sexy lingerie, maternity bra and panty, or a bridal lingerie line?
- Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the lingerie industry. Conduct market research and document how big the industry is and what trends are affecting it.
- Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or target customers are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when purchasing products like the ones you will offer?
- Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
- Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
- Product: Determine and document what products/services you will offer
- Prices: Document the prices of your products/services
- Place: Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
- Promotions: What promotional methods will you use to attract customers to your lingerie line? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
- Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
- Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
- Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
- What startup costs will you incur?
- How will your lingerie line make money?
- What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
- Do you need to raise funding to launch your business?
3. Choose the Legal Structure for Your Lingerie Line
Next you need to choose a legal structure for your own business and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.
Below are the five most common legal structures:
1) Sole proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the owner of the lingerie line and the business are the same legal person. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.
A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small businesses. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start a lingerie line together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business.
The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.
3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)
A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for a lingerie line include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.
4) C Corporation
A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for a lingerie line is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.
5) S Corporation
An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.
Once you register your lingerie line, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.
4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Lingerie Line (If Needed)
In developing your lingerie line business plan, you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business.
If so, the main sources of funding for a lingerie line to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in a lingerie line that they believe has high potential for growth.
5. Secure a Location for Your Business
There are a couple of things to consider when looking for a location for your lingerie line. First, you’ll want to consider your target customers and ensure the site will be visible, accessible, and convenient for them. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure the location has a good infrastructure for businesses and is affordable.
6. Register Your Lingerie Line with the IRS
Next, you need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.
Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.
7. Open a Business Bank Account
It is important to establish a bank account in your lingerie line’s name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:
- Identify and contact the bank you want to use
- Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
- Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
- Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them
8. Get a Business Credit Card
You should get a business credit card for your own lingerie business to help you separate personal and business expenses.
You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.
When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.
Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.
9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
To start a lingerie line, you will need a business license and a sales tax permit. You may also need a special permit to manufacture or sell lingerie. Check with your local government to find out what licenses and permits are required in your area.
10. Get Business Insurance for Your Lingerie Line
The type of insurance you need to operate a lingerie line will depend on the size and scope of your operation.
Some business insurance policies you should consider for your lingerie line include:
- General liability insurance: This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: If you have employees, this type of policy works with your general liability policy to protect against workplace injuries and accidents. It also covers medical expenses and lost wages.
- Commercial property insurance: This covers damage to your property caused by fire, theft, or vandalism.
- Business interruption insurance: This covers lost income and expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered event.
- Professional liability insurance: This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.
Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs.
11. Buy or Lease the Right Lingerie Line Equipment
To start your own lingerie line, you will need some basic equipment. If you intend to create the products yourself, this includes a sewing machine, fabric, scissors, measuring tape, pins, and needles. You may also want to invest in a serger, which is a special type of sewing machine that can create more finished edges on your garments.
12. Develop Your Lingerie Line Marketing Materials
Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your lingerie line.
The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:
- Logo: Spend some time developing a good logo for your lingerie line. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your brand.
- Website: Likewise, a professional lingerie line website provides potential customers with information about the products you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your website will affect how customers perceive you.
- Social Media Accounts: establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media networks will help customers and others find and interact with your lingerie line.
13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Lingerie Line
To run a successful lingerie line, you will need to invest in some software. A good invoicing and accounting system will be essential, as well as some design software to help with creating your designs, catalogs, and marketing materials.
14. Open for Business
You are now ready to open your lingerie line. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.
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How to Start a Lingerie Line FAQs
No, it is not hard to start a lingerie line, but it is important to research and plan accordingly. There are many things to consider when starting a lingerie line, such as choosing the right fabrics, designing the garments, and marketing your line.
There are a few things you can do in order to start a lingerie line with no experience. Start by doing some research on the industry and learn as much as you can about the design and manufacturing process. Additionally, you may want to look for mentors or other entrepreneurs who have started their own lingerie lines for advice.
Specialist lingerie shops are the most profitable type of lingerie line. These shops offer a wide range of products, including hard-to-find sizes. They typically also have knowledgeable staff who can assist customers in finding the right products. Other specialist lingerie shops include online retailers and department stores that have a dedicated lingerie section.
Boutique lingerie lines are also quite profitable. These businesses focus on offering a limited selection of high-quality products. They often carry unique items that are not available at major retailers. Because they provide a more personal shopping experience, customers are often willing to pay more for items from boutique lingerie lines.
Department stores and online retailers are also profitable, but they typically don't offer the same level of service or product selection.
To start a lingerie line, you will need to invest in design and manufacturing costs. The initial investment can range from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on the size and complexity of your line.
The ongoing expenses for a lingerie business involves costs associated with producing and selling the lingerie. This includes the cost of materials, labor, shipping, and marketing.
Lingerie lines make money by selling products like fashion and designer bras and underwears directly to customers. They may also make money by selling their products to other businesses such as department stores. Some lingerie businesses open an online lingerie shop where they reach more customers.
Yes, owning a lingerie line can be profitable because demand is steady for new styles throughout the year. Lingerie is also a fashion statement, and women are often willing to spend money on lingerie that makes them feel confident and beautiful. Additionally, the women’s lingerie market for lingerie is growing, as more women are becoming comfortable with their bodies and sexuality.
There are many reasons lingerie lines might fail. Some of the most common reasons include a lack of marketing, an inability to create a unique selling proposition, and a failure to understand the target market. Additionally, many lingerie lines struggle to create products that are both sexy and comfortable, which can be a difficult balance to strike.