The virtual fabric marketplace created by the Internet provides a stunning array of resources to the business owner who desires to grow his or her business.
Whether the goal is to equip customers with new and interesting fabrics information and tips or to supply more unique fabrics textiles and materials, current technologies make this quicker and easier to achieve.
There are several important steps to consider:
1. Search out fabric suppliers from a variety of places, or who at least offer an assortment of different products.
2. Look for suppliers who allow you to order online and will ship directly to you. This lets you purchase fabrics from vendors outside your area whom you would normally not be able to purchase from.
3. Review demo videos and other advice on new trends and techniques online, and be able to point your customers to such resources if needed.
Find fabric suppliers who offer merchandise from all around the globeLarge online fabric stores or fabric warehouses may offer a greater selection of fabrics (and often good deals as well), which enables you to provide that variety to your customers. Or, check out an online supplier who specializes in exotic or foreign textiles for more distinctive offerings.
Specialize in a certain fabric material to give clients the largest range within that specialtyDoes your business supply consumers mainly with upholstery fabric, decorator fabrics or quilt fabric? If you've decided to target a very specific customer base in this way (or if you are just starting your business and haven't yet decided what to focus on), think about zeroing in on one particular piece of the huge fabrics industry, and give your customers the greatest assortment of fabrics you can within that narrowed field.
broad listing of fabric suppliers, broken down into sections based upon the type of fabric you're looking for. You can find companies that specialize in everything from categories of fabric (like quilt fabric and decorator fabrics) to the very specific (cashmere or linen fabrics).
Keep up with trends in the fabrics industry and join a professional textiles associationGrowth and employment trends in your industry can give you a good idea of how the fabrics marketplace is expanding and in which directions, and taking the time to learn about specific trends in the market (what fabrics, colors, and styles will be hot in the upcoming seasons) can keep you ahead of your competitors.
Joining a professional association such as the National Textile Association or the American Apparel and Footwear Association can help you to keep track of the latest trends and industry news.
- Remember that the fabric marketplace is a dynamic and ever-changing environment. Don't assume that just because something was considered popular or advanced one or two years ago that it will still be thought of as such today.
- Keep a reasonable amount of classic and everyday fabric textiles in stock to offer your customers as well. Diversifying your offerings (i.e., providing customers with basic cottons or wools, as well as more tech-savvy options) is a smart way to be sure that you're always relevant, no matter what innovations are happening in your industry.