Starting a lingerie business involves many costs like any new business. However, the costs will differ greatly depending on several factors. The location, inventory, equipment and marketing will all impact your startup and operating costs; it will also depend on whether you are making the lingerie wholesaling or at retail.
As far as location, you will have to decide where your business will be based. A home-based lingerie business will simply involve a stack of boxes in your home office, and the costs will be minimal. A retail lingerie shop, on the other hand, will have more fees. You will need to pay lease payments, a security deposit along with a year-long lease agreement; this agreement could vary from a thousand dollars to several thousand.
A great alternative to opening a brick-and-mortar establishment is to sell your lingerie through a website. While you will still have costs for hosting, web design, registration and graphic design, the costs will be much less. The costs might range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
The inventory you keep will depend on the business structure you choose as well as your target market. The material for a nightgown, for example, can cost anywhere between ten dollars to over one hundred dollars. If your intention is to sell custom lingerie, you might have more high-dollar material, but very little products for inventory. On the other hand, if you plan to sell lingerie on the web, you will need a full range of colors, sizes and types; therefore, the amount and variety of your inventory will be much broader.
Equipment needs will also vary. Custom products will require commercial-grade sewing machines, sequins, embroidery threads, etc. If you plan to go the brick-and-mortar route, you will need display racks, a point of sale terminal, software, etc. All of these costs must be planned and accounted for from the start.
Every business must develop strong marketing strategies. Like every other aspect of starting and operating a business, this too costs money. These costs may include brochures and cards. Depending on your business structure, these advertising costs can range from one hundred dollars to one thousand.
Unfortunately, finding funding can be difficult for any business that falls within the adult industry. Traditional lending sources are typically hesitant to offer their services. Thankfully, alternative lending sources have stepped in to offer these businesses solutions that meet their unique needs. Adult lingerie shops can now apply for adult merchant accounts for their funding and payment processing needs.