Steps To Starting Your Fashion Boutique

Opening a boutique selling unique fashion pieces may be a dream for many business-minded women. Owning your own business, if profitable gives the freedom of standing on one’s own feet, along with the joy of doing what one truly loves to do. 

Running a fashion boutique is no different. Like any other business, however, it takes a lot of hard work to get up and running. 

Here are some steps to follow, from finding the shop for rent to marketing your business- this simple guide should help any budding fashion entrepreneur enter into the world of selling their own goods.

 


Decide on the type of boutique you want to open 

There are two main ways to sell clothing: Buy and Sell, and Franchisee boutique. 

Buy and Sell Boutiques buy goods at wholesale prices from manufacturers and distributors, selling them at a marked up price for customers. 

This type of boutiques generally makes a much higher profit but will require a higher investment initially to buy the merchandise. In order to be successful, a good relationship will need to be made with suppliers to get the best prices in order to be profitable. It would also be beneficial to buy larger quantities of the same style in order to receive a discounted price. 

The Franchisee Boutique is operated under a larger brand name, exclusively selling that brand. In order to run this type of boutique, a yearly franchise fee will need to be paid to the parent company, which gives them the right to use their brand name, logo, and to sell their products. 

Requiring more initial investment, the franchisee boutique will also need to adhere to specific requirements as specified by the parent company– think decor and layout, for instance.

The benefit of using this model is having the advantage of an already developed brand awareness, meaning less money needing to be invested in advertising and winning business locally as much as one would with a new brand.

 

Think about the reason for wanting to run a boutique in particular

Some relish in the idea of opening their own boutique because it offers the opportunity to be around and wear beautiful clothing that may not be sold in many chain stores. 

Others wish to use it as an opportunity to prove themselves to be successful, or to give back by offering employment opportunities.

All of these are valid reasons to wish to start a fashion boutique. The success will come with determination. 

However, it is important to have the right level of education around running a business, and in fashion in particular.

Make sure to be knowledgeable about how to run a successful business, in addition to understanding the latest trends for the area in which the store will be operated. 

Having the correct level of understanding will mean not having to rely on others for success. After all, the ability to stand on one’s own feet was the desire, to begin with!

 

Make potential customers a part of the business plan

As previously mentioned, starting a boutique requires a lot of initial investment, and understanding the target market of potential customers will make the business as profitable as possible. 

Understand the demographics of people in the local area to gain a greater understanding of their wants and needs for a fashion retailer. Having a high-priced designer boutique in an area with a high unemployment rate may not be the wisest place to set up home for a business. 

Do some research and begin to identify where a new business could bring something different to a local area, that addresses need at the same time. However, it will be impossible to please everybody, so that should not be the aim. There is such a thing as trying too hard to be all things to many people. Try to stay loyal to the company’s aim without reinventing the wheel – after all, some places are worth making the trip for a reason.

 

Think: Location 

Where the boutique is situated will impact on its overall success due to the reasons stated above.
Deciding on a location will not only require research into the area it will be based in, but the type of retail unit required for the store. It is arguably one of the biggest factors in its success, so it will take careful consideration. 

A franchisee boutique with an already popular brand could be located almost anywhere in a town and still manage to be profitable. However, independent boutiques may require a higher-priced unit to reach a certain level of footfall. 

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