Children Footwear Boutique: Ever been trying or thinking of starting your own little fashion store or boutique.
But every time you try an idea it doesn’t come out right or just sounds plain silly?
Now you’ll know how without having to worry.
1. Children Footwear Boutique
If you are an aspiring or established entrepreneur looking to open a small retail business.
There are many things to consider before opening your doors.
Options abound with regard to location, types of merchandise you will sell.
And other factors that will ultimately affect the success of your store.
It is important that you or someone you will partner with has extensive experience.
Working in various roles within a small or large retail business to navigate through the process of opening a retail business.
2. Put your idea into writing.
It is important to take the ideas in your head and get them down on paper.
Most successful businesses offer a new product or service or fill an existing niche in the market.
Whatever your reasons may be for starting a small business.
Make sure to clearly and concisely put them in writing.
3. Choose a product in which you have interest and knowledge.
You don’t have to be an expert, but you should have a working knowledge of and a genuine interest in the product you will be selling.
Understanding your product will help you to make good business decisions in the future.
Also, you may already have contacts with suppliers and other professionals in the business who can help you get yours up and running. To decide what to sell, you can.
Children Footwear Boutique
4. Research similar boutiques to make sure yours is unique.
Look up established boutiques that sell the products you’re interested in stocking.
Or have a similar style to what you’d like to establish.
Look over their website carefully and note down anything you think they’re doing well.
Then, write down ways your boutique could be different or even better.
Knowing your competition can help you brainstorm ways to stand out from the crowd.
- For example, if you’re interested in selling bohemian style clothing and jewelry, search for “boho boutiques.” Click through each website’s information pages and products and see what the checkout process is like.
- Don’t be intimidated by established boutiques! Let their success inspire you to create a business that’s even better.
5. Evaluate your hobbies.
If you have a hobby about which you are passionate, investigate whether it could turn into a retail opportunity.
If you already spend a lot of time on something, chances are you know a lot about it.
Your excitement for and knowledge about the product could help you to educate customers, which translates into more sales.
- If you are an avid gardener, consider selling gardening supplies.
- If you like to refurbish items purchased from flea markets, consider running an art and antiques store.
Children Footwear Boutique
6. Draw up a preliminary budget.
Using the market research you did on your competitors.
Determine rough prices that you can charge for your products and their popularity at other retailers.
Determine about how many people will be buying your products when you just start out.
Whether you have a small following already, or are starting from scratch.
Then, estimate your costs, like rent, insurance, internet bills, and the costs of buying items from designers.
Compare your cost and revenue estimates side by side.
- You might see that your costs are higher than your revenues.
- Don’t panic! This is where loans and investors come in.
- As you grow your customer base, your revenue will grow.
- These financial plans are just estimates, so it’s okay if they end up being wrong.
- This is just to give you a place to start from.
7. Consider the cost of the style you’d like to develop for the boutique.
Some fashion will cost a great deal more than other fashion.
The more detailed, hand-sewn and high couture the items, the more expensive your stock will be.
On the other hand, if the items are manufactured in bulk for all sizes, they’ll cost less.
- Look online to get an idea of the costs involved for different styles of clothing, at manufacturing and designer sites for retailers.
- What sorts of mark-ups can you reasonably expect to charge to make a profit and still get customers?
Children Footwear Boutique
8. Use your line of work and education to inspire you.
Your education and work experience have likely imparted useful knowledge that you can use to run a retail business. Think about the skills and practical knowledge you have acquired while building your career.
Ask yourself if could see yourself selling related products.
- For example, a hair dresser might consider running a beauty supply store.
9. Gauge the demand for a product.
No matter how much you love something, it will not sell if there is not a real need or desire for it.
Do some market research. This will allow you to determine whether or not people will purchase your product. Investigate whether people are purchasing a product.
10. Remember at all times that this is a business.
While fashion may be your passion, you won’t last long.
If you don’t treat it as a business and take the need to keep within a budget and make a profit seriously.
11. Evaluate performance
Visit retail stores that already sell the product you’re thinking of selling.
Evaluate performance by noticing how long the products have been on the shelf.
And if they sell for full price or only when they’re marked down.
Ask proprietors what their bestsellers are.
12. Estimate your potential profit margin.
Figure out how much it will cost you to produce or procure the product you want to sell.
Compare this with the amount for which you can sell it.
Determine if the profit margin is enough to make the business worthwhile.
13. Get to know suppliers
Get to know suppliers through trade organizations, by attending trade shows or by visiting online platforms like Thomasnet.com.
Compare wholesale information, trade prices and minimum order requirements.
Determine the retail price by researching what other stores are asking for the product.
Visit an online marketplace or a brick and mortar store to do this research.
Children Footwear Boutique
14. Write a business Description and Market Analysis.
Provide a high-level review of the type of store you want to open.
Describe the kinds of items you intend to sell.
Identify your target customers their distinguishing characteristics.
And how you are going to meet your customers’ needs.
Identify your competition and explain how you have a competitive advantage.
15. Describe your marketing strategy.
Explain how you are going to promote your store on a limited budget and fill it with paying customers.
These strategies may include ads in the paper or direct mail and flyers.
In addition, you could offer coupons or discounts for bringing in new customers.
Finally, networking is a powerful marketing strategy.
Introduce yourself in person to local businesses.
Join the local chamber of commerce, small business associations or local charities.
16. Decide whether you’ll sell in a store or online.
One of the good things about doing your business online is that you can start off there.
Make a profit, then move to a store when your business is up and running.
One of the good things about having a storefront business is that you usually make more profit.
But will need to work full time, unless you have the money to spend on employees.
A good online business boutique can be run part-time, in the evenings, whatever.
- Consider working toward having both.
17. Find a suitable place to set up the boutique.
Think location. If you plan to use a shopfront.
You’ll need to be where the customers are going to find it easy to get to you and are going to make the effort.
Check for parking and local transport, accessibility for all persons and a safe area.
It’s helpful if people already shop in the area for fashion.
- If you are going to be selling your clothing online, then check out sites such as eBay and Etsy.
18. Explain your plan to fund start-up expenses.
If you are going to be requesting funding.
Provide specifics about the amount you are requesting and how it will be used.
Specify the amount requested. Explain in detail how the funds will be used.
Such as for capital purchases, marketing or start-up inventory.
Define the type of funding requested, such as a debt you intend to repay or an offer of equity in the company.
19. Provide financial projections.
Write about how you expect your cafe to perform over the next five years.
Draw up forecasted income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements.
Write a budget for capital expenditures, including food service and counter area equipment, storage, and office equipment.
Explain your pricing structure, including the cost to produce menu items.
And the prices you will charge to make a profit. Describe discount pricing strategies.
Children Footwear Boutique
20. Think of a name for the boutique.
Bear in mind that this is very important.
As a good name will make customers remember you.
Whereas a bad, run-of-the-mill name will make you harder to remember.
If your boutique is going to be quirky, call it something quirky.
If it is going to be hippy, call it something like “wild” or “free”. You get the idea!
21. Get Discount pricing strategies
Discount pricing strategies include price bundling (offering a discounted price for multiple items purchased together), complementary pricing (charging low prices on one common item, such as coffee, and higher prices for others) and customer loyalty discounts.
22. Get a potential business location
Search public records of how the location was used previously and statistical data such as the average income in the area. Find out if there are competitors and similar ventures nearby.
- When you find a potential location, observe the area for a few hours and analyze the foot traffic in the neighborhood. Is it near public transportation or highways? Is there enough parking? Being near the competition can help attract the right customers if you believe your products will be superior.
- You will want to also analyze the demographics of the area. Does the income level match the type of clientele you hope to attract? Your local librarian or commercial real estate broker can help provide this information.
- Once you find a location purchase insurance policies for general liability and fire insurance.
23. Determine your needs.
Find a location that exposes you to your customers and is consistent with your image.
Make a floor plan and look for a location with suitable space and layout.
Children Footwear Boutique
24. Consider proximity to suppliers.
Evaluate the local labor market to determine if the area has potential employees.
Research the local zoning regulations.
Research the local crime rate to ensure the safety of your customers and employees.
25. Develop a budget.
Determine what you can afford to spend on rent each month.
Be aware of hidden costs, such as repairs.
Start-up costs may include renovations and decorating your space.
Budget for local property taxes.
26. Plan for future growth.
If you plan on expanding your store within the next few years, find a building with extra space.
Communicate with the landlord about the availability of extra space in the future.
Extra space may include a second floor or outdoor space.
27. Set up the stock.
Place all the clothing out on display, ensuring that it looks appealing and is easy for customers to see and access.
28. Determine your expenses.
Lists all of the expenses your business will incur when starting out.
You may have to lay out a lot of money at first before you start making any money.
Planning how to spend money will help you spend it wisely and start earning money sooner.
29. Strategies your expenses
Marketing and advertising expenses include print, online, television and radio advertising.
Grand opening expenses, print marketing materials like posters, flyers and coupons.
And design work for your logo and signage.
Other required fees include licenses, permits, taxes, registration, legal fees and accounting fees.
30. Identify funding sources.
Know where to look for financing to help kickstart your retail business.
If borrowing money from friends or family members.
Preserve your relationship with a written agreement that specifies the terms of the loan.
31. Manage your inventory efficiently.
Inventory management can make or break a small retail business.
So manage it carefully to ensure that you’re maximizing every dollar spent.
Invest in small inventory quantities at first and continuously monitor inventory numbers so you know what’s selling and what isn’t.
Rotate inventory frequently to remove slow sellers and replace them with new items.
- Inventory management is often dictated by the “shelf-life” of the product you are selling. For example, if you are dealing with perishable items, it is critical to move the oldest products out of your inventory first to maximize the profits of your business.
32. Stay organized.
Organization of your time, employees, finances and inventory is one of the keys to successfully run a small business.
Develop a spreadsheet that helps you keep track of all the important details.
So you don’t have to keep them straight in your head, and make time — at least once a week — to review everything.
33. Network as much as possible.
Gain the support of other local small businesses by networking with other small business owners.
Join small business associations and participate in community events to raise awareness of your business.
Participate in community functions so potential clients will be aware of the services you offer.
34. Know your business.
Stay on top of what’s new or trendy in your business.
So your small business can stay competitive within the industry.
Subscribe to periodicals or online newsletters to stay informed about current events in your small business’ industry.
Staying at the cutting edge of your industry will help you draw customers away from competing businesses.
35. Be accessible.
Make sure potential clients and customers can get in touch with you and your business whenever they may need to. The best way to grow your reputation as a respectable business is to be responsive to your customers’ needs.
36. Set an opening date for the boutique.
Since people love all things new, this is a great opportunity to encourage people to come and see your new boutique. Throw a party on opening day and encourage people to come by advertising online (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and through standard advertising. Consider having special deals for the opening week, to encourage purchases.
- If opening an online-only store, use social media to encourage customers to visit; you can still have opening sales. You can even have a local party which is then reported online to all viewers.
37. Deliver what you promise.
Your small business will need to offer a product or service of some kind to be successful.
However, if you want to grow your business by growing your customer base.
You have to give people not only what they want, but what you promised them.
If your product or service does not match what you advertise consistently.
You will have incredible difficulty in growing your customer base.
Renew stock regularly and sell off old stock in sales.
Make a loyalty card, to encourage customers to keep coming back to your boutique for further purchases.
See if any of your friends or family have any relatives looking for a fashion job.