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When passionate about fashion, opening a clothing boutique is a great idea

From your passion for fashion, you should start a clothing boutique that offers people the opportunity to explore their fashion sense. Boutiques are different than clothing retailers because they offer their clients the impression of stepping into an intimate environment. Your advantage is that you address to a specific public that is looking for a very specific style, and by providing it, you retain clients. 

To run a successful fashion boutique, you need to form connections with your regular clients because their recommendations can bring you new customers. The process of starting a clothing business is time-consuming, and when you lack experience it can easily overwhelm you. 

Here are our top recommendations on the steps you must follow to start a successful venture. 

Find your unique vision

You enter a competitive market, and you need to bring a unique vision if you want to gain clients. Before opening your clothing store, you need to create your vision because without one you have no end result. It may be difficult to choose an idea because you have plenty. It’s useful to have a vision book where to gather information about the things you like. Browse through Pantone’s official website and choose the colours, look for pictures from other clothing stores and pick the ones you like, and pin marketing ideas you would like to try. 

The album should contain any piece of information that can help you shape a vision. The purpose of the album is to help you create a final look for the boutique because it’s easier to make decisions when you know what the final result should be.  

Develop a brand

All successful clothing providers created a brand to stand for their values and ideas. When creating your boutique’s brand, you want it to stand out and to be different from your competitors. It’s important the name and the logo mean something for you. If you want to source your items from Africa then you need to develop your store’s brand based on the idea you will sell items African designers produce. 

With this idea in mind, you can develop the look of the boutique, the name of the store, the ambience, and the logo. Once you have a name you can use an online tool like Canva to create your logo. It’s simple and free, and it allows you to experiment with multiple designs to understand which one better suits your brand. 

Create a business plan

You know what products you want to sell, how the store should look, and what the name and logo of the brand should be. The next step is to create a business plan for your fashion boutique. 

Do a lot of research when you create the business plan because it should include all the elements that impact your store’s success. The first thing you have to determine is the cost involved in opening a clothing store. Based on the location of the physical store, and the size of the space, the costs will vary. The average boutique needs a $50,000 investment. This sum involves remodelling the store, replacing or repairing the plumbing system, installing the heating system, paying the utilities and getting insurance. You should not forget that you also need to pay for permits, decorate the interior of the store, buy products, and invest in marketing to promote the boutique. 

The business plan also needs to include the analysis you did to identify the target market and competitors because based on this data, you create marketing strategies to attract customers. 

Establish who is involved in the business, what their role is, and whom you collaborate with. Even if you are running a small boutique you need to hire a marketing agency to promote your brand, collaborate with a clothing provider to source the products, hire employees and consult an accountant. 

Organise the business

Alongside the business plan you created, you should also apply some principles that ensure the success of the boutique. You may plan to buy clothes and to start selling them, but opening a clothing store implies more than this. If you want to meet your goals, you need to write down how you want to organise the business. Here are the elements you need to consider.

  • The location of the store. You need to identify a location that facilitates products’ sale because not all areas are prosperous for clothing boutiques. 
  • How the business will work. Do you plan to sell clothes only in your physical store or you’ll also list them online? A brick and mortar store allows you to address to your local public. This way people can try the items and see if they fit. It’s important to research the rules you must follow before selling clothes in a physical store, and the regulations you must respect to store your clients’ personal data. 
  • Who is managing the business? Even if it’s a small store, you need to establish if you manage it or you hire someone to do it. Before starting the business, decide who are the key people involved in running the boutique. You need an accountant, a marketing specialist, a designer and sellers. 
  • The products. You can count on a hero product that can bring you success, or you can sell a long list of products to address to a wider public. No matter what strategy you choose, you need to ensure you sell only high-quality products. Stock and sell products that meet the public’s requirements if you want to convert prospects. 
  • Sales and marketing. To draw attention to your fashion boutique, you need to promote it. Establish a marketing plan in advance. You need to think through the strategies you’ll use to create buzz around your brand. Decide if you want to promote your brand as one that sells unique clothing pieces, one that has competitive prices or one that customises clothes according to the client’s preferences. 

A fashion boutique comes with a lot of hard work, but you can do it if you want to pursue this dream. 

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