If you’re a fashion lover and have a keen business sense, opening a fashion boutique might just be your smartest move yet. To be able to run a successful fashion boutique, you need to tick quite a few boxes, so here’s a quick overview of what it takes to open a store and make it a success.
A Sense of Fashion
You can hire an architect such as Peter Marino to design you the perfect store, but if you don’t have a good sense of fashion, your business is doomed from the beginning.
Successful fashion boutiques are not necessarily full of the latest couture garments, but they do sell items people actually want to buy. It is important to be up to speed on what’s happening in the world of fashion, or you could end up stocking your store with last season’s styles.
Start Off Small
It is a good idea to test the water with a small-scale fashion store. Thanks to the wonders of e-commerce, anyone can open an online fashion boutique with very little effort. You can also start off selling items via websites such as eBay or Etsy. Alternatively, open up a pop-up store in your local mall.
Financing Your Fashion Boutique
Starting a business requires cash. You will need to buy stock, rent premises, and pay for fixtures and fittings. Start-up costs can be high if you open a bricks and mortar store, which is why many people choose to begin with an online apparel store, as the risks are far lower.
Target the Right Clientele
Think about the type of person who might buy your garments. Are you interested in selling your clothing to more affluent customers, or are you happy to stock discount clothing and budget accessories?
The location of your fashion boutique will influence this decision. For example, if you dream of opening a store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, discount fashions probably won’t go down too well whereas catwalk couture aimed at the ‘ladies who lunch’ is more likely to hit the mark.
Target a Niche Market
The apparel market is very overcrowded. Check out any street and you will see a number of different fashion boutiques. It can be hard to squeeze into an already squeezed market, so look for a niche nobody else is targeting yet. This could be anything from plus-size fashion to surf gear – take your pick.
Design the Perfect Store
Store design is important. Your boutique needs to be in keeping with the type of garments you stock. Look at the space you have and design clothing display racks that show off your items to their best advantage. Lighting needs to be bright, but not so bright that customers have to wear sunglasses when they walk in.
It can be hard to make a decent profit with a clothing boutique, mainly because there is a lot of competition and profit margins are low. However, if you love fashion and you want to start a business, this is definitely something you should try.
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