Shifting from employment to entrepreneurship is a dream for many. Entrepreneurship gives you independence and growth that you could not achieve while working for someone else.
A boutique provides you with the opportunity to achieve your entrepreneurship goals. Insider tip: You do not need to be an expert designer or a famous model to open a boutique.
Your passion for fashion and customer service are good enough reasons. Boutiques are all about making intimate connections with customers for you to understand their specific style and taste. If you think you can help even the most indecisive customer discover their inner glow, you might be a candidate for boutique ownership.
Let’s look at our tips for opening a boutique.
Plan it out first
Every entrepreneur should have a plan of the short and long term goals of their business. Goals are useful in tracking the progress of your business. Know how many people you want to be in your team and how you will keep them motivated and focused. A business plan can also affect the level of investment in your business when it grows. Investors can only invest if they are confident that you have the appropriate goals for the business to prosper.
Figure out how much it’s going to cost
Determine the cost you will need to start your boutique and the monthly costs you will incur onwards. If your boutique is in the corner of a hair salon, your budget can be smaller; if you want a storefront (like Baby Willow’s Petit Boutique), you’ll need more money. The budget will include utilities, cost of getting a store, insurance for the store, furnishing the store, state and federal permit fees, advertising, and purchasing the clothes. Monthly budgets will include wages to employees, rent, taxes, and restocking clothes in the store.
Nail down the legal stuff
Your business needs to abide by the rules and regulations provided by your state and the country. You probably need to create a legal entity such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), but you’ll want to talk it over with a lawyer before you decide. Forming a legal entity for your business helps protect you from any liabilities in the event your boutique is sued.
You also need to register the business for federal and state taxes and make sure you are compliant in paying your taxes every month. You generally need to get a permit or a business license to conduct business. Not having a permit is illegal, and you could pay a lot of fines as a consequence, and your business can face closure.
You’ll need insurance for your business as well. And don’t forget a certificate of occupancy for the store. If you are renting the store, the landlord needs to give you a certificate of occupancy; if you purchase the building (lucky you!), the government gives you the certificate.
Open a bank account and get a rewards credit card
The primary purpose of creating a bank account separate from your personal account is to guard your personal assets. In case of a liability incurred by the boutique, you will not risk losing personal assets like your car or home.
One bonus of owning a business is that, if you play your (credit) cards right, you can accumulate a ton of points for travel and other amenities. Put as many business expenses on your rewards card as possible, and watch the points stockpile themselves.
Create a brand
A brand should make a business stand out from its competitors. Determine how you can attract attention to your boutique by using the boutique’s name or logo. Find what gaps are present in the existing market and take advantage of those gaps to make your business stand out.
Line up suppliers
When you own a business, you generally buy the goods you sell from wholesale suppliers. For example, if you sell CBD oil, you’ll buy it from a wholesale CBD supplier at a cost that isn’t available to the public. You will also be able to buy clothes at wholesale prices and sell them at a profit. You wouldn’t pay retail for goods to sell in your boutique unless you were confident the market could bear the markup you’d have to add to turn a profit. Your suppliers should also help you keep up with fashion trends to ensure customers are always walking into your store.
Hire if you need to
Some boutiques need a small team to keep it up and running; others are owner-staffed. If you do hire employees, your team should have a taste for fashion and be experienced in making sales. Furthermore, it would be best if you trust your team members.
Create a website
After your boutique is up and running, you can create an online store where your customers can place orders. With today’s technology, this is easier than ever. Additionally, a website allows you to interact with existing customers and advertise your store to attract new customers.
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