Are you considering opening your own boutique store?
While opening a boutique is something that many people dream of, it's not all fun and games. The reality is, small boutiques must compete against big box stores that offer similar products. These big box stores typically offer a sense of familiarity to customers as well as the lure of reduced pricing.
Of course, this isn't to say that boutique stores cannot be a large success. The key to a successful boutique has to do with creating a business plan that is established yet realistic.
If you're contemplating opening a boutique, do yourself a favor and begin by reading this guide. We're outlining the ten most essential tips that every boutique owner must know before officially going into business.
While creating a successful boutique is no easy feat, it's safe to say that it's not impossible to make a solid living from boutique ownership.
1. Create a Business Plan
First things first, you must begin by developing a business plan.
If this is your first delve into entrepreneurship, it may be helpful to hire a professional to guide you. An established professional can use their experience to help you create a healthy business plan.
This business plan will outline elements such as:
> Company description
> Market analysis
> Product descriptions
> Marketing strategy
> Funding requests
> Goals and objectives
2. Decide on Storefront vs. Online
One of the most important decisions that you will have to make is whether your boutique is operating out of a traditional storefront or an online store.
In the past, the large majority of boutiques operated out of a traditional storefront. However, it's important to remind yourself that shopping experiences have changed significantly in the last half-decade. In fact, studies reveal that 79% of Americans now report shopping online.
While a storefront does have it's pros, it can also be incredibly expensive and time-consuming to maintain. An online store offers convenience as well as avoiding rent payments.
3. Determine Your Brand
Now it's time to determine the branding of your business.
Think of your brand as the face of your business. This brand is going to provide consumers with images and ideas that they associate with your business.
Your brand is typically determined by your target consumer. For example, if you are looking to appeal to millennials as opposed to the seniors, you're going to want to establish a brand that is contemporary and on-trend.
4. Locate Your Space
Next, it's time to find the space that your business is going to call home.
Of course, the single-handed most important factor in finding a space is budget. Remember, once you are locked into a commercial lease, you're accountable for paying that rent every month for the duration of the lease.
When searching for the right space, you're also going to want to take the aesthetics as well as the size into account. If you plan to offer a higher quantity of inventory, you're going to require more space and vice-versa.
5. Find the Best Suppliers
Now it's time to, quite literally, go shopping.
This is where you are going to begin searching for your suppliers. These are the people and companies by which their products will be sold in your boutique.
Find suppliers and companies that align with your style as well as your values. Remember, you want to be proud to sell the brands that are being offered in your boutique. It's also important to take into consideration ease of access in terms of delivery and shipping costs.
Is this is your first time dealing with suppliers? If so, be sure to read this article for guidance on how to avoid poor quality suppliers.
6. Hire Fabulous Staff
When it comes to opening a boutique, it's not exactly a one-man show. This is where hiring the best staff to represent your business comes into play.
Of course, it's important to hire staff that has experience in working at a boutique shop. However, it's arguably more important to hire staff that genuinely care about the success of your boutique as well as connecting with your customers.
High-quality staff will encourage customers to shop with you instead of the big box stores. As a small boutique, your level of service is what will keep your customers coming back even if that means paying higher prices.
7. Hire a Web Designer to Create a Stunning Website
Unless you have vast experience in creating a website, you're going to want to hire a professional to do this for you.
In today's day and age, your website is everything. In fact, it's safe to say that it's never been more important to have both a high-quality and user-friendly website for your business.
Having a website also allows you the opportunity to showcase your merchandise online as well as market your boutique
8. Create a Social Media Presence
Today, it's essential for each and every business to have an active social media presence.
Let's consider that 79 percent of American adults have at least one social media profile. This may be anything from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and Pinterest.
Social media is also an incredibly affordable and simple means of advertising your business and your inventory. In relation to your customers, it's a great way to connect with existing and future customers.
9. Advertise Online Before Opening
Before your grand opening, you're going to want to ensure that you are advertising for the occasion.
After all, the last thing you want is to put all of your time and effort into an opening that no one shows up to. To encourage the public to join, you may want to consider offering prizes, discounts, food, and drink for the opening.
Today, it's most effective to conduct your advertising online and through social media. However, you can also advertise in the traditional sense by placing flyers in close proximity to your boutique.
Remember, this is an event that is meant to get your customers excited about your new boutique!
10. Host a Grand Opening
Last but not least, it's time for your grand opening!
This is where you're finally able to showcase to the public all of your hard work. For this opening, you're going to want your store and your merchandise to look their absolute best.
This is your most important opportunity to flaunt your inventory and connect with your customers. With your grand opening, the goal isn't merely to generate as many sales as possible. Instead, it's about creating interest and excitement in your boutique that's going to encourage customers to return again and again.
Opening a Boutique
If you're considering opening a boutique, you're going to want to prepare yourself for the bumpy road that is entrepreneurship.
The truth is, maintaining a boutique store that is profitable and has the ability to grow can be incredibly challenging. However, with the right tools, mindset, and preparation, operating a successful boutique certainly is possible.
As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. Before delving deep into opening your boutique, you're going to want to ensure that you've conducted countless research and created a healthy business plan.
If you're looking for the best place to begin your quest, this guide is a great place to start. It will help you learn how to create a profitable business that has the ability to grow.
Are you looking for some inspiration on the latest trends for your inventory? If so, be sure to visit our blog and scroll for inspiration!