Have you ever thought about starting your own clothing boutique and being the ultimate Girl Boss in fashion?
There’s so many new fashion brands and companies that have been created in the last five years and its great to see how successful people are becoming. I’m always in awe of those who do well in life because it requires so much hard work and determination to get to where you want to be.
One of my own friends started a boutique in Sunderland called StudioB and her shop has gone from strength to strength; I couldn’t be more proud of her.
Starting a business isn’t easy and as with anything in life, you learn what works and doesn’t work along the way. In today’s post, I thought I’d share with you 5 things to as yourself when starting your own fashion boutique.
1. What is your market?
First things first, you need to know who you’re selling to. Are you looking to sell to women from the, and I use the term loosely, “standard size” range or will you be targeting a particular market, for example children, petit women, big and tall men, plus size women, etc. You’ll also need to consider the estimated age range, socioeconomic status and lifestyle of the people who you hope will buy your clothes as that will determine what stock you buy, your margin for profit, and how and where you promote your business.
2. How will you sell to them?
Next, you’ll need to consider how you’re going to sell to them and the pros and cons surrounding that. For example, selling clothing online is far cheaper in terms of overheads and you can reach a lot more people however you don’t have the opportunity for passing trade the way that you would if you opened a store in the town centre.
If you opt to sell online, you have the option of having your own website which is ultimately the best way to go if you’re successful on a large scale and you can also sell through Instagram and Facebook. So many girl bosses are doing that these days and Instagram is a great option in particular if you’re appealing to women under the age of 33 as they account for a large proportion of all Instagram users. If you’re selling online, you’ll need to take into consideration the time and cost of postage and where you’ll actually store your stock until it has been sold.
3. How will you be able to afford it all?
Starting your own business is by no means cheap. Whether you start it up using personal funds you’ve saved yourself, you get a cash injection from friends or family or you take out a business bank loan, you’ll need a solid business plan to ensure that you’ll be able to pay it all back.
Depending on whether you’ll be selling online or in a store, some things you’ll need to consider will be the cost of overheads of the store or storage facility and workspace, insurance, banking, stock, merchandising and items for the store (for example, hangers and rails, a camera, etc), staff and uniforms, postage and packaging and advertisements, PR and marketing.
From here, you’ll be able to work out how much money you’ll need to start the business initially and roughly how much your monthly running costs will be. Its important to always build a contingency into these figures incase anything unforeseen should arise.
4. What will you sell to them?
Choosing the right stock for your target market is incredibly important. Whether you’re designing and creating the stock yourself or buying direct from a wholesaler such as Stylewise Direct. You’ll need to have a very clear idea of who you’re selling to, what they’re likely to want to wear and the latest trends to stay ahead of your competitors. The clothing you stock should usually inspire your potential customers while also giving them what they want.
Stylewise Direct are a fantastic place to start because they have a gorgeous selection of on trend pieces. Imagine stocking this gorgeous Floral Print Cropped Set or the uber on trend Floral Embroidered Denim Bardot Top which I’m sure would be a best seller in a fashion boutique this spring and summer.
They even have a section women’s plus size wholesale fashion where you can pick up great staple items that your customers could add to their wardrobe such as the Balloon Toga Racer Back Maxi Dress that I’m wearing in this post. The fabric is super soft and lightweight, making it ideal for the spring and summer whether at home or away on holiday.
5. How will you connect with your customers?
My last point for consideration is how you will connect with your customers. Regardless of whether you sell in store or online, you’ll need to utilise social media effectively. Its better to run one or two social networks effectively than spread yourself too thin but if you’re able to manage it, set up an Instagram, Facebook and Twitter account for your company and make yourself easy to find with the same account name across all of your networks.
There’s no harm in nabbing your account name on other networks like Pinterest, Youtube and Snapchat too, as who knows where your business may take you in the future and when you have your girl boss fashion business empire, you’ll be able to employ staff to help you to create videos, adhoc content and even more beautiful images that would be perfect ways to inspire and encourage sales through these social networks!
I’d love to hear what tips you would give to someone who is thinking of starting their own fashion boutique! Let me know in the comments!
*Thanks to Stylewise Direct for collaborating with me on this post! I love my dress and as always, my opinions are 100% my own!