National Brokers Network

Setting up your own clothing boutique

clothign boutiqueIf you have a passion for fashion and would like to start your own clothing boutique in some trendy part of your quaint little town, or a high traffic street in the big city, you’d be part of the growing list of fashionistas who are looking to take what they love and sell it out there.

 Running your own clothing store could mean high earnings, but only IF you plan it right and really get hands-on with it. Remember, there are already plenty of clothing boutiques around, so you want to make sure your store stands out and gets noticed.

Also, when it comes to starting your own clothing biz, your knowledge of fashion will not be enough to see you through to success. You also need to know how to work your finances, understand different figures, compute proper pricing, check stock levels, profit margins, taxes, and tax returns just to name a few.

If you’re completely new to all of this and you think you would need extra help, consider joining The Australian Retailers Association, or any other industry body representing retailers in the country in order to get valuable input and guidance on running your own retail business.

Once you have carefully weighed your options and have decided to carry on with your venture, you’ll need to ask yourself the WHAT and the WHERE.

The What

This helps you determine what it is you want to sell specifically. It would be wise to specialise in a specific area first so you can start small and gradually bring in a steady stream of followers. If you’re not sure what to specialise in, think about what you like personally, be it vintage, novelty, or any other item you won’t easily find in your location.

That way, it will be much easier for you to relate to your potential market and you will feel more passionate about your merchandise.

The Where

When deciding on a location for your business, you would naturally be inclined to look at prime positions first. However, you also need to consider the difference in cost when it comes to looking for a place to set up shop. Ample preparation prior to execution should have you saving enough money to be able to afford the rent in a prime location. Operating in a high-traffic location will also help you save on marketing costs.

Thinking about where you want to place your business also means taking time to decide how you want your store to look – both offline and online. For the physical store, you may want to opt for a smaller space you could easily design, decorate, and fill up. But, when it comes to your website, you’d want to go all-out and make sure your pages don’t come off as amateurish. Enlist the help of a good web designer or web design service provider to achieve a professional online presence.   

After you have determined the what and the where, you’ll probably be left wondering about the HOW… as in how much?

The cost of a start-up depends on many different factors, primarily on the size and the location. You may opt to skimp on the store fit-outs, such as by purchasing secondhand items, but make sure they are tastefully-incorporated into the boutique and are made of good quality materials. Otherwise, they might end up looking cheap and affect the image of your brand.

You would also need to invest in the right equipment for the administrative tasks you will be performing. Some of the basics include a computer, a cash register, a printer, basic accounting or inventory software, a security system, and others you can think of along the way.

As for how much you will make, it all depends on your stocks and what you end up selling. Accessories usually have higher mark-ups, so apart from clothes, you should also consider getting them for your store.

As a clothing boutique owner, you will have your plate full with store maintenance (both physically and online), making inventories and stocking up, and updating the books. You will be working long days, more during the holidays. It might be tiring, but less so because you will be doing something you love and making good profit off it too. Good luck!

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