HOW TO START A BOUTIQUE BUSINESS
The fast pace changes that have taken place in the fashion industry that clothes from basic necessity, now have turned to the medium of differentiating status symbols and cultural aspects. The history of clothing is long and redundant as living in the present is a way to go. Today, the fashion industry has taken the world by storm. With the rise of social media and celebrity culture, everyone is focused on styling and decorating themselves like a piece of art. Thereof, fashion has become an art now and the designers and the wearers are artists. The way a person style themselves has become synonymous with their personality. They have clothing for almost every occasion and mood. This has given rise to a new passion and that is designing clothes and has attracted a lot of youth to come forward and claim their styles to be the best. Small names turning into big and popular labels have given hope to people that they are worthy of that recognition too and with their passion and determination will succeed in making their names big.
Many of these people started with opening a small boutique and now have their business earning profit in million. In this business, it is the sense of fashion, style and designing that sells and people will be ready to buy from you if you are unique.
Let’s take look at how you can start a Boutique:
Increase your expertise
To open a boutique business, you need to have a lot of information about the trending clothing and styling. You should be an expert. Take fashion course or diploma to know maximum about the types of textile and how to style them. Understand how different types of clothes are stitched and what are the skills and techniques required. A designer requires years of practice to master their craft. You should know what people want and be able to provide them with that.
Decide your niche
There is numerous variety of clothing designs that are available in the market, you have to first decide what is your area of expertise and the products you are want to sell. The business will expand and the list can always increase but decide first what is your introductory range and how influential it is and will it get enough attention.
Decide on the size of business
The business has a lot of scopes to grow but keeping in mind that you are starting a boutique business that demands good investment and arranging resources for it can be a task in itself, it is better to start small and develop as your customer base develops.
Do your research
The boutique business is not an easy venture to open. You have to do a lot of research about how the market functions and what is the demand and supply chain in this business. The boutique business requires your understanding of trends, fabrics, styling, and presentation. You need to have great shopkeeper’s skills and a compassionate personality. You must know how to attract customers to your shop.
Hire good tailors and helpers
The boutique business not only involves you selling your clothes, it may have a few customers who come up with their own fabric and designs and with help your expertise want to create something new. For such situations, hire a good professional tailors who is skilled and can stitch as per your customer’s need.
Rent or Buy a Shop in Good Location
Nowadays a lot of people are shifting to online mode for buying designer clothing as there are multiple options available. Keeping that in mind, starting your boutique business in a familiar locality where people know you would work the best. The online purchase doesn’t feel familiar to a lot of people and so your shop can be a good option for them as they know you and would expect a certain level of compassion and help from your end. The shop does not need to be a very large space. You can start with one single room 10*15 sq feet shop. Set up your shop which is in a busy market that has good footfall.
Design and Decorate
It sounds obvious that the aesthetic of your boutique business matters a lot. IF you have decided a niche for your boutique business, design your place according to that. The clothes are always there to enhance the beauty but hire an expert interior designer who has experience in this area and can design your place according to your needs. The lighting and color of the walls of your boutique business matter a lot. Keep in mind when you agree with your interior designer.
Create an e-commerce platform
With time changing and the movement of people from store to online is rising at a steady pace, setting up your business online along with offline store is a good option. To open a portal for your boutique business online, you need to set up a user-friendly glitch-free website or an app. Appoint a technician who would be available at all times to prevent any probability of site going down as it is a big turn off for users. Make the online interface easy to use as it’ll be used by people of all age groups who are not tech-savvy. The easier and smooth the handle is the better will be the inclination of customers in using the site, creatively categorize your clothes.
Understand your customers
Any small or medium business needs to be focused on their target audience. In the saree retail shop that you are opening at home will have customers visiting you from your locality or nearby localities and most of them will be adult females. Take their reviews sincerely when they visit your store and ask them for what varieties they would like you to display in the future. Focusing on the target audience is very important in this business so keep that in mind.
This is amongst the first things to do. You are setting up a saree retail shop at home. It will require a principal investment. Get yourself sponsors who are willing to support a local business and have your back
License and Permit
To set up any shop in India you need to take certain permits such as a Business License, Resale Certificate, Business Name Registration or DBA Certificate, Certificate of Occupancy, Federal Tax ID, etc. Make sure you have done your homework and have finished all the paperwork beforehand and have kept them handy and be ready to take rounds to government offices before setting up.
Be ready to do a lot of marketing. Social Media is used by almost everyone around the globe. It is almost certain that at least one person in a household must be using any social media platform. Putting up pages on Facebook and Instagram and asking youth in the locality to share it amongst friends, developing a strong SEO, and investing in marketing offline can bring great audience attraction to your store. Putting up ads with discounts and amazing offers are always a plus. Along with online, spending on offline methods to propagate business is necessary. Go old school and hand our pamphlet whenever a customer arrives. Since you already have an offline store and most customers who have done business with you will keep your number saved, you can invest in WhatsApp Business and use its marketing tools to propagate your business. It is convenient to use and digitally provides a personal touch as the medium is one to one messaging which has become one of the best provisions of converting prospects to customers. Remember to greet them nicely and make them feel important.
To open any business, one should be ready to work hard and show a lot of perseverance and determination. Any business will have good and bad days but it depends on the owner how they want to go about it. Your boutique business is going to be the same. It depends a lot on your style and quality and how the world reacts to it. Give your business time to grow and settle in this huge industry. You will definitely make it big with your talent so don’t get overwhelmed and enjoy the process. All the best!