How to Start a Clothing Boutique

By Contributing Writer

If you're into fashion design or merchandise, it is quite possible that your future dreams and aspirations include opening up your own boutique. Whether you want to share your sense of fashion with the world or influence the fashion scene, opening up your own boutique will help you accomplish your goals. While having your own boutique is rewarding, it is also a lot of work. Time, money and extensive planning are all requirements that go into making your dream a reality.

Here is a great example of a front-entrace clothing display.

Step 1

Decide on the specialty. A boutique is a tiny clothing store that typically isn't part of a chain. Make a decision about what segment of the fashion market you want to reach. Your options include baby apparel, women's apparel, men's apparel, teen apparel or any other genre you'd like to create apparel for. Once you decide on your specialty, go into even more detail. For example, if you want to carry women's apparel, do you want to carry casual or business attire? All of these decisions will factor into figuring out what your niche is in the market.

Step 2

Create a company plan. Creating a company plan is essential when starting up your own business. This helps you organize company finances and expenses, set future goals and come up with a marketing plan. In order to organize your company finances and expenses, you must decide how much money is available for the startup of your business. List the expenses that you expect to encounter. This includes employee salaries, rent for the store location, electricity fees, cost of purchasing apparel, marketing fees and store decor. Deduct the expense amount from the amount available to start up your business. If you find the expenses exceed the startup amount, reassess your expenses and designate new amounts to each expense.

Step 3

Come up with a name. Once you've created a business plan and figured out what type of clothing you want to sell, it's time for a fun task. Think of a catchy store name. If you're unsure of what you want to call your store, come up with a list that has a minimum of four names. Give yourself a few days to decide which of the four names you like the best.

Step 4

Choose a location. The store's location is very important when it comes to attracting customers and displaying your product. It's important to understand that the locations that the busiest locations tend to cost more to rent. However, if you end up getting more business from the constant flow of traffic, it is well worth the extra money. Shop around for a location. Check out a few places and then make a decision.

Step 5

Acquire merchandise. Now that the location is set up, it's time to start ordering or creating merchandise. If you are into fashion design or merchandise, it's likely you already have a few sketches or possibly even outfits created. Based on the season, come up with several designs. Hire several other individuals to help you reproduce the clothes. This will speed up the production process. If you plan on ordering clothes online, place your order and wait for the shipment to arrive. You should strive to have a minimum of 3 pieces for each style.

Step 6

Create a web page. Hire a web developer or create your own web page to market your boutique. The website can be used as a virtual boutique or merely as a reference page for your customers to visit. Create a flashy homepage that piques the interest of viewers. Include sections that contain contact information, clothing styles and sales information. Make sure the web developer you hire is consistent in his or her work because you will need the person if you encounter any problems. After all, when your website goes down you will inevitably lose some business. If you decide to build the website on your own, have a web developer on speed dial just in case you need help in the future.

Step 7

Open up your store. Once your store is ready, the merchandise is in place and the location is set, it's time for opening day. Purchase flashy signs or balloons to place outside the boutique to attract passers-by. On opening day observe how customers respond to the clothing in your store. Find out which styles are popular and which aren't. In addition, observe what kind of clientele your store is attracting. Is it what you expected? If not, make some changes to see if that attracts the clientele you were hoping for. Good luck!