More people than ever before are deciding to pour all their passion and drive into their very own fashion boutique, selling high-end products that reflect their style and flair. If you've always wanted to be your own boss and in charge of your own line of products then running a business online could be the perfect way for you to build a reputation and to finally be in control of your future.
Opening an online fashion boutique requires determination and extensive planning. So, if you're thinking of taking the plunge, don't overlook these crucial points.
Getting Your Finances In Order
Starting your own business requires financial planning and keeping all those numbers and statistics in order. Whether you’re purchasing stock from vendors, taking online payments, sending out invoices or paying your business rates, cash flow will be at the heart of your online business. If this is the first time you’ve been required to manage business finances or even send invoices then having the right tools by your side will simplify the process. For example, using Freshbooks own invoicing template will ensure accuracy and clarity every time. Investing in user-friendly accounting software will always make your business life easier!
Decide On Your Niche
Are you going to keep things basic and sell a range of clothing for typical body types? Or are you thinking of targeting a specific demographic, such as plus size women or even toddlers and young children? Conducting plenty of market research and identifying gaps in the market will help you make your choice, unless you’re planning on creating something close to your heart, in which case continue to carry out market research nonetheless. Creating customer profiles, and finding out what your target market wants and looks for in an online shopping boutique will help you hit the ground running, and stand apart from your competitors.
When it comes to financing your online fashion boutique, having at least six months’ worth of cash set aside will give you the confidence and the capital to bring in new lines and advertise your boutique effectively. Sitting down and figuring out your expenses is a good place to start. The cost of stock, website running costs, marketing, postage and delivery charges… the list goes on.
You could consider a business loan, borrowing money from friends and family, or bootstrapping your business, which means making the most of your current financial resources.
And Finally, Finding The Right Suppliers
The quality of your clothing line will speak volumes about your business, so it’s not a decision that can be rushed. Your chosen niche may also dictate where you purchase your stock from. Consider attending (virtual) trade shows or clothing wholesalers, make enquiries with online stockists, or find hand-made items from other boutiques who may take a percentage of sales. Remember, buying stock in larger amounts usually means larger discounts, but consider whether you’re likely to sell all those products to appreciate the savings.