Whether you’re a fashionista with a passion for fashion or an ambitious self-starter who dreams of owning their own budding business, starting your own online fashion boutique can be a rewarding experience.
Now that you’re interested in the online fashion boutique business, what’s first? In order to start an online fashion boutique, you need to choose products & supplier/s, define your target audience, select your platform/market, and ultimately, have a solid business plan that can help you with all of the above and even more.
Choosing Products & Suppliers
Are you planning on only selling custom, handmade clothing? Do you want to ensure that all of your products are 100% organic or made in the U.S.? Before you can move on to anything else for your business, the first step is to define your criteria for your products, and then find a seller who best meets your budget.
As a retailer, you will have the benefit of being able to purchase items in bulk, which will lower your overhead and enable you to increase your profit margins, so browsing through wholesale options and contacting wholesalers regarding bulk discounts should be one of your top priorities.
One of the great things about retail is that many items can be sold at an incredibly high mark up compared to the price that you paid for them, so if you choose the right supplier and the right products, you can look forward to pure profit.
Defining Your Target Audience
Now that you have at least a general idea of what your products will be, you need to define your target audience. By defining your target audience, you will be better equipped to advertise to and communicate with your customers.
You will also gain a better understanding of what kinds of products your customers may or may not be interested in so that you can avoid wasting time and money on products that sit on the shelf.
Selecting A Market/Platform
Whether the concept of selling items is completely new to you, or you’re an old pro, the internet offers a vast array of options that are perfect for everyone including brand new sellers who have absolutely no experience with web design, established retailers who have the means to hire a full team of web designers and sales people… and everyone in between.
If you’d consider yourself as completely clueless on where to start, turning to an established e-commerce site may be your best bet. These full service platforms offer sellers a full range of tools they need to get started including templated profile pages and digital storefronts, payment processing tools, tools for packaging & shipping, assistance with customer service disputes, and so much more.
If you’ve already been there and done that, you can also start your own site from scratch, but keep in mind that you will need to be prepared to handle a variety of challenges on your own including web hosting & traffic, design & content, advertising, e-commerce & payment processing, and customer service, just to name a few.
Following A Solid Business Plan
A solid business plan will not only help you with all of the items above, but will also assist you in being able to get funding from potential investors so that you will be able to seamlessly grow your business.
Professional business plans take days… weeks… even months to write, and as a busy entrepreneur, the last thing you have is free time.
But the last thing you want to do is get your business up and running and find out that you forgot to keep track of inventory or operating expenses or something worse.