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According to IBIS World, there are more boutiques in the U.S. than ever, with the number of businesses totaling 74,015.
If you love all things fashion, you might even consider starting a boutique yourself!
But…what if you don’t have business experience? It’s a challenge, for sure, but it’s far from impossible.
Follow these steps to make your dream come true.
1. Pick the Perfect Location
You hear it all the time in real estate: Location, location, location.
It might sound cliché, but the location of a business makes a difference. So much so that finding the ideal spot can even make or break your business.
So what makes for a quality business location?
For starters, visibility. Your boutique should be visible from main roads, for example.
You should also do your best to match your location to your clientele. If you’re targeting a younger demographic, make sure you’re in an area where young people hang out.
2. Acquire a Business License
Getting a business license in Florida is fairly easy. But it’s also time-consuming, so you’ll want to get started on the paperwork as soon as you have your location nailed down.
Each county has unique requirements and hoops to jump through, so contact your county to make sure you’re following proper protocol.
3. Corner a Market
Finding success in the business world is hard enough. But it’s even tougher if you’re not targeting a specific audience.
For that reason, it’s always wise to choose a niche that separates yourself from the competition. Think about what you can do differently and how you can capitalize on those differences in your marketing.
4. Partner With Manufacturers
What’s a boutique without fantastic clothes?
Once you have all of your paperwork in order, it’s time to pitch your boutique (or take pitches from) clothing brands. If you’re not sure what pitches are all about, here’s a great sample.
They typically follow the same process:
- An introduction to the brand
- Data on sales and demographics
- The reason why you’re a good fit
- Contact info
Writing press releases and pitches can be a challenge, so follow the format above and you’ll be fine.
5. Spread the Word
We’ve given you a lot to think about already, but don’t get so caught up in the excitement that you forget to come up with an adequate marketing strategy.
Start with a digital-centric approach. Recent data suggests that 88% of consumers use the Internet to research a company before committing to a purchase. Combine that with the power of reputation management and social media and you have everything you need for a great marketing strategy.
Well, almost. Physical marketing is important, too.
Partner with other local businesses to team up for events. Cross-marketing is an easy and efficient method that proves advantageous for everyone involved.
Final Thoughts on Starting a Boutique
So there you have it, everything you need to know about starting a boutique. Though it’s a whole lot of work, it’s also a rewarding experience.
Don’t give up and learn as you go. With focus and the right strategy, you’ll have customers filling your shop in no time.
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