How to Start an Online Fashion Boutique
The retail business is hotter than ever. Since production of wholesale clothes is cheaper now compared to the costs of years ago, more and more people are now finding ways how to start a clothing boutique. Aside from the higher profit margin they can have, suppliers are more accessible, and any interested entrepreneur will find it easy to contact a company that can be able to deliver the stocks they require. Despite the economy, consumers are still prepared to spend for good quality clothes as long as the prices are reasonable.
Although there has been a lot of emphasis on the challenges that department stores such as Macy's and Sears are having, and the closure of retail chains such as Forever 21, people are still shopping, they are just doing it more online.
Just take a look at how successful Amazon is.
With the number of materials available that can teach how to start a clothing boutique, some persons have realized that aside from being direct consumers, they can also be retailers as well. If you would like to build your shop just like other budding entrepreneurs, you should learn how to set-up your business while making sure that you would not be pushed off-track by any problems that may come your way.
I have had many friends and relatives of my existing wholesale buyers decide to go into business for themselves once they realized the opportunity that was available.
Keep in mind that there are so many ways for someone to market clothing online without having to leave their full time occupation.
The fact that it's so easy to get involved in the fashion business also means that there is a tremendous amount of competition.
You might even decide to focus on the wholesale aspect of the business like I did, or even develop a hybrid business model that involves both wholesale and retail.
With e-commerce website providers such as Shopify and GoDaddy,
it's relatively easy to start an Internet fashion store.
If you love fashion and would like to make it your career, you might want to consider opening an online fashion boutique. Although this will need a lot of time and dedication, it certainly is possible to excel in this business with the right business plan.
Before you start your business, you need to figure out what types of clothes you are going to sell and where you are going to be getting them from. While some people create very small boutique that have a few high priced items, others option for stylish and affordable products that are made on a larger scale.
For instance, an online retailer in Nigeria might want to focus on
Tahari suits, while a seller catering to the athletic market in
Trinidad might want to specialize in Nike sneakers.
If you are going to be selling only a few items at a time, you may be able to sew them yourself. If this is the case, you can run your business as a made-to-order shop. Alternatively, you may want to hire a few employees and create a limited run of each size. To produce clothing on a larger scale, you will need to outsource the production unless you have the money to set up a factory.
Many sellers use the Etsy platform to market apparel that they
Once you know what types of clothing you will be selling as well as the price range, you need to create an e-commerce site that gets your business image across. It should be easy and attractive to navigate. You will also require to come up with a marketing plan, which may include purchasing ad space on other sites, TV and radio ads, and handing out business cards and fliers in various cities.
Don't underestimate the simple, but yet effective, process of giving out your business card to every person that you meet. I have literally given out the business card for my closeout business, CloseoutExplosion.com, to hundreds of people, and I have received sales as a result.
If you are starting out from scratch, you can pay purchase a book
from Amazon, get a subscription to Entrepreneur magazine, or spend a
few hours watching retail related videos on YouTube.
Of course, with the right information in your hands, starting an online business doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, there are many programs and courses out there which make it simple, fun and easy to learn how to start an online store. Plus, there are all sorts of tips and tricks to help you with the advanced material.
I know of people that spent a decent amount working in a store
before setting themselves up in their own business. The experience
that they gained by working for someone else allowed them to speed up
the retail learning curve.
You should not expect an online fashion boutique to yield huge sales or profits right away. Often, businesses will take a loss during the first year but will start profiting during or after the second year of business.
If you prefer, you can either set up your fashion business so that it sells clothes exclusively through Amazon or eBay, or you can use their e-commerce platforms as additional sales channels.
Prior to launching your site make sure that you have access to reliable sources of products. You can use search engines such as wholesalecentral.com, closeoutcentral.com, apparelsearch.com, and toptenwholesale.com to locate suppliers.
You can also purchase a directory that will give you access to suppliers, such as the handbag directory for which I am an affiliate. You can see the handbag directory by visiting wholesalequest.com
You can also take a look at my YouTube channel to which I have uploaded over a thousand videos full in which I present strategies and tips regarding the business of buying and selling merchandise.
One other option is to become an affiliate for online retailers. As an affiliate you would promote the products and websites of other retailers. You would receive a commission from those retailers when you send them a shopper that places an order through their website. I have participated in the Amazon Associates program, as well as in the affiliate programs of other companies.
The advantage of the affiliate model is that you don't have to process orders, but the downside is that your profits per item are usually a lot lower than if you sold the items yourself.
For example, you can earn 6% when you send a customer to the Amazon website and they purchase a new Nine West dress. But if you purchased that brand name dress yourself from a closeout business, and sold it through your Internet boutique, you could potentially work on a 50% profit margin.
Ultimately you have to decide which option fits your budget, time, and ability.
You are welcome to visit my closeout warehouse in New York to see the type of merchandise that I have available.