Opening your own boutique is an exciting time, but it’s also a time where important decisions will have to be made. Before making any decisions, you need to create a vision for your boutique and decide what types of clothing and products you will sell. Once you have your vision in place, you can start making decisions like creating a brand image to share on social media and hiring employees to help you out. As the boutique owner, you will have to jump in and handle many responsibilities that aren’t necessarily yours, but as the owner, everyone is looking at you to be the leader. Opening your own boutique will be a challenge but certainly one that you can easily conquer.
1. Have a vision for your boutique.
One of the most important steps in opening your own boutique is to have a vision for what you want your boutique to become. You should have a target customer in mind and choose items that will attract that type of customer. Do you want to target college-age girls with trendier clothing, or do you want to target middle-aged women with more of a business casual look? You should also have a vision for your boutique’s long-term presence. Do you want to run an online boutique with customers across the country, or do you aim to have a storefront boutique with more local customers?
2. Be prepared to wear multiple hats.
As the boutique owner, you should be prepared to wear multiple hats, and no job should be below you. Especially in the beginning, you will have to be ready to jump in wherever needed even if it’s folding clothes, shipping orders out, or running the cash register. Since the boutique’s success is most important to you, you need to be willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
3. Utilize social media.
For business marketing, social media is always important, and with retail, social media can make or break a store’s success. You need to have consistent branding across all social media platforms, and you should use social media to engage with customers. You can post pictures of new inventory, advertise sales, or even offer different ways to style your products. For boutiques, using Facebook and Instagram offer the most social media benefits, but you can consider using other social media platforms as well. No matter which social media platforms you use, you need to make sure you have consistent posting and that contact information (phone number, location, website, and business hours) are up-to-date.
4. Make sure your legal and tax information is correct.
To open your own boutique, you will need to ensure your legal and tax information is correct, and since this most likely isn’t something you’ve dealt with before, you need to use a lawyer and accountant to ensure everything is in place. Having both the legal and financial sides squared away is important because your boutique could face serious repercussions if these matters are not handled properly.
5. Hire qualified employees.
When you open your own boutique, you need to make sure you hire qualified employees who are able to complete the tasks you give them. You should look to hire employees who are trustworthy, reliable, and friendly, and it wouldn’t hurt to look for employees who have different strengths than you do so you have a variety of talents available. Having prior retail experience is a plus but shouldn’t be a deciding factor; it’s better to have an employee with little experience that is dependable than an experienced employee who is always late to work. It can be tempting to hire your friends to work for your boutique, but you should consider if your friendship could survive any hardships that an employer/employee relationship might bring.
Opening your own boutique will be stressful, but if you take time to make smart, informed decisions, you will be able to open up a successful boutique in no time.