Owning a business makes one to become his own boss, work at home and decide hours to work. However, it is accompanied by numerous responsibilities and commitments so as to ensure its success. For one to be successful in his or her business he or she ought to follow a specific procedure before embarking on starting a business. There are varied steps that one has to bear in mind when starting up a business. These steps are believed to significantly contribute to the success of the business. Some of these steps are generating a business idea, looking for a resale number, applying for a trading license, contacting the suppliers, identifying the most appropriate place to locate the business among others (Fulbright para. 1). This paper aims at deeply looking into some of the steps followed when opening a boutique and their contribution to the success of the business.
Steps on how to start a boutique
Come up with a business idea
The main reason that leads to most business operators not being successful in their ventures is failure to look for the most appropriate business idea. It is imperative that one conducts a market analysis so as to identify some of the customer needs that have not been satisfied by the current businesses. In addition, market analysis can help one come up with clear projections of how his or her business is expected to perform.
The main objective of coming up with a business idea is to help one identify the kind of boutique he or she wishes to start. There are different categories of clothing that one can opt to sell. These include sportswear, executive clothing, vacation wear as well as accessories. Failure to make informed decision on the type of boutique to establish may lead to one not making substantial sales (Tobey para. 1-3). By conducting market analysis, one can identify the type of clothes that are mostly preferred by customers, the available competitors and potential customers thus being in a position to establish a boutique that will effectively compete in the market.
Come up with a business plan
Business plan acts as the foundation of any business. A strong business plan leads to a competitive business. It is through the business plan that one can determine if the business is likely to succeed. In most cases, people make the assumption that after coming up with a business idea, they already have the business plan in their head. This leads to such business operators experiencing a lot of problems when it comes to managing the business (Sahlman 87). There are numerous elements that need to be reflected in the business plan. These include business implementation plan, market analysis, and business financing plan as well as other plans such as the business exit plan. Every element found in the business plan plays a significant role in ensuring the success of the business.
Having a clear analysis of the market can help one who intend to start a boutique package his or her business in a way that it will stand out from others. Generally, market analysis reflects the strengths and weaknesses of rival businesses already established in the market. It is from the market analysis that a person intending to start a boutique can make use of the weaknesses of rival companies in establishing himself in the market.
Business implementation schedule plays a significant role in helping boutique operators schedule their operations in a way that they will facilitate in meeting consumer needs (Sahlman pp. 103-115). In addition, the schedule helps one in identifying the required skills and experiences hence making it possible for one to assemble strong workforce. Having a clear plan on how the business will be financed helps one in ascertaining the amount of capital required hence planning in advance on how to get the capital. This leads to one not experiencing hardships in the middle of business operation. The plan ought to ensure that it accounts for funds aimed at supporting the day to day operations of the business.
A strong business plan helps the boutique operator in getting potential investors for funding the business. Generally, business plan showcases the products or services to be offered by the business. It also shows the manner in which the business intend to achieve its profit as well as the workforce that will be used in running the business. Consequently, investor can use these information to gauge the likelihood of the business being successful hence deciding whether to fund it or not.
One can use the readily available templates in coming up with a business plan. However, it is imperative to ensure that your plan clearly reflects all that the business will cover as well as that the information contained in the business plan is reasonable and genuine.
Raising money for the business
After generating a business idea, assembling the most appropriate workforce and developing a business plan, one can now embark on raising money to start the boutique. It has been identified that raising money for a business while in operation is a big problem. As a result, one needs to come up with an overestimation of the required capital when formulating the business plan. To overcome the possible risks, one is encouraged to ensure that he or she has a clear boundary on the amount of money he intends to use from his personal savings. There are numerous sources that one can use to fund his or her business. One of the available sources of finance is the bank. One can go to a bank and borrow a loan (Zahorsky para. 1-3). A strong business plan can win the bank’s trust thus helping one get the required loan. In case the banker declines to offer one a loan due to poor business plan, it is advisable that one seek advice from him or her on how to upgrade the plan so as not to be denied loan in future.
For a boutique operator who does not have a substantial credit history, it might turn out to be difficult to acquire a loan from any financial institution. Accordingly, such a person can embark on soliciting for finance from relatives and friends. It would be good to set a period within which money borrowed from friends and relatives will be repaid. Otherwise one may enter into problems with his relatives or friends as they claim also to have a share in the business as they facilitated in funding it.
Liaising with franchise tax board
After making the final decision on the kind of boutique to establish, one ought to liaise with the franchise tax board so as to obtain a resale number. It is difficult for one to get stock without having them. Resale number will give one an opportunity to visit trade shows and purchase his or her goods for resale.
Register the business
Despite one coming up with viable business idea, accumulating enough capital to start it and laying down a strong business plan, the idea may fail to be realized due to a minor reason such as failure to register the business with the necessary authority. Some people may find it to be a minor activity but it plays a significant role in ensuring the continuity of the business (Spadaccini para. 2-6). One needs to ensure that he has satisfied all the required government requirements. This is because he or she can not be granted a green light to start the business without satisfying these requirements. It is therefore imperative that one visits the county department which is responsible for licensing businesses apply for a trade license. In addition, one ought to clarify with the authorities about all that is required when establishing a boutique to ensure that he or she does not come into a confrontation with the authorities in future.
Find the suppliers
The success of any business depends on the ability of the business operator to identify and deal with the right suppliers. The same applies to establishment and management of a boutique. There is need for the person intending to establish a boutique to visit trade shows and become a member of organizations for him or her to have access to information pertaining the suppliers of boutique products. This is the ultimate way through which he or she can be able to stock not only quality products but also products that will help his or her business become popular to customers (Carter para. 3).
Selection of an appropriate location
For a business to attract more customers, it has to be strategically located. One needs to identify an area that is not only densely populated but also one that has customers capable of making a repeat purchase. In establishing a boutique, there is need for one to ensure that the business is positioned where it will be accessed easily by customers. Generally, a boutique needs to be sited in an area that customers will easily identify it. Hence, it requires having storefront that resembles exhibitions. This will help the operator organize the store in a way that it will look attractive hence making most of the customers desire to get in and explore the products offered (Wong para. 1-4). Through this, the store will make significant sales as well as attract more customers.
Designing the store
Despite one succeeding in selecting a good location for his r her boutique, it can not attract customers if it is not designed attractively. Products within a store need to be arranged in an attractive way. Not all products need to be placed in windows. A boutique operator should identify the products to be placed in windows. One can look at the trend in fashion and place those products that go with the latest fashion in the windows. This is to lure customers to get into the store and explore other products. It would act as one of the competitive strategies for the business.
Marketing and advertising
Marketing and advertising play a vital role in boosting the sales volume of the business. This is because it helps in ensuring that customers are aware of the products being offered by specific business. Advertisement ought to start long before the boutique is opened. There is need for the boutique operator to erect banners that indicate what the boutique will be dealing with. Other channels of advertisement such as radio, television, newspaper, magazines and social networks also need to be used in creating customer awareness (Kountz para. 2-4). It is also vital that the boutique holds a small promotional program where the first customers to purchase from the shop can be given a discount. This is in bid to retain and attract more customers.
Using a marketing approach can go a long way in helping the business increase its sales volume. The boutique operator can be able to identify the varied customer needs thus ensuring that they have come up with strategies to satisfy the needs.
Try something new
At times, it is imperative to try new products in the market. This can help a boutique diversify its products. To succeed in trying new boutique products, the operator ought to conduct a thorough market analysis to identify customers’ tastes and preferences. This can facilitate in identifying some of the products that customers may like. In most cases, business operators fail to try new products simply because they do not prefer them. Using personal judgment in stocking a boutique may hamper one from exploiting a potential market.
In addition to trying new products in the market boutique operators need to listen to their customers. Failure to go by customer demand may lead to a boutique not making substantial sales (Reid & Smith para. 4). The business can not be in a position to attract new customers and may lose its current customers due to disloyalty. Consequently, after opening a boutique, one need to carefully listen to his or her customers to identify their needs and come up with strategies to satisfy them.
The success of starting a boutique does not entail waking up one day and deciding to open a business. There are numerous steps that need to be followed to ensure that the boutique to be established will be successful. One need to come up with a business idea that will help in addressing an unsatisfied customers need or one that will help him or her position his business in a unique way compared to rival thus attracting customers. After the business idea, one needs to go further and come up with strategies to facilitate in actualizing the idea. These are strategies such as developing a business plan, assembling a strong workforce, soliciting for finance to open the business, registering the business with the relevant authorities and finally establishing and monitoring the business to ensure that its operations follows the established plan.
Through this, one can be able to identify areas where the business is not running as expected thus making changes in advance to avoid it running out of the plan. Having a business manual that stipulates the procedures to be followed in every unit within the boutique can help in ensuring that the business offers consistent products or services thus wining customer loyalty. It is imperative that the operator listen to his or her customers so as to ensure that they effectively meet their needs.
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