Hanging It Up: Starting Your Own Clothing Store

Starting a small clothing store, also known as a boutique, is always an interesting idea. Many larger cities (and even smaller ones, these days) have room for these retail shops. As people begin to move away from the larger chain stores in favor of frequenting boutiques and locally made items, the need for these stores has grown. Once you’ve gone through the steps necessary to set up your boutique clothing store, you’ll need to put a full marketing plan into place. Without one, your customers won’t know that you exist. In order to be successful, you’ll need to go through the entire process outlined here, adding in any specific details as you go along. Let’s get started.



Developing Your Idea

Before you name your shop and find a storefront, you first need to develop your idea into a feasible plan. This all starts with some interesting questions. You’ll need to figure out what types of clothing you’ll sell (men’s, women’s, children’s, or a mix of them), as well as what age groups you’re aiming for. After all, for the most part, different age groups tend to choose different clothing styles. Speaking of styles, do you want your store to be trendy, or have basic items that everyone needs? There’s a need for both of these, and depending on your target demographic and geographic location, one option may be more successful than the other. There are a lot of factors to keep in mind here.


In addition, you need to think about the skills that you possess. Are you capable of running a store that’s staffed by many people? Do you have the necessary leadership skills? Or do you feel like you’re better off hiring a personnel manager while you keep track of the backroom inventory and other things? Plus, there are things like inventory to deal with. You need to know exactly what your store is selling so that you can get more of those popular items. There’s a lot involved in the overall process. If all of this seems overwhelming, then it’s time for you to consider hiring an advisor or consultant to help put all of this into place. However, if you think that you have all of the required skills to do it yourself, then go ahead and move on to the next part of the process.


Putting Everything in Place

Now that you’ve gone over all of the details and have a general plan, it’s time actually begin setting up your store. This requires coming up with a name for it, finding the best possible location, and the designing a logo. The name of your boutique needs to reflect who owns it, what types of clothing you’ll sell, and where it’s located, so let’s start with the location. The best places for a small boutique are in downtown areas. Whether you’re in a larger city or a small town, there’s no doubt an area filled with locally owned shops. This is where yours needs to be. You’ll receive plenty of foot traffic and won’t have to worry about things like parking lots. The customers will find you (although you still need to put some marketing into place.)


Once you have a location, it’s time to come up with the business name. You could always name your boutique after yourself. For example, it could “Your Name Here’s Boutique.” You also need to think about what you’re selling. The name needs to evoke that in some way. Other options include naming the boutique after the part of town that you’re in or in honor of some kind of well-known landmark. There are many different options. With that said, it will tough to rename your business and develop a new brand once all of the pieces are in place, so take the time necessary to come up with a good name for a store that you’ll be proud to own.


After your boutique is named, it’s time for the logo. A good logo reflects the main purpose of your business. Since you’ll be selling clothing, you might want to consider including some sort of related images in your logo, possibly in the background or in silhouette. The font needs to be somewhat playful, yet related to the items that you’re selling. Consider using a sans serif font in a bright color. Of course, these are just suggestions.



Marketing Efforts

The next steps involve putting your marketing efforts into play. You’ll need to set up a website, as well as a webshop (in order to capture out of town business), and some social media accounts. You also need to take advantage of traditional advertising. This is useful if your boutique is located in a small town. The local newspaper will probably want to interview you and publish an article about your business. Your boutique’s website needs to include a number of important things, including your location and hours. You also need to prominently display your business’ logo on it, and upload some pictures of the types of clothing that you sell. People will want to know if they will like your items before they go there. If you decide to include an online store (which is always a great idea), yours should be connected to your website in some way. You can also have a blog on your website; this provides you with a great place to list upcoming events and other information. Finally, there’s social media. This is the best way to publicize your business. A good account uses just the right hashtags, which can get you followers – who will become customers. With the right blend of marketing tactics, your store will have plenty of them!



Starting a small boutique is not an easy decision to make. However, as you watch those pieces fall into place, your dream of owning your own shop will come true. As you can see, the process is time-consuming, but not overall difficult to do. A good plan – and a memorable logo – make everything work.

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