Starting a boutique with all your favorite brands can seem like a dream to some, but a reality to others. How to get the right vendors? Choose a location? Hire the contractors, pick the interior designer, do the marketing… the list can seem daunting and confusing. Where to start? Two of my clients the owners of The Vale and Flat 128 were in those shoes and went from an idea to reality in a short 12 months. It wasn’t magic. It takes a great deal of determination, vision, and stamina to open a store.
Here were the steps we took.
- Hone in on vision, What do you want out of this?
- Competitive research. Who is doing what you want to be doing? Price point, demographics, get specific.
- Build your vendor matrix
- Assess Financials, How much capital do you need to raise?
- Assortment Plan & Pricing Analysis
- Branding, build the logo, the vision, the aesthetics
- Draft the copywriting, brand about statement, and get clear on demographics
- Look at locations. Do a feasibility study. Inspect foot traffic, talk to local shop owners, and get clear on your square footage needed.
- Hire a general contractor and interior designer.
- Pitch to vendors, place orders.
- Planogram, and visual layout.
- Marketing strategy
- Financial plan
- Sales strategy
- Develop markdown and merchandising calendar
- Social media strategy and marketing
- Hire staff
- Launch plan (events, marketing etc.)
- Line up vendors for trunk shows during launch
- Develop e-commerce launch plan.
Whew, that seems like a huge laundry list of tasks to check off a list, but they are doable. If your dream is to open a shop, don’t get deterred by e-commerce only naysayers who are afraid of a brick & mortar commitments. Opening a boutique can be extremely rewarding. You can bring the community together. Be a hub for art gallery showings, and have trunk shows and events.
Concerned by your lack of negotiating, financial planning or marketing skills? Don’t worry, we are here to help. E-mail us to set up a one-on-one consultation call.