With the meteoric rise of online shopping, some people might say that let’s start a boutique in Texas would be a bad idea. However, there are many great reasons to open a brick-and-mortar store. Not everyone wants to order everything offline or online. When it comes to clothing, shoppers still want to be able to see how things look and fit while they are wearing them.
Clothing is one of the few products that are better to buy in person than online. You can get the fit and look, and returning things is a lot easier. Plus, you can have other people give their opinions on how things look before you buy. So, opening a clothing boutique is not a terrible idea, no matter what anyone else says. Here’s what you can do to start a boutique in Texas.
7 Steps for Starting a Boutique in Texas
1. Start With an Idea
Even if brick-and-mortar stores are still viable, that doesn’t mean that the market hasn’t shrunk. So you need an idea for your boutique to help you stand out in the marketplace. That means moving away from what other boutiques and stores are already offering and providing something different. This can be a new clothing style made out of renewable materials or special sizes, for example. If you stick with what everyone else is going, you will be starting out at a disadvantage, with your competition having a great head start.
You will need fashion branding for your boutique business. Especially to start a boutique in Texas. It should permeate every aspect of your boutique that comes into contact with consumers. For example, your decor should reflect your brand, as should the personality that you display on social media.
If you want to get noticed with vibrant, eye-catching business signs. Then custom neon signs may be able to be your first choice, which not only allows you to design billboards and spaces that reflect your personality. It also provides high visibility. Not only do they stand out because they glow, but they allow potential customers to spot their location even at night.
You want customers to know what they are getting when they shop from you and for them to identify your brand as something they can trust and enjoy shopping with. Your branding includes your fashion business name, logo, colors, and even the layout of your store. Make sure that you are consistent with your branding through all of your marketing materials so that there is no confusion.
The right location is crucial for any business, especially for a clothing business. Do you want a lot of walk-up traffic? If so, you will need to be located somewhere convenient for that.
If you are going to run on an appointment basis, such as many wedding gown stores do, then location isn’t as important, but clients may choose a competition that is easier to get to. Your location should also reflect your brand and the people you expect to buy your products. If you are going to be very high-end, then you might not want to be in a plaza or a shopping mall. You will need to balance your need to keep costs low with having a convenient location for your clients.
A brick-and-mortar store means that you will have clients coming into your establishment to shop. This means there is a chance that someone could get injured on your brand-value property.
For example, they might trip on a loose rug or bump into a shelving unit. If that happens, then you will be thankful that you have insurance in place to protect you from the associated costs. Even if you and your staff were not negligent, someone could sue you. Lawsuits tend to drag on for years, and you will be racking up legal bills that whole time.
If you have general liability insurance in Texas, you can get compensation for those costs and any damages you are ordered to pay. You should also have commercial property insurance to protect your location and workers’ compensation coverage if you have any staff.
5. Permits and Licenses
There is some paperwork that you should do to make your fashion business official. For instance, even if you are a sole proprietor, you should get an employee identification number (EIN) for tax purposes. You can do this in minutes, and there is no cost.
There is no requirement to get a boutique business license or permit in Texas. However, your local municipality may have some requirements that you need to follow. For example, some places will mandate that you get a permit if you have an alarm that makes noise. Check with the state and your jurisdiction to ensure that you follow all applicable by-laws and requirements.
6. Price Points
One of the trickiest parts of starting a boutique is figuring out how much to charge for everything. You want to charge enough to cover your costs and make a profit. But you also don’t want to scare customers away with the price. Of course, if you are going to sell very high-end clothes, high prices might be a selling point to your target market. A good rule of thumb is to charge up to 65% on top of your costs to ensure you make a solid profit.
7. Develop an Effective Clothing Website
Your clothing website will be the hub for much of your fashion branding and marketing. You will need not just highlight your products but also provide an easy way for customers to make purchases. Even though the boutique is a brick-and-mortar business, you can still offer an online option. This can be done through your website, and you can offer curbside pickup or even delivery if you feel that is something worthwhile to invest in.
When consumers do web searches related to your type of clothing, then you want your website to show up high on the rankings page. Therefore, your website must have a search engine optimized to capture more organic traffic to convert to sales, hopefully.
Starting your own boutique business is exciting and can be financially rewarding. If you have a passion for fashion and think you can offer something different to consumers in Texas, then starting a boutique is a great entrepreneurial option. However, if you rush things and don’t plan them out, you are dooming yourself to failure. By taking these steps and making sure that you have everything in place, you can build a boutique business that will be the envy of your competition.