Anyone thinking about branching into the world of fashion will likely consider a boutique. These stylish small stores are the ultimate in high-class fashion. Unlike large-scale chains, a boutique can guarantee one-of-a-kind clothing. If you get this right, you could even make a name for yourself as a serious contender in the fashion stakes, building connections with the best designers across the world.
Those are appealing ideals indeed, but as anyone who has opened a fashion boutique will tell you, success here is far from easy. In an increasingly competitive retail market, any new fashion boutique has to work to make their mark. As large fashion retailers slash prices, it’s becoming near impossible for many boutiques to stay afloat.
Luckily, that doesn’t mean you can’t still find success here in 2019. It does, however, mean you should consider the following low-risk ways to build a boutique.
Online businesses have lower overheads and are less work to start than traditional options. As such, our first suggestion for building a successful boutique is to begin online. The lower overheads of this method mean you can charge less for your clothing. This is also a fantastic way to develop a customer base before the expense of a retail unit. You can use this time to build profits, find a market, and also develop valuable designer relationships. These are all benefits that ensure your boutique is on sound footing before you really branch out and spend money here.
Look into a franchise
Boutique and franchise aren’t two words that we often pair together, but this is a surprisingly lucrative option. Prominent boutiques like Apricot Lane and Mainstream Boutique offer franchising opportunities across the world. You could seek these yourself or even look for opportunities through a franchise consultant like Lime Licensing for ease. While you will need to consider upfront franchise costs, these are less than you might pay for a retail space otherwise. Then, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the security of an already-existing boutique audience. You won’t have to risk putting out clothes no one wants to buy or building your name. Instead, you’ll be able to focus your efforts on selling the fashions you fell in love with in the first place.
Begin by working with chain stores
Along the same lines, many fashion boutiques begin life on the shelves of large chain suppliers like Debenhams or Matalan. For a cut of the costs, a company like this may agree to stock some of your styles. This could both build your profits and guarantee that your products will land well and get recognised when you do go it alone.
There’s no getting around the fact that fashion boutiques can fall foul to a shifting modern market. Many fail before their first year, but that’s no reason not to try. If you take small steps like those mentioned above, you should soon find that your boutique is shaping the style of a nation. Or, at least your local population!
Top image: Charles on Unsplash