In this day and age the dream of launching your own online boutique is more attainable than ever before.
Whether you want to launch a women’s, kids or home goods & gifts boutique — there are endless opportunities to turn your entrepreneurial vision into reality.
But what if you’re starting from scratch and find yourself in a financial pinch? Can you really start an online boutique with no money?
You’ve probably heard a bunch of entrepreneurs share their rags to riches story. Saying things like “I started in my basement with $100”.
And it’s a powerful story.
But what they usually fail to share is how much they had to invest to grow their business from that first moment.
Sure you can start something. That $100 might just be enough for a first product sample.
But eventually you have to pay for stuff. Really important stuff.
Like your legal business entity filing, more products, photos, a website, packaging, marketing—things that are NECESSARY for any successful business.
Or maybe you’ve seen ads from dropshipping ‘gurus’ online promising that you can start a business today and never have to pay a dime for products. Which is true to an extent.
But what they don’t share is that you have to pay for customers to be able to see what you have to offer.
And, if you don’t know what you’re doing, how you could end up spending a bunch of money and never see a return.
So if you want to know whether you can start an online boutique with no money, the short answer is: you can’t.
Because success always requires an investment.
But keep reading to find out why it’s so important.
And I’ll share how you can access funding to launch and grow your own online boutique.
But first, let me share some of my story with you.
The reality of starting a business with no money
When I took my first crack at e-commerce, I was just laid off from my job and had thin savings. This was during the recession when barely anyone was hiring. And I needed to find a way to make money fast.
So I started the business with a credit card that recently had a limit increase of $3,500 and the will to ‘make it work’.
When I wasn’t working on the business, I was doing research. I spent the rest of my time immersed in every blog post, free webinar and Facebook group I could find to learn how to make sales online.
The business made some money here and there. I can still remember my pure joy when I had my first $1K day!
But about a year and a half later, I had to shut it down.
The business wasn’t making consistent sales. And with personal bills and business operating expenses, I just didn’t have the marketing dollars that I needed to keep the business afloat.
I ran out of money.
The beginning of the end.
I had no money to give free samples to bloggers and editors. No money to run ads. No money to invest in learning what I needed to know. Or to hire the people that could help me reach the level of success that I desperately wanted.
I remember being so devastated when I realized that I couldn’t will the business into being successful. Without a consistent marketing budget, it eventually burned out.
That’s why I don’t want you to make the same mistake.
Success is not about starting something. Anyone can do that.
But to grow your business, you need to be able to consistently invest.
That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned in my almost 10-year journey as an entrepreneur is how important money is. Because it helps you get started the right way and gives you the fuel to grow.
That’s why I’m sharing my experience with you.
I do not want you to learn this the hard way. Because eCommerce is amazing and, when you do it correctly, you can succeed!
However, when you start with no money and you end up struggling to make sales you can easily begin to question your ability.
And start to think that running an online business is not for you. When in fact, you just
So how much does it really cost to start an online boutique?
You dream is not as far away as you might think. I break down the costs in this post but in all you’d need about $3,500 to start on the right path. That would cover major things like business entity formation, web hosting, essential supplies, initial inventory, packaging and marketing.
And I recommend having a minimum monthly marketing budget of anywhere from $300-$500.
(Need some ideas on how to save money to start your online boutique? Read this blog post about it!)
You’ll need to be VERY clear on who your target customer is so you can get the most ROI (return on investment) out of every marketing dollar that you spend.
But how do you get the money you need to start in the first place?
Especially if you’re working full time and are trying to save up to start an online boutique or if you’re a stay at home mom.
Accessing funding to launch and grow your online boutique
The most important thing I wish I knew about all those years ago when I started my first business is building business credit.
With business credit, you can access funding so that you’re able to invest in things like inventory, supplies and marketing. And it’s completely separate from your personal credit profile.
Establishing business credit and having a plan for how you’ll leverage it to grow your new business is key.
Here are some articles that may help you get money to launch your dream boutique:
- How to Save Money to Start Your Online Boutique
- Using Business Credit to Start and Grow Your Online Boutique
- How to Find Business Loans for Your Online Boutique
- Funding Your Online Boutique