Starting an online boutique business can be a fun way to share your sense of style with other women. But if you’re not sure on how to start an online boutique then no worries, I’ve got you covered. I’ve compiled a no hassle list of 10 steps you should complete to start your online boutique!
Picking Your Target Market
When starting an online clothing boutique the first thing you have to ask yourself is who do you want to sell to? Think about your target customer; this will help with purchasing inventory for your online boutique and with choosing a unique boutique name that will attract him/her.
Choose your boutique name. Your boutique needs a name, so obviously it’s one of the steps you should take in opening an online boutique. I suggest you read my article on How to Choose a Name for Your Boutique for tips you should keep in mind when naming your online boutique. After you’ve settled on a name for your business, then it’s time to get the domain name. I love buying my domains from Namecheap because they include FREE domain privacy protection with each purchase.
Business Plans, Legal Filings and Sales Tax
Create a business plan. You need a business plan when starting an online boutique— but I’ve made it easy for you— just read my blog post on How to Create a Business Plan for Your Online Boutique where it goes over everything you should include in a business plan for an online boutique. If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail. It’s imperative to not skip this step, plus I’ve included a one-page business plan template to help you keep it super simple and stress free!
File for your LLC. You’ll need to create a business entity in order to do business with wholesale vendors. You can create an LLC at IncFile, it’s cheaper than using LegalZoom.
Get your FREE Employer Identification Number from irs.gov. An EIN is like a social security number for your business. You must create a business entity BEFORE applying for your EIN.
Set up your business bank account. The bank you use doesn’t matter but you want to avoid a bank that charges you monthly fees. Find an online bank, local bank or credit union in your area that offers business banking.
File for your reseller/sales tax permit from your state. Here’s a super helpful resource from TaxJar that can help you find all the info you’ll need to register for a sales tax permit in your state. They even offer a service where they set up your sales tax registration on your behalf.
Getting Clear on Your Creative Inspiration
Create a mood board to help you gather your creative vision for your online boutique. You can easily create secret boards on Pinterest to get this step done. I recommend that you create a brand mood board (You can learn more about this in Online Boutique Success, my online course that teaches you on how to start an online boutique and find raving customers in just 3 months).
One of the things I also recommend when figuring out how to start an online clothing boutique is to create an ideal customer mood board – use this to create a collage of his/her style, hobbies, interests and desires. This will help you make more accurate buying and marketing decisions.
And lastly, I recommend you create an inventory mood board to plan out pieces that you’ll offer BEFORE you buy them. You want your boutique offerings to be a curated collection not a just a random mashup of things you like. You should create this mood board every time you prepare to make seasonal purchases for your online boutique.
Buying Inventory for Your Online Boutique
Purchase inventory for your shop. It’s important that you allocate a portion of your starter capital specifically for purchasing merchandise. Once you have your purchasing budget in mind you want to start buying wholesale inventory for your store.
If you’re just getting started in the world of retail buying as a boutique owner, I highly suggest purchasing one of my wholesale vendor lists. I’ve compiled a list of 100+ women’s clothing vendors trusted by companies such as Red Dress Boutique, Nasty Gal, Fashion Nova, and Boohoo.
Or if you’d like to start an infant/ children’s boutique, I’ve compiled a list of 50+ trustworthy infant & children’s fashion vendors.
For those of you interested in starting a home decor and gifts online boutique, I’ve compiled a list of 50+ home goods vendors trusted by companies such as Wayfair, Joss & Main and Hayneedle.
You can visit the vendor websites and place product orders from the comfort of your couch.
You can also apply to attend trade shows.
Designing Your Online Boutique
Choose an eCommerce platform & design your online boutique. I recommend using Shopify because it’s super user friendly, has great customer service and is a platform that will grow with you as your business grows! By the way, my course Online Boutique Success shows you step-by-step how to create a professional website in just a few days (including everything from creating pages, customizing a theme, creating beautiful graphics, making discounts, adding a blog, setting up shipping, fulfilling orders and more!
Getting Customers to Shop at Your Online Boutique
Market your store. Marketing is how people will know your online boutique exists. You cannot grow a business without having a monthly marketing budget! There are a few marketing strategies you can employ such as paid ads, influencer, email, content and social media marketing.
Want a head start?
Ready to start your online boutique?
You don’t have to figure it all out on your own!
I’m hosting a free masterclass on how to start an online boutique called:
3 THINGS EVERY ASPIRING ONLINE BOUTIQUE OWNER NEEDS TO KNOW!
I’m going to be sharing how I was able to become my own boss, work from home, create my own schedule and make an income doing what I love everyday… even though I had absolutely no idea what I was doing when I got started.
✔️If you feel confused, or frustrated on your journey to opening an online boutique then you need to be on this masterclass.
✔️If you’ve said “I just don’t know where to start”, then you need to be on this masterclass.
✔️If you feel lost or stuck with the things you’ve done so far (but still don’t have an actual online boutique to show for it) then you need to be on this masterclass.
So click the button below to sign up for this FREE online masterclass using Facebook Messenger.