Are you a stay-at-home mom looking to do more than just picking up after little tornadoes and cooking food they don’t eat? 😉
If you love fashion and are looking for a way to work from home, then starting an online boutique can be the perfect way to do something creative and profitable!
Entrepreneurship is not easy.
But if you have a clear and resounding ‘why’ that motivates you — something like “I’m starting this business because I really want to do something for myself. I want to start something of my own and I want to see this vision I have come to life.” then you’ll be able to stay focused throughout the journey and do whatever you can to live your definition of success.
You are completely capable and worthy of starting your business and creating your dream life, instead of just waiting for ‘someday’ or ‘when the time is right’.
It is completely fine that you desire to not worry about money. It is even better to not have say ‘no’ to fun plans and things you want to do simply because you are a stay at home mom.
Here are some things you should consider before opening an online boutique.
Why you should start an online boutique business:
1. E-commerce is here to stay.
The industry continues to grow! Not only are more people shopping online year after year but platforms like Shopify make starting an online boutique store is way more accessible. Now you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars on developers and designers to build a website. And it’s super easy to collect payments via online processors like Paypal or Shopify Payments (and even Apple Pay, etc).
2. You can grow your business using online tools.
Our world is more connected than ever before and that gives online retailers a major advantage. Whereas a physical boutique may only be known to passersby, an online boutique can be accessed and viewed by a limitless number of internet users, not only in the US but all around the world.
Some of the best ways to attract new customers using the power of the internet include:
Social platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your sales. With more than three billion people around the world using social media every month, chances are that your customer is using one (or all) of them! That means social media will play a major role in your overall marketing strategy so getting clear about who your customer is, what they care about, and where they find and share information is extremely important.
Online advertising is a huge business! Billion dollar companies like Facebook (which owns Instagram), Pinterest and Google (which owns Youtube) have a vested interest in you being able to reach your target consumer with the money you spend. That’s because when you use their platforms and get customers, you’re going to keep spending money. And once you find a winning strategy, your return on investment (ROI) can be massive.
Information helps people make decisions to improve their lives. So as an online retailer, there’s a lot of value that you can provide to help a potential customer choose you over a competitor.
For example, if you decide in starting a boutique or specifically a baby boutique and create a video or even a blog post like “10 Items every first time mom needs for her newborn”, you can include items that your store sells. The mom-to-be gets the information she needs and you get a loyal customer because your content was helpful during what can be a very stressful time of prepra.
Or if you have a women’s fashion boutique and create content such as “5 fall date night ideas and outfits to match” you position your boutique as a resource and build immediate trust.
You want to help people find what their searching for and then give them a way to take action. You make a sale, they get a quality product and everyone is happy. That’s the power of content marketing.
Influencers are people who can affect someone else’s behavior so that they take a desired action.
In your case, you would work with an influencer to introduce your boutique or your products to their audience by sharing an experience or creating content that would get their followers to visit your website and shop.
It can be through a social media post, video or even an event. But they key is that they create buzz about your business that actually leads to sales, not just ‘awareness’.
Have you ever heard of the term ‘SEO’? Essentially, you want to increase the number of site visitors you get by making sure your online boutique ranks higher in search results from popular search engines like Google or Bing.
Optimizing your website so that it shows up when people are looking for the things you sell is crucial when it comes to getting new leads (people who are interested in your products) and converting them into a customer.
3. No geographical limitations
Unlike a physical store, the internet, and therefore your e-commerce store, is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days per week. This makes your store and products accessible to anyone, anywhere and at anytime.
That’s a huge advantage over a physical location that has set hours of operation and a set number of employees to help customers make a decision. Your website should be your best salesperson.
4. With the right strategy and clear, consistent marketing you can make as much as you want to.
How much do you want to make a month? How much do you want to make a year? Do you just want to make the income you had before becoming a stay a home mom? Or do you strive to become a millionaire through your online boutique?
As a business owner, you get to make that decision instead letting someone else determine your value every two weeks.
Also long as you have the marketing strategy to match your outcome goals, you can accomplish whatever version of success makes you happy.
What do I need to get started with my online boutique?
As with any new business, in order to have the best chance of success, you need starter capital.
For an online boutique, that cost would include things like creating your business entity, purchasing initial inventory, and supplies to ship products to your customers. I break down the costs of starting an online boutique in another blog post, click here to learn more.