Friday, April 1, 2011

Before You Start

Q: I got your name and shop owner blog from a friend of mine. She knows that I am trying to open up a women's boutique. My question to you is, while I am in the process of finding a location for my store, what can I be doing in the mean time to get things set up, and started?

A: 1. Get a name for your business and and apply for a Resale Tax number. If you do not have a store name yet, file under your own name like 'Jane Doe Boutique'. You'll need this to do any wholesale buying. Use this to make a dummy business card with your home address, etc.
2. Prepare your money. Do a business plan, meet with a bank, get a feeling for your budget.
3. Learn your demographics so you are able to be more certain of the neighborhood you might be starting a shop in. This is crucial when determining what merchandise and style to carry as well.
4. Start a file on interior ideas for your store and a file for the merchandise. Study magazines, get vendors names and websites, ask for catalogs.
5. Start searching and buying supplies if you are certain you are doing this: Fixtures, cash registers, display pieces. You'll save money if you have time to search.
6. Go to a wholesale market somewhere and do some homework on vendors. In your case the Las Vegas Magic Show is good for clothing and the Moda, Fame and Accessories Show in NY.
7. Get to know some people that can possibly work for you. Develop a relationship with a salesgirl you might have your eye on at another store. Do not share much, just shop there often and start a friendship. When you are certain, get someone involved from the ground up to learn as much as you will. Not necessarily a partner but a manager. This will help you to breathe.
8. Shop a lot at stores similar to yours and notice everything.
9. Spend spare hours at the bookstore reading about business, retail and employees.
10. Pray a lot for Divine intervention.
Good Luck!

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