So you’ve come to the decision you’d like to open a clothing store. Whether it’s to sell your own products like t-shirts and raincoats for women, or a variety of brands, you’re going to need to go through a process from conception to implementation. Here are the steps you’ll need to start you own store.
Create a business plan
You’re going to need to plan out the business step-by-step before you begin. Starting a business is no mean feat, so it is best to plan out what you will be doing to ensure you are best prepared as you go proceed. A business plan may include a feasibility study to see if the business is even worthwhile opening in the first place. It will also go through your projected finances – essential if you plan on getting a loan to fund your business. Included will also be your sales and marketing plan as well as your target market; all essential considerations to give your business the best chance of success.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to fund it yourself then that’s great news! However, most people will need to secure funding from various channels such as investors or the bank. You cannot underestimate how much funding you will need, especially because normally with such inventory-reliant businesses, you might not be very liquid due to your inventory, and this may affect your cash flow. If you end up struggling to pay your overheads and staff because most of your money is tied up in your inventory, this is far from an ideal situation.
Find a store space
Unlike running an online store, you will require a bricks-and-mortar store, so you will need to get out there and search for spaces that fit your needs. Factors to consider here are the location, the condition and size of the space, the local area and the footfall around the store. If you need to store a lot of inventory this could mean you will require a lot of storage space, and possible bigger access points.
Get your inventory
Around the time you find a location, you need to to be sourcing your inventory. If you are creating your own garments, you should have them ready to be manufactured with a good lead time before you plan on opening. If you plan on selling other brands, you will need to be in the process of contacting wholesalers and distributors at this point, networking and creating business relationships. They will want to know you are going to be able to sell and market their product well, and this may eventually lead to more trust and hopefully lower prices. Your pricing may be defined by the cost of obtaining your inventory, so that this time to calculate them.
Create guidelines for your store
This will include opening hours, employee rules and guidelines, loss prevention, returns policies and general daily operations. You may want to follow what has worked for more established stores, and you may be able to get this by having work experience at such stores.
In the month leading up to your planned opening, you need to be going heavy on the marketing. Advertising online and in social media in this day and age is more effective than print media, but you will need to adopt accordingly depending on your target market. You may want to consider running a promotion for a certain amount of people on the opening day as well as using work-of-mouth to get your store out there. You should now be ready to open up your own clothing store!