The fashion industry will always have its faithful customers – clothes have been more than just a necessity for quite some time now – it’s a personal statement.
Opening a clothing store may be the right thing if you are passionate about clothes and have a knack for business. Still, careful preparation is the key to creating a successful clothing business that will last much longer than the initial year.
Business and Marketing Plan
You need to write down your whole strategy in your business plan – financial and executive aspects, operational procedures, as well as plans for the next five years. Also, consider adding details such as information on services and products you’re planning to offer.
The marketing plan is equally important – you need to know how to face competition in this niche. Your start-up should be successful, and marketing strategy is the way to achieve it – come up with advertising and marketing techniques that would be most effective for your line of business. For example, you could try several different approaches here, such as email and pay-per-click marketing, as well as simpler methods, including flyer distribution and TV and radio ads.
Develop Your Brand
Think about how your clothing store will stand out from all the others in the neighborhood or in the whole city. Branding your store from the very start will ensure your position and visibility. Think carefully about the name and the logo – make it catchy and unique. Also, make sure the ambiance inside the store reflects what you’re trying to sell – remember, you are not just selling clothes, you’re selling attitude and style.
The Right Location
When choosing the location, make sure that space can accommodate everything you’re planning to buy (not just the clothes but the furnishings, shelves, and racks, too). There should be plenty of room to walk freely among the displayed items. Most clothing shops need between 2,000 and 7,000 square feet for the complete inventory. If possible, choose the location with a lot of foot traffic with not too many competitors in the vicinity.
Choose the Right Inventory
Your selection of inventory needs to include current fashion trends and brands that are in demand. Maybe you could offer an as wide selection of clothes as possible – for example, wholesale clothing in Australia is a popular way of selling various types of clothes to various customers all over the country. Maybe this type of store would be more lucrative to you – it’s your job to do the research.
You should also research styles and designs that attract your target customers, and then identify designers and brands that fit into your budget plan. Attending trade shows is also a good way to get your hands on the latest pieces of clothing at discount prices. And don’t forget to purchase various sizes so that none of your customers feels left out.
You’ll have to buy a considerable amount of initial supply, but know that you’ll have to do it only once. So, your biggest (and one-time-only) expenses will include mannequins, hangers, a computer and a telephone, cash register, office furniture, as well as POS system. But after purchasing all of that, you can later focus solely on buying more clothes when you need it.
Set Up a Website
Your website should be up and running before you even open your physical store. You can start with a store on E-bay or an e-commerce site. that doesn’t cost much (around $400). You can put an ad on Craiglist, create a Facebook and Instagram page, as well, and spread awareness before the actual store even opens.
Set Up a Merchant Account
In case your plan is to deal with Internet retailing and e-commerce, setting up a merchant account is the key step. Modern times have turned cash into an almost obsolete way of payment – credit and debit cards are most people’s favorite payment tool. So, a merchant account is necessary to process credit card sales and complete any online transaction. Do your best to accept all major credit and debit cards; otherwise, you could lose a significant number of potential customers.
Hire Qualified and Experienced Staff
For the clothes shop to operate efficiently and without bigger issues, you need to hire at least one experienced salesperson that will be at your customers’ service. Of course, it’s possible you’ll need a few of them if the store is large or if there’s a lot of traffic during work hours. Be picky when it comes to who you hire – salespeople are the ones who can make a huge difference regarding your customers’ experience in your store.
Thorough plan and preparation are half the success – don’t rush the process, thinking you will solve problems as they arise. Your initial investment will be the biggest one, so make sure you have everything covered from the very start. You only have just one chance to make the first impression, so plan every step carefully.