How to start a boutique in Texas,USA:7 Top Facts you must know

What does it cost to open a boutique?

Are you wondering how to start a boutique in Texas? The exact cost of opening a boutique depends on the the size and location you are looking at.

While you are planning, you shouldn’t aim at anything below $50,000 in financing.

Some experts in the field say $50,000 might not be enough and that aiming at anything between $150,000 or even $200,000 are much more appropriate.

Why will it cost that much?

That amount will have to cover for the acquisition of upfront as well as setting up of the utilities. The money will equally cover for the acquisition of an appropriate level of insurance for your business.

Your boutique will have to be furnished and the interior has to be decorated and most importantly, you have to buy your products and the clothes themselves. Read on to see how to start a boutique in Texas.

Who is the target market?

The target market is defined as the customers who share the same demographics and has been identified by a company or a business entity as their likely buyers.

Identifying the target market is important for any company in the development and implementation of a successful marketing plan.

It helps you with the product specifications, packaging as well as distribution.

Your ability to be genuine and honest will help you secure sales and consequently a good loyal customer relationship.

This will promote regular visits, and they are more likely to trust your advice when you recommend a particular outfit.

Get a name for your business

The uniqueness of your business matters a lot. The name of your business if the first thing to put in mind while considering how to start a boutique in Texas. You need to be careful as not to violate trademark laws. That means, in choosing a name for your business, you must try not to create confusion by choosing a name that is for a preexisting enterprise.

If you name your Austin-based sporting apparel store Adaline’s for Athletes and there is already a popular store in Anchorage that also sells online named AdalinesAthletics, you may find yourself looking at a trademark infringement suit. You should not expect the geographic separation to protect you.

Therefore, you need to make thorough research on the existing business names. Read more on how to choose business names.

What type of boutique do you want?

I have identified three types of boutique which you will like to venture in. They are:

  • consignment boutique
  • regular buy and sell retail boutique
  • franchisee boutique 

consignment boutique will stock goods manufactured by other designers or manufacturers and will take a percentage as their share when the item is sold.

The consignment model means that you do not have to need initial money for the inventory but the profit share will be much lower than buying and selling.

The buy and sell boutiques will buy goods at a  wholesale price from manufacturers or distributors and sell them at a higher mark up to customers. This model of boutiques will make a much higher profit at the end of the day but you need a large initial investment to buy merchandise.

The franchisee boutique will be operating under a large  brand name and will exclusively sell that brand. A franchise fee (one time as well as annual) will have to be paid to the parent company to use the brand name and logo etc and be allowed to sell their merchandise.

Licenses and Permits

Even if you operate as a sole proprietor, you should consider obtaining a federal tax ID number, known formally as an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

For other forms of business, an EIN is a requirement and you must put that into consideration when checking out how to start a boutique in Texas.

The process is easy and can be completed online at the IRS website at www.irs.gov.

The State of Texas does not have a general business license or permit requirement.

However, the State recommends that you check with local governments at the city and county levels to learn about license or permit requirements for your particular type of business.

At a minimum, you will need to obtain a state sales tax permit, which you can do online through the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website.

Depending on the details of your business, other licenses and permits may also be necessary.

For example, many Texas cities require you to obtain a permit if your store has an audible security alarm.

For additional guidance on other licensing issues, as well as on starting a small business in Texas generally, check out the State’s Texas Wide Open For Business website.

Have you found a Location?

Your utmost aim should be to maximize the customer traffic. You need to choose a location that is convinient for customers.

Try to ask questions about that area which you think will work for you. You can as far as talking to business lowners in that area which you plan to cite your business.

Online searches, through real estate-specific websites, as well as sites like craigslist, are also potentially useful.

If you find a location you’re interested in, try to investigate the space as thoroughly as possible. Look for things like indications of past water leakage.

Try to get a sense of how responsive the landlord will be to requests for repairs—perhaps by talking with other of the landlord’s tenants.

You must ask the following questions:

How long will your rent cover?

What is the exact starting and ending date?

Are there renewal terms and consitions?

Do you have the right to expand?

You must plan to ensure your business

As the operator of a clothing store, at a minimum you need to be concerned about at least two areas of risk:

  • injuries to customers or damages to their property while they are on the premises, and
  • damage to business property through fire, theft, or other causes.

For potential injuries to customers, you should obtain a good general liability policy that will protect you from customers who slip and fall or suffer other personal injuries at your place of business.

There might be damage on your business property, therefore you need to ensure that there is a coverage for all your properties.

Properties such as building fixtures, furniture, equipment, personal property used in the business like books and computer discs, and—certainly important in a retail store—inventory.

Ensurance is necessary while making a list of how to start a boutique in Texas.

How much are you going to charge your customers?

Typically, the clothes you sell should be marked up between 50 and 65 percent from their wholesale price in order for you to receive a decent profit.

This effectively lets you calculate the exact price you sell each item of clothing for. While checking out how to start a boutique in Texas, you must consider how much you will charge your customers.

One recommended calculation to determine the price is to take what you paid for the item and divide it by 100 minus markup percentage and then multiplied by 100.

Therefore, if you were selling designer jeans that you acquired for $30 at a 60 percent markup, you’d want to charge $75 for this item.

You can actually make your business more profitable

Fo you to make your business more profitable, you need to calculat the exact costs for your business. That simply means you need to know a lot bout the costs.

You also need to know how much your regular activities are worth to your business.

As much as you can, do not spend too much time on low value services. Once you know what your time is worth, you can focus more of your time on the things that actually drive results to your business. That means cutting out the things that don’t add much in the way of value.

Make sure you automate where possible. Since some of the low value or mundane activities you want to cut out are essential functions, you need to find ways to accomplish them without spending tons of time on them. That’s where automation software and online solutions come into play.

Ensure you think about how to make your business profitable why considering how to start a boutique in Texas.

You also need to know exactly how you spend your time if you want to eliminate other types of waste in your business. 

Have you bought the things you need?

You are likely to need the following and must put them in your budget while considering how to start a boutique in Texas.

  • Scanner for bar code
  • Computer,
  • Cash drawer,
  • Credit card processing machine
  • Machine for printing barcode labels for the goods;
  • telephone,
  • Office furniture and supplies,
  • Printed stationery like bills, receipts 
  • Hangers,
  • Dress forms/ mannequins, 
  • Bags
  • Clothing labels

Do you have good marketing plans?

Run different promotions throughout the year (25% off this Valentine’s day for buying couple scarves) and communicate this to your customer database.

Customers love discounts and they will come and buy non-discounted items too.

Small sales every month or so for selected items can clear up space in your shop.

Every season a major sale (end of season sale) can also clear your inventory and infuse freshness to your store. 

Social media marketing is a very important element in your marketing plan; Radio and TV ads, print ads, blogging are all marketing tactics you could try to promote your store.

You need to invest in your customers; promote to them ; they will come again and again and promote your store to their acquaintances.

Marketing plans are equally essentiaal while considering how to start a boutique in Texas.

So make sure that you note down all the contact info of your customers and sell to them again and again.

Source of funding for your business

Ideally, you should start with enough money to carry on for the next 6 months in the business. I would say 1 year or 2 years.

Most businesses do not turn a profit within the first few years so having enough cash to carry on the business and also bear your personal expenses is necessary if you do not want the business to fold before it has a chance to prove itself.

You will need money to give as a security deposit for renting space; money to pay employees, money for inventory, for doing up the store interiors, to name a few expenses. Source of funding is essential while considering how to start a boutique in Texas.

Will you need a business loan ?

This can depend a lot on the location of your store, will you be renting or buying, type of clothing you mean to carry, the size of the shop, hiring employees, store decor, other costs, etc; Also on whether you have the capital to start the boutique on your own or whether any of your friends/relatives are willing to lend the money to you.

Risk is a double-edged sword. It can be your savior in business or it can kill you forever. So take only calculated risks especially when other investor money is involved. How the money is utilized should be planned carefully.

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