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    10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 9, 2009 3:22 PM by Iwrite

    i need help with opening a boutique

    love4fashion Newbie
      My dream for a long as i can remember was to have my own boutique. i recently graduated from college with a business degree, i have been working at nordstrom for the last 4 years and now i am finally begining to do research on opening my own boutique. i know that i need to develope my business plan but what comes next? who is best to speak to about a loan or funding? any advice on finding a mentor? i know that i need to go to market to buy product but are there any other ways to make contacts with vendors?
      i want to learn and know as much as possible so every bit of advice is wonderful!
      Thank you,
      love4fashion
        • Re: i need help with opening a boutique
          My_Lan Adventurer
          For financing you can look at these options:

          1) Loans

          2)Lines of Credits

          3) Angels(People who give you money)

          4) Personal Savings

          5) Become a corp and issue stock

          6) issues bonds

          You and also ask SCORE for advise.
          • Re: i need help with opening a boutique
            NoBullFunding Scout
            Congrats on graduating! If you want to learn the business, the way to learn is to get a full time position in the industry. There is no substitute for experience, and what you'll learn by working in the field on a full time basis will give you more insight anyone could give you as a mentor. Having a mentor is a great thing, but the only way to really know a business inside out is to immerse yourself and do.

            In general, in order to get financing, you'll need to save up some money to put in, and you'll need to have sufficient experience. So if you want to own a retail shop, you'll need to have experience managing a store. That includes everything staffing, payroll, inventory, marketing, finance, etc. A business plan is a good place to start, but a loan was never approved based on just a good idea.

            FYI - based on the number of small businesses that are failing right now, I'd suggest that this is not the best time to be opening a shop. The good news is that it will give you time to write your business plan and figure out exactly how you want to run your business.

            I hope that helps!
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            • Re: i need help with opening a boutique
              eeon.net Wayfarer
              You will most definately need a website. Everyone from your bank to your suppliers want to view your website to make sure that your are a valid business entity. Not to mention your customers want to see your products 24/7. Get it done professionally. And if you want some help, contact me. I create websites for a living.

              CLA
              • Re: i need help with opening a boutique
                LUCKIEST Guide
                Help with opening a boutique, Welcome

                The BEST place to get help, ideas and learn is to visit SCORE. SCORE is FREE both in person and online.

                SCORE can help you develop your Business and Marketing Plan. They can even help with a Cash Flow
                project. SCORE also has a FREE online Virtual Learning Center.

                Good luck and let us know how you progress.

                LUCKIEST
                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: i need help with opening a boutique
                  retailconcept Wayfarer
                  Hi love4fashion, I am a retail coach and I know that deciding to open up your own boutique is exciting and scary at the same time. As I'm sure you know, it requires a great deal of planning and due diligence before you open your doors. As you have recognized, a business plan is a great way to start. As part of this early stage (prior to the business plan), I always suggest doing a concept evaluation and ask yourself the questions like how clear is my concept, is my idea viable, what is my competitive advantage, who is my target market etc. to make sure that your idea is sound before you move forward to the next step. After developing your business plan, securing financing is also crucial because cash flow will be extremely important, especially in your first year. You will need to start developing relationships with real estate brokers so they can help you find the perfect location. And of course you will need to begin to source vendors. While trade shows can be overwhelming, they are a great first step in your vendor search because you can begin to make contacts, understand what lines you want to carry and then you can set up meetings with vendors at their individual showrooms. Then of course there is the process of deciding what your store design will be, where to buy fixtures, your POS system etc and how to execute your marketing and PR plan to get the word out about your boutique. There are so many steps neccessary to opening a store but if you have the patience, drive and surround yourself with people who can help you through the process, the experience is very rewarding. Congratulations on getting started on your concept!

                  Best,

                  Retail Concepts
                  www.retailconcepts.com
                  1 of 1 people found this helpful