You have a lot of great options when it comes to developing or expanding a business, especially if you want to work from home. One of the best ways to share creative products and content with customers is through an online boutique, and getting started is easier than it might seem.
Here at PixieLane, we’re dedicated to providing families with clothing and accessories for every occasion. And we want to take it a step further by sharing what we’ve learned about building companies and following your professional goals.
Consider these ideas and steps when starting your online clothing store:
Boutique Businesses: Where Do I Start?
Even though starting an online boutique is easier than one might assume, it may feel a little overwhelming when you’re just starting out. Don’t worry. These tips will help guide you through the startup process, so you can begin following your creative dreams for a successful online boutique.
Find an Idea You’re Passionate About
The more you love an idea or a product, the more you’re going to fight for it. That’s why you want to pick a product or idea that you’re really excited about. When you feel passionate about your business, you’ll feel motivated to keep working, even on challenging days, and you’ll find new and creative ways to manage setbacks and grow your business.
Think about the things you regularly purchase, either at a brick-and-mortar store or an online store. Chances are, the templates of businesses and products you already love will end up being your niche.
Determine a Market Need
It’s always a good idea to know who your audience is before you launch your business. Market research will help you ensure that you have an audience to sell your inventory when the time comes. Consider competitors and shift your product or idea so that it can meet a market need.
Explore the Instagrams, Facebooks, or Pinterests of your target audience to see what this group loves. It might help to reach out and ask them for their dream products. Or you can reach out to bloggers in your industry or a well-known brand ambassador.
Determine Your Business Structure
Paperwork is not the most glamorous part of the lives of online retailers: but it is critical. A business plan is essential. To start, it will give you validity with other professionals, investors, or contacts you’re interested in working with.
It will also help you to organize your ideas to create a game plan for your business. Taking the time to work on your business plan will save you time and energy down the line.
There is a big difference between a sole proprietorship and a limited liability company (LLC). You'll need this information to get business licenses and permits— which you will also need to open a business bank account and get a business credit card.
Develop Your Network
You’re not alone on your journey. When creating your online boutique, it’s a good idea to find others in similar situations, growing or building companies and businesses of their own. You can learn and share resources together as you succeed, and you can keep each other motivated and encouraged.
Create Your High-Quality Products
Now comes the fun part! Once you’ve set yourself up for success, you can begin developing products.
You know your audience and what the market needs, so apply your knowledge to your creative vision and begin developing pieces that will make people happy and add to their everyday lives.
How Do I Launch My Business?
And now you’re ready to launch. There are a few simple steps that you’ll want to keep in mind during the launch process that will save you a lot of energy and expenses down the line.
Develop Your Branding
Your brand goes beyond your logo. It’s the look you give your business so that you’re recognizable, understandable, and memorable. Consider a color scheme, fonts, styles, and more, and always look at what similar companies are doing.
Your brand will be the visual representation of your company, so take the time to make sure your brand is properly representing your message.
Create Your Online Platform
One of the best parts of an online boutique is that it’s all online. That may seem obvious, but it’s an important thing to remember since it will save you a lot of money and give you more freedom and flexibility. That means you want to make sure your online platform is doing the job right.
Explore your options and do your research to find an eCommerce platform or website builder that works for you and to begin creating your website—some things to think about are a domain name, SEO practices, or running Google ads.
Assemble Your Supplies
When running your own business, it’s important to stay as organized as possible. Create a space where you can work and access what you need and begin assembling your supplies. If you aren't creating your pieces by hand, research wholesale suppliers.
How Do I Grow My Business?
Once you’ve launched, it’s time to grow.
Take the next steps with these tips and business secrets:
Cultivate a Community
It’s not just about the product. It’s about how the products make people feel. Begin creating a community of your customers based on their love of your materials, the goals for your company, or similar hobbies and ideas. This will help you to promote and leave them with the feeling of being cared for and appreciated.
Market Your Boutique
Your online boutique may be new-age, but marketing is still an essential step of the business-running process. You’ll definitely want to market online with advertising and social media, but consider in-person events, collabs, or anything else that might work for your specific product.
Embrace Social Media
Social media is great for growing your business because it’s free and widely used. Explore the many social media platforms available today and decide which are the best for promoting your products and engaging with customers.
Have Stellar Customer Service
You want to create customers for life. Make sure you’re replying to inquiries promptly, that you treat everyone professionally, and that customers have a good experience that will have them wanting to return in the future.
Always Keep Learning
As your business grows and expands, you want to be growing and expanding as well. Take courses, read articles, connect with your network, and stay in the loop on industry news. All of this will help you to make your business the best it can be.
Ecommerce Business Is On Top
If you’re looking to build your own online boutique with these tools and tips, the PixieLane consultant program is a good fit for you. Explore why and begin developing your new online boutique with the support of the PixieLane team.