Starting your own online accessory boutique is a great way to get into the fashion industry. With the right planning and execution, you can create a thriving business.
Here are the 10 steps you can take to get started on building your very own online accessory boutique business.
10 Steps to Launching a New Online Accessory Boutique Business
1. Choose Your Type of Online Accessory Boutique Business
The first step in launching an online accessory boutique business is to identify the type of online accessory boutique business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
– A dropship business: In a dropship business, you don’t need to carry any inventory. You simply partner with a supplier who will ship products directly to your customers on your behalf.
– A consignment business: In a consignment business, you partner with local designers or boutiques to sell their products on your website. These products are shipped to your customers after you’ve received payment.
– A made-to-order business: In a made-to-order business, you take custom orders from customers and then have the products made specifically for them.
2. Name Your Online Accessory Boutique Business
Give your online accessory boutique business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your online accessory boutique business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your online accessory boutique business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so customers will want to shop with you.
3. Determine Your Online Accessory Boutique Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for an online accessory boutique business including:
- – A subscription-based model: In this type of business model, customers pay a monthly fee to receive a box of hand-picked accessories delivered to their doorsteps.
- – A membership-based model: In this type of business model, customers pay a monthly or annual fee to have access to exclusive deals and discounts on products.
- – An ala carte model: In this type of business model, customers simply purchase the items they want without any sort of subscription or membership.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the products you offer.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your online accessory boutique business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your online accessory boutique business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common online accessory boutique business structures.
5. Write an Online Accessory Boutique Business Plan
All online accessory boutique business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
Read our article about how to write an online accessory boutique business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your online accessory boutique business.
For example, if you will be selling products online, you will need to obtain a sales tax permit. And if you will be shipping products to customers, you will need to get a business license and potentially other permits depending on your location.
You must also register your online accessory boutique business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your online accessory boutique business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your online accessory boutique business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your online accessory boutique business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting an online accessory boutique business to help you determine if funding is needed.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your online accessory boutique business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in software to help you manage inventory and shipping. And if you have or plan to hire employees, you will need human resources software to track employee information.
You should also consider setting up a business website for your online accessory boutique business. Creating a website is relatively easy and inexpensive to do, and it gives you a platform to market your products and services to a wider audience. You can hire a web designer to create a custom website, or use a do-it-yourself website builder, such as Squarespace or Shopify.
Read our article about the technology and software you need to run an online accessory boutique business.
9. Market Your Online Accessory Boutique Business to Potential Customers
Before you start selling your products, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your products and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the online accessory boutique industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Online accessory boutique businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
Search Engine Optimization: Increase your website’s visibility in search engine results pages so potential customers can find you when they search online for accessory products.
Social Media Marketing: Connect with potential customers on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Content Marketing: Attract attention to your online accessory boutique business by creating and sharing helpful and informative content like blog posts, infographics and videos.
Email Marketing: Send promotional emails to potential and existing customers to let them know about new products, sales and discounts.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising: Use advertising platforms like Google AdWords and Bing Ads, for a fee, to display your ads on search engine results pages and other websites.
Read our article about how to market your online accessory boutique business for more tips.
10. Get New Customers & Grow Your Business
When you promote your products, you’ll start to get interest from potential customers.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these customers. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your online accessory boutique business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your online accessory boutique business to learn more.
Starting an Online Accessory Boutique Business FAQs
The accessory line industry is a great option for entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own businesses. It’s a growing industry with plenty of opportunities for expansion.
An accessory line can lead to a storefront or successful online business.
To start a successful accessory line, you will need to have great products, the right technology and software in place, an effective marketing strategy, and the ability to scale your business as it grows.
You can start an accessory line from home by developing great products, getting the right technology and software in place, and promoting your business through social media and other marketing channels.
You can start an accessory line business online by establishing an online store. You will need to have great products, such as luxury or costume jewelry. Then, you need to get the right technology and software in place and promote your business through social media and other marketing channels.
Here are some tips for starting an accessory line:
- Develop a great product line
- Get the right technology and software in place
- Promote your business through social media and other marketing channels
- Focus on customer service
- Train your employees well
- Stay organized and efficient
- Plan for growth
A simple checklist to use when starting an accessory line is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Accessory Line: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Accessory Line: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Accessory Line Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write an Accessory Line Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Accessory Line to Potential Customers: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the products they truly need.
- Get Customers & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your products.
Starting an online accessory boutique can be a great way to tap into the fashion industry and provide customers with unique, high-quality products. By following our guide, you can set yourself up for success in this competitive industry.