Starting your own retail business is hard and it will probably involve many ups and downs as you try to figure out what you are doing. Though there are many stories about retail entrepreneurs who try and fail, there are also plenty of success stories to draw inspiration from. There are also many retail entrepreneurs who would like to share the knowledge they gained during the process. Here is just one success story along with some tips.
Bohme boutique started with two sisters, Vivian and Fernanda, from Brazil. Fernanda and Vivian began manufacturing in 2006 after they began to see a need for modest but stylish, cute, and trendy clothing in the community.
2007 came around and Vivien lost a lot in the real estate industry and was in debt $650K. This being the case the sisters decided they needed to open a store to make money. The sisters opened their first store in a small space in the Fashion Place Mall that was only available for the holidays. The idea was to create clothes with the concept that “modesty has never been sexier.” But after doing some research they decided to stick with a denim and tee shirt concept and they ended the year with $57K in revenue.
The sisters went back and forth to the drawing board and eventually they opened three stores altogether. The office space and warehouse came later and by the end of 2010 they had 5 stores and $4.3M in revenue.
Now the sisters are working on opening 28 more stores by 2014 which will make 40 Bohme boutiques all together in the United States.
Success stories can help motivate other entrepreneurs but helpful tips and hints can be beneficial as well. Here are some tips for retail entrepreneurs who are just starting out:
See a Need. Fill a Need
Before you start making a business plan, creating business cards, and drawing out a logo; it is important to figure out what your products are going to be. What are you going to sell? What is the competition? What is your community like and what are their needs? See a need in your community that you can fill with your business and fill it.
Do the Research
Diving in head first with no money, no plan, and no research is probably not the best way to go, unless you like learning through trial and error. Although, no amount of research will prepare you enough to do everything perfect the first time, doing research on the products, community, demographics, marketing, and competition can help you get a good start.
Make a Plan
Make a rough business plan and write out your goals for the business, short term and long term. Shying away from the business plan cannot always be avoided especially when you learn new things about the business every day. The end business plan will look extremely different from the first draft but the first one is a good starting point.
Fernanda is the founder of Bohme Boutique. To read more about Bohme Boutique click here.