Being a small business owner can be challenging, but also offers many benefits. The first few years are often the hardest, as you are building your customer base and getting everything started up. Establishing yourself can be difficult, but once you do, you may find that your business grows faster than you realized it could. Here are some tips for starting up and growing a clothing store.
Take a Business Class
Selling clothing is only a small part of owning a business. You will need to set a budget, hire employees and cover the costs of operating from day to day. You will also need to have knowledge on what to keep track of for taxes. Consider taking a business class if you do not have any business experience.
This can teach you valuable information that will not only increase your chances of success, but will also keep you from getting into trouble by not having a proper budget or not being able to pay your employees. If you cannot take a business class, at least take the time to do some extensive research on the ins and outs of owning and operating a business. If you know anyone who has a small business, ask them if they would be willing to offer you any tips.
Decide What Kind of Clothes to Sell
Most of the time, clothing stores will cater to a certain age or type of style. Decide what it is you want to sell. Consider where you live and what may be successful in your city. For example, a children's clothing store may be beneficial for someone who is in a town with many growing families. The benefit of a children's clothing store is that children often outgrow clothes quickly, so if your customers have a good experience, there is a chance they will be back.
Another thing to decide is if you are going to only sell new clothing, or if you will sell secondhand clothing as well. Many parents are looking for ways to make money on the clothes their children quickly outgrew, as some of these clothes will still be in like new condition. It's best not to take stained or ripped clothing, but reselling clothes in good condition can be beneficial for both you and your customers.
Determine If You Will Sell Anything Else
Think about if you are going to sell anything in addition to clothes. You don't want to overwhelm yourself by trying to sell too many things, but there are some items that may be a good thing to include. For example, children often outgrow shoes as quickly as they do clothing, and selling some shoes at your clothing store can help add to your profits.
You can stock some athletic shoes, colorful kids rain boots and dress shoes and see how they sell. You may also want to include hair bows or other accessories. Whatever you sell, it should be well organized and sorted, so customers can easily find what they are looking for.
Offer Gift Cards
Gift cards are great for giving during the holiday season. If you sell gift cards, then you will likely find that your revenue is greatly increased during the holidays. This can be great for grandparents or other relatives who want to help with children's clothing, but aren't quite sure what to get. It can also be a way to find new customers. Place your gift cards near the cash register, so they are easy to spot and more likely to be purchased.
Have a Social Media Presence
Having a social media page for your business can be a free or cheap way to do advertising and build your customer base. Many people will check out a store's social media page before they decide whether to shop there, so it's important to have one. Get active on these pages by posting blogs, sales or simply saying hello to your customers. Offer an incentive for those who "like" your page, such as a discount or a drawing for ones you get to a certain number of likes.
Starting a clothing business is exciting, but it's important to be prepared. Having the business know how will help increase your chances of success. Make your important decisions upfront so you know what your business is going to sell, and do whatever you can to bring up your number of customers. Be active on social media and offer frequent sales and discounts to bring people into your store. This can all help you achieve a successful business.