If you have a fashion sense and want to monetize your talent by opening a bridal boutique, you have to know that this is not an easy road to take. There are decisions to be made and factors to consider for you to become a successful entrepreneur.
While this can be challenging, especially if you are making a career shift and starting out on your own, having a bridal shop is a lucrative way to make a living. With many women dreaming of walking down the aisle and looking their best on their special day, you will not really run out of clients to dress up and weddings to showcase your collection.
But before you build your clientele and make a name in the business, there are certain areas you need to cover.
In any business endeavor, it is important to learn about the industry one intends to be successful in. If you are keen of becoming the owner of a thriving bridal shop, you have to do your homework. Visit existing bridal boutiques in the area you are eyeing to open your business in and assess your would-be competitors. This can also give you an idea of what bridal gowns and dresses you want to include in your collection. Make use of the internet to research on fashion trends in bridal dresses and accessories.
If you plan to open a bridal boutique, it’s imperative to come up with a business plan that includes the name of your business, your target market, marketing research, business location, projection income and expenses for at least three years, expansion plan and other important details of your bridal shop business.
Where you put up your bridal boutique is crucial since this will bring clients to you. For your bridal shop to be frequented by customers, set it up in an area with high traffic where potential clients can see that there is a business that can cater to their wedding needs. You might want a location near other businesses related to weddings, such as, cake shops, print shops, wedding venues and beauty salons.
Opening a bridal shop entails expenses, from designing your showroom to hiring staff to assist your clients. You might want to apply for a bank loan for a business start-up, in case you do not have enough personal money saved. Or if you have a business partner or a family member willing to invest in your bridal shop, you can add their share to your business capital. If you plan to apply for a loan, your business plan is one of the requirements you need to submit. You can also present it to potential investors so you can convince them to put money in your future bridal salon. With a well-written business plan, you increase your chances of being approved.
Another important aspect of starting a bridal shop is to partner with wedding gown designers you want to partner. If you intend to include collections of designers other than your own, you can get in touch with local designers in your area. You also need to contact suppliers and manufacturers for your business operation. Set up accounts with these providers and wholesalers so you can manage your expenses better. By building good business relationships with them, you can get supplies and dresses in special rates.
Arranging your showroom and designing its interior is crucial in inviting potential customers in and making them feel they are in the right place once they enter your showroom. Invest in furnishing and furniture pieces for your customers. More often than not, brides-to-be come with family members or friends when looking for the right bridal salon. Ensure that you have comfortable lounge chairs and sofas to make them feel at home. Add mirrors in the showroom so clients can see how they look and brides can have a full view of the gown she is trying to fit. Also, ensure to have enough racks for wedding gowns and arrange them by collection to make it easier for your customers to choose. There should be sufficient lighting and ample space for those fitting their gowns to walk on.
You also need to hire a team for production and sales. Your employees should have people skills and knowledge about the gowns and items you offer in your bridal shop. They should also be passionate about their jobs and be able to make suggestions to clients. A tailor is another important member of your team who will take care of alterations needed. As your business grows, you might also want to hire a fashion consultant.
You can promote your bridal salon in several ways. One is by creating a website where you can showcase your collection and let your audience reach you. You can also join bridal shows where prospective customers can come and learn about your shop. Give away business cards and offer special prices to your clients.