HOW TO START AN ONLINE SHOP

Sunday, March 24, 2019
How to start a boutique


How to start an online shop

How to start your own business




Shop: The Red Closet Shop || Photos: The High Pines


Hi friends!! 

Today I'm going to be chatting about something that I get asked on a weekly basis! By the title I bet you've already guessed! ;) 

Starting any type of business is not for the lazy, week, or "looking for a hobby" type. At least not if you want it to be successful. I'm going to be blunt with you because I take this very seriously and if this is something you want to take seriously, you need to know the truth! 

I am the type of person to go all in, 110%, balls to the wall... no matter what I do. If this is not your personality or you ARE looking for something to do as a hobby... that is totally fine. But most of what I say may not apply to you! 

When I first decided I was going to start up my own shop (I hate the word boutique - it sounds fancy so you will never hear me say that lol) I was at MAGIC in Las Vegas helping another friend buy for her online shop! While I was there I got the urge to start my own shop like a punch to the face. Fashion has been a huge passion of mine my whole entire life so this was an industry I was totally familiar with. I had also had several jobs in retail and learned a TON from those jobs! While at MAGIC, I called up my husband and told him that he had 10 days to get a website set up because I was launching a shop! And that was that...

Luckily my husband operates like me and also deals with my impatient personality. 10 days later we launched The Red Closet Shop

Now that you know my back story, lets get into what you need to know and have ready before you launch! 



7 things you need to know to start an online shop:


1. Know your WHY:


- Why do you want to start a shop? Having an answer to this question is going to be the basis of your business. Your story. The thing you fall back on when times get hard. No matter how prepared you are, you will go through rough patches! Having a "why" is so so so important and that is why I have set it at #1!


2. Find a hosting site:


- Two of the most common hosting sites are Square Space and Shopify. I use shopify and have had a great experience with it! I know there are several options out there, but from a marketing stand point, these two are by far the most user friendly when it comes to marketing, tools, and growth!


3. Save your pennies:


- I wish I could tell you that starting a business is free, but it's not. You may know someone or have hook ups somewhere that could help you save money in certain areas, but overall, you need to have a good chunk of change ready to spend! If you are like me and want to hit the ground running, I would plan to have $10k saved! Why? Hosting site, branding, inventory, designer, photographer, model fees, shipping supplies, and possibly an employee to help you ship! Just to name a few...


4. Create a business plan:


- If you are planning on taking out a business loan, the bank will require a business plan and you may have to revise it a few times! Regardless if you are getting a loan or not, you need to have a plan. Sit down and create a plan. When are you going to launch? Who do you want your audience to be? What price points do you want to be at? What types of items do you want to carry? Be as specific as you can. One thing to note: it's OKAY if your business plan evolves as you learn and grow! Mine sure has!


5. Branding:


-This is SO important. There are hundreds of shops out there so what is going to set YOU apart from every other shop? This ties back to your why but also goes so much further. What are you going to offer in your shop? How is it going to be different? How do you want to your audience to see you and your brand? What is your name and logo going to be and what does that represent to you? By the time you are ready to take the leap you should be able to answer all of these questions no problem!


6. Get set up within your State with a Tax ID Number!


-This is the least fun part, but has to be done. Once you are registered through your state you will be able to start selling and applying for wholesale accounts with different vendors!


7. Product:


-The fun part! Picking out what YOU are going to sell! There are hundreds of thousands of wholesale companies out there. Going to MAGIC has been the best for my business as i'm able to really meet, create relationships and see the product IN PERSON! MAGIC is two times a year held in Last Vegas as well as a few other locations throughout the country! Two of the biggest wholesale websites are Fashion Go and LA Showroom! These two sites have hundreds of vendors which makes shopping easy! Maybe too easy! ;)


8.  Marketing:


-If you aren't familiar with SEO or marketing, find someone who can help you! Launching your store and just hoping it will do well doesn't work very well. ;) The goal is to get it going and get it in front of as many people as possible! I lucked out and married someone who is a marketing wizard so he helps me with all my marketing, SEO and advertising!



Just re-launching November 2018 and going strong for almost 5 months now with a very successful growing brand, that is the best advice I can give!! Have a plan, remember your why, and go with your gut! You will have bumps, you will lose money as you are learning, but there is nothing more rewarding than chasing your dream!! 


If you have questions feel free to comment here or email theredclosetdiary@gmail.com and i'm happy to answer questions as I can! 


Good luck and I hope this was somewhat helpful! 



XO





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