Everything You Need To Know About How To Start A Boutique

Boutiques are the heart of retail. Independent shops never miss a beat when it comes to keeping up with trends, and they carry unique items you can’t find anywhere else. If you’ve always dreamed of opening up your own specialty store, this guide to how to start a boutique is for you. 

You’ll learn: 

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This template can be used to simplify inventory management in your boutique.

The state of in-person shopping in 2021 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit at the beginning 2020, and lockdown restrictions across the globe kept everyone home, in-person retail seemed doomed. To survive, independent retailers and department stores had to shift their efforts to ecommerce.

Now that vaccines are readily available, consumers are ready for—and craving—in-person shopping experiences. According to the National Retail Federation(NRF), 80% shopping still takes place in shops. In fact, retail is growing at a rate we haven’t seen in 15 years, and the NRF predicts retail sales will increase by up to 13.5% in 2021. 

If you want to open a speciality shop, small clothing business, or other brick-and-mortar boutique, there’s no better time than the present. 


How to choose what to list in your boutique, and how to source inventory

If you want to know how to start a boutique, the first step is to decide what to sell in your shop and then figure out where you’ll get those items. 

What to sell

There are many options available to help you decide what to sell. Opening a retail store. While you’ll probably fare better if you sell something that you’re passionate about instead of something you have no interest in, you have to make sure that there’s demand for your wares.

Conduct market research to gauge interest. To help you get started, you can either hire a market research company or interview potential customers. You should also visit competing shops and observe what they have in stock, what seems to sell well and what’s missing.

Sourcing inventory

You can source inventory for your boutique by going to Make the inventory yourself. If you’re crafty and have the time, this DIY approach can be a good way to create your starting inventory on a budget. You can get busy with your projects. Successful retail business, you’ll no longer have time to hand-make every candle, bar of soap, cake mix, or whatever you end up selling.

If you’re still interested in selling your own wares but don’t have the bandwidth to produce them, your best bet is to Work with a manufacturer Who can mass-produce the products you want to sell?

To diversify your boutique, also sell other people’s products. Source items directly from creators like designers and artisans, or purchase products from wholesalers. 


How to choose a location for your boutique, and how to design its interior

Set up shop to make your dreams come true. The ideal location is chosen, and then you can create a setting that will attract shoppers back. Prospective merchants often ask this question about how to open a boutique. But don’t worry, it’s simpler than you’d think.  

Choose a location to host your boutique

Location will play an important role in your business’s success. A boutique located in an area that has a lot of foot traffic, near public transportation, or has lots of car traffic will attract customers. A premium location will come with a premium price, but it will mean you’ll have to spend less on marketing and advertising.

Visibility is important as well. Customers may not be able to find your boutique if it isn’t in a convenient location. Choose a space that’s easy to locate.

Also, consider the proximity to other businesses. If you open a workout gear boutique next to a gym or a baby clothing shop next to a daycare center, you’ll generate business without lifting a finger. 

Designing your boutique

When Start a small business, you’ll want to make sure your store’s design matches your branding. Use your brand’s logo and colors throughout the store to bolster brand recognition. 

Make your shop stand out by using a striking mural, wallpaper, or other graphics. Window displayThis encourages shoppers come in and take photos, then spend time browsing.

Design your store’s layout, windows, fitting rooms and displays so that they encourage shoppers to spend. Get familiar with these terms visual merchandisingStrategies to understand how displays influence purchasing decisions 


How to open a boutique: market and brand your business

You want to know? How to attract customers? Marketing and branding are key factors in gaining loyal customers.  


Your boutique can be distinguished from other shops that sell similar or identical items by using branding. It could be the reason someone purchases from you, rather than from a competitor or a big-box retailer.

Your brand should be easy to recognize and make customers feel certain things. It should be reflected in every aspect of your boutique, from its logo and shopping bags, to your shop’s signature scent and the way your staff interact with customers, and even your ecommerce shop’s design and social media presence.

Your mission is the first step in creating your brand. What is your purpose in starting this business? Is it to provide a source for sustainable clothing and products that can be used by their children and babies? Is it to support artists from marginalized communities through the sale of their work? To build a strong brand, keep your mission at the heart of all your business and design decisions.

Marketing your business

If you believe you can stop marketing the business after it is sold, Grand OpeningThink again. Even if business is good now, you should actively keep your boutique atop customers’ minds to ensure a steady flow of sales.

Combining any combination of these marketing strategies will keep shoppers interested. 

  • Make eye-catching window displays. Window displays can convert passersby into customers. Take inspiration from the changing seasons, your products and even the weather. Pinterest. You can change your displays frequently to show that you have new products for shoppers to look at. 
  • Keep your social media accounts up to date. Keep your boutique’s social media accounts active to engage customers, keep them interested and generate new product ideas. You should not only use Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as your main platforms, but TikTok can also be used to display your products or provide helpful tips.
  • Collaborate with influencers. Customers are More likely to trustMore people will recommend their peers than advertising. To spread the word about your boutique, partner with influencers. Invite bloggers and social media influencers for a private shopping event at the store. Or send them products or gift certificates in exchange.
  • Leverage SMS marketing and email. When your boutique implements a Loyalty programYou can send your customers promotional emails or SMS to get them back in touch with you. This will help you get more customers.  


How to choose a POS for your boutique

Your point of sale (POS) system is the hub of all of your business’s transactions, and can impact the success of your boutique. Look for a Retail POSThis feature will help you to grow your business. 

  • Omnichannel retailing – Your POS should make it easy to Sell onlineAND in your shop by storing all transactional, customer, and inventory data in one location.
  • Analytics and reporting – This platform should give you access to real-time reporting, whether you’re at your boutique or on the go, to power your business decisions.
  • Inventory management – Look for a point of sale system that makes it easy to keep track of what you have in stock, what’s selling like hot cakes, what you need to reorder and more. 


The final part: How to start your own boutique

Now you have all the information you need about opening a boutique. To recap, here’s how to start a brick-and-mortar (or online) boutique:

  1. After deciding which products are in high demand, you can either make them yourself or work with a manufacturer to source them. 
  2. Find the ideal location for your boutique. Before you sign a lease, think about traffic, visibility, and proximity of complementary businesses. 
  3. To subconsciously persuade customers to spend more, design an interior that uses best practices in merchandising.
  4. Every decision you make, whether it’s your shopping bags or your ecommerce site, should reflect your mission-driven brand. 
  5. Your boutique should be promoted. Get creative with window displays, connect with influencers, use social media to stay connected, and make use of SMS and email marketing for your business.
  6. Small Biz Sense is a POS system that will help your boutique succeed. Learn more Talk to UsGet started today 

Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.