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How to start an Apparel Business or a Fashion Boutique in India

posted in: Clothing Business Guide | 0

Starting a business is a dream for almost everybody. There are some businesses that are easy to start with yet very highly scalable and can become huge if managed smartly. Setting up a clothing business or a fashion boutique is one of them. Especially, when it comes to a big country like India, there are ample possibility and market in clothing business with good regular profits if you can address the needs of your customers.

Here are some easy steps on how to start an apparel business or a fashion boutique for your local area in India:

Step 1: Market Research:

Fashion-Style-in-different-states-India
Fig.1 – Market Research of Fashion in India

Know your area:

Define a specific areal that you would like to target for the publicity and marketing of your products. Study and observe the fashion taste of your targetted audience. Try to explore available fashion stocks in various retail outlets or boutique within the same area. It doesn’t require to study anything, just try to ask some of your relatives and friends about their fashion styles and purchasing habits. Know what your targetted audience love to wear and appreciate more.

Understand the stock requirements:

Try to observe and document your findings in bullet points and prepare a list of hot products for the stocks of your retail clothing business. Prepare categories and classify your stocks. Such as Salwar Suits, Sarees, Kurtis, Tops, Tunics, Dress Materials…etc.

Additionally, try to understand which fabric is good for your area. Based on your Market Research, try to understand if you should purchase stocks in Georgette apparels, Cotton cloths, South Cotton, Rayon or some other fabrics. You can also try to mix and match a portfolio combining all fabrics and styles in your stock.

Step 2: Create a Business Plan:

Business-Plan-For-Apparel-Business-Boutique-India
Fig.2-Fashion Boutique or Apparel Business Plan

 

After exploring your target market, prepare a business plan with required resources and budget. Here are some important points to be considered while preparing your Business Plan:

  • Understand your Fixed Costs. (Eg.- Shop Rent, Bills, Employee Salaries, Operations expenses…etc.)
  • List your direct investments for long term. (Eg.- Furniture, Computer, other Fixtures)
  • Prepare a plan to source unique products for your area & define your vendors.
  • Based on all cost estimations define your profile ratio & Return on Investment (ROI)…etc.
  • Create sales & marketing plan attached to your Business and Target Market.

 

Step 3: Vendors & Product Sourcing:

contact-wholesale-apparel-suppliers-online-india
Fig.3-Wholesale Apparel Suppliers

 

Defining your suppliers is a very important task. It’s just like expanding your team. Remember, when it comes to B2B purchases, it’s all about the long-term relationship that can benefit your business and it should never be like “One-Time” deals generally happening in the retail segment. Try to list Suppliers and Companies which can supply the stocks that you need. You can try Online B2B Fashion Apparel Suppliers or search of available options in Offline Markets by visiting various places.

Famous Markets in India:

Remember, connect with a limited set of vendors on initial phase and then expand your product range. Our team recommends every startup to get known for specific products offerings first and then launch a new range of fashion styles. For example become a well known Women Kurti Supplier in your area and then start with Western Tops & Tunics after a successful start with these two, add Designer Salwar Suits and so on.

 

Step 4: Define Purchase & Sale Model:

Define your regular operations and action items. How would you purchase from your suppliers? If they will provide you stocks on cash or credit? What would be the discount slabs and how you will get you stock supplies & shipping? these are the questions you should think while planning your process with your suppliers and vendors. Decide on a step-by-step execution mode and develop a process. This will help you to streamline your purchases and stock keeping.

Customer-Buying-Cycle-Fashion-Boutiques
Fig.4 – Buying Cycles of Customers

 

Similarly, develop a step-by-step sales process. Understand your customers and the best medium to connect with them. Observe if they are comfortable while buying from your shop or boutique or they are happier if you take their orders online or via WhatsApp and provide them a Home Delivery of their favorite product. Try to explore the average budget of your customers and offer them products within the affordable range. There’s a possibility that some customer may not like regular wear or low range cost kurtis, they are looking for the only premium wear stocks and some customers are coming for non-branded, regular wear or low-cost stocks for their day-to-day use. Try to observe what type of customer are more in your contact and buy your wholesale stocks based on that.

Note: For a Solo Startup, Govt. Registration or GST is not mandatory in India. Contact any Charterd Account for more details.

 

Step 5: Smart Marketing & Publicity:

Sales-Model-Clothing-Business
Fig.5 – New Age Sales Model

 

Create awareness about your fashion business and share a word about available trendy products at your shop. Here are some tips that you can follow and make your sales & marketing smarter:

  • USP: Create a Unique Selling Point (Eg.- Cheapest Rate, Out of the box designs/products, Easy Home Delivery…etc.)
  • Go Digital: Make your small website and social media profiles of your business. Start dealing online & expand customers.
  • Try to be specialized: Offer specific products with best quality and services compared to your competitors.
  • Be a people’s person: Deal with exceptionally well and caring services. People notice it the most!

 

Step 6: Manage & Sell:

Shop-Keeper-Marketing-Channels
Fig.6 – Marketing Cycle of Apparel Business Owners

 

The last but not the least is to Manage your business smartly and consistently to create a sustainable model. Here are some of the steps to consider:

  • Talk about it: Even today’s time word of mouth is the best! Never hesitate to talk about your business even if you’re a startup.
  • Watch your Accounts: Never take statistics for granted. Keep watching accounts, financial reports and control your costs.
  • Customer Care: Customers are everything! Know their reviews, feedback, and concerns about your product and resolve them.
  • Adopt New Things: Always go with the flow and adopt new fashion trends and styles to sell. Don’t feel bias about products.
  • Be Tech Savvy: It’s not required to do a Hard Work. Do a smart work. Adopt new software applications and manage your day to day operation with easy steps. Eg.- Take ERP for accounting, Make your products marketing online, Advertise on Google…etc.
  • Build a Team: Team doesn’t mean just employees. Try to build a team of good suppliers, referral marketers or even customer groups.

In this way, you can surely get a good success to start with your Fashion Boutique or Retail Shop. Remember, not everything is applicable to your business plan. You can downsize the steps by selecting a smaller business plan where you may not need to have a separate shop, you can start with a Home Boutique setup. You can initially start with solo instead hiring employees.

Hope you will find this post very useful to start your own fashion boutique or home business. All the best for being the Reseller. In case if you have any comments or concerns about this article, feel free to post your words in comments below.

Have a Happy Fashion Business!!

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