A lot of you have been asking me how do you start your own online boutique, so I wrote this blog to let you know where to start and what questions you need to ask yourself. But make sure you do your own research and dig a little deeper into everything I’m about to tell you to make sure that it works for you and your business. Also, comment if I left anything out that you can think of!
Make sure you have all of your legal things in order. Decide on your identity, are you going to be in business alone as a Sole Proprietor? Will you have an assistant and need to set up an LLC? You’ll need to have a tax ID number or an EIN to do dropshipping, purchasing, and/or register your company with wholesalers. Depending on the state your in or the state of your possible supplier, you will also need to have a resellers permit or wholesale license, I got mine for free through my state. Also, depending on what state you were in check to be sure if you need a business license as well. LegalZoom is a great place to do some research however I would not recommend them to make purchases because sometimes they charge you for things that you can do yourself for free.
Make a business plan sis! This is so important it does not need to be 50 pages long or have your estimated revenue for the next 12 months, but it does need to have all of your business essentials like the following;
what is your business name?
what is your business Mission statement?
what is your business email address?
does your business have a phone number?
what is your logo?
what do you plan on using as a payment processor? (Square, Paypal, etc)
what is your brand philosophy?
what are your brands' colors?
how much money do you plan on making?
how much money do you plan on spending on marketing, packaging, etc?
That should all be on your business plan to give you an idea of what you need to get accomplished!
A great idea is to also make a mood board or a brand board! Creating a visual of what you want your
brand to look like on paper can also help you to get and stay in alignment with your brand. Use colors and materials and different pictures to show the theme of your brand!
You’ll also need to decide who you are going to host your boutique with. Currently, Shopify is offering 90 days free so that’s a great place to start! They have plans that suit big and small budgets and their customer service is great and they also have an app. I have a basic Shopify account that I use to access products and connect to Facebook but my store website is created using Wix.
You also need to decide whether or not you are going to use a company that does drop shipping or if you are going to physically ship all of your packages. Speaking of packaging are you going to make your packaging special? Is it going to have your logo on it? If so, where are you going to order your packaging supplies? Will you have your logo on the outside or inside? Will you include a thank you insert? Will your packaging be durable? A good idea is to also sign up with the United States Postal Service business program. And consider if you will be offering shipping outside of the states. I currently don't do any shipping outside of the states but I have been considering it.
Anywho, I hope this helps! please let me know if you have any questions and feel free to comment!