a retail boutique! Here is what I went through when I took my "dream of a boutique" to "planning" it....and trust me the thought of "build it and they will come" CANNOT be a part of your planning thoughts!
(Pic from my boutique)
First, I have to be honest---I HATE paperwork! Being an artist, I am more "visual" and it took many months of writing a business plan (which you can find all kinds of examples on the internet). That being said, I adjusted the typical business plan to meet my wants and needs and the most important thing---I made it "FUN and VISUAL"!
(collage from me via i.stock)
The most IMPORTANT items on the business plan to me were: financial budget and marketing! Then I moved onto "location, who will be my customer, and products". So let's talk about the most difficult part of planning for most people...
I am blessed that the "financial needs" part I never had to worry about, but that didn't mean I shouldn't have a budget! Being successful entrepreneurs,Texan hubby and I, know that no matter how well the companies are doing----you still have to watch the bottom lines! But, I never have had to go to a bank or outside investors to get me started---I used my own finances until the store was able to pay it's own bills. Which took a HUGE initial investment---rent, renovations, marketing, and of course PRODUCTS! I took this initial investment and was able to have the store hold its own in 2 years. I have never had to "reinvest" any of our own finances again.
I have never taken a salary from the store (only from my other businesses). I reinvest all the monies back into the store via salaries, products, and marketing. If you depend on the boutique to pay your personal expenses, just know that it can take several years to achieve that. But, do put it in your "budget plan", because the banks/investors will need to see that.
I truly believe this is where most people stop in their "Dream Planning Stage"...because once you see what the reality is of the money it is going to cost---can stop people dead in their tracks.
All those "negative" thoughts from yourself and others start to drown out why you wanted to open a boutique in the first place! Trust yourself and know that YES this is going to take some deep pockets (at first), but if you have a talent for retail and LOVE people (which is a whole other post---about dealing with the general public)---then filter the thoughts, acknowledge them---and then get back into the "zone" of your planning and MOVE FORWARD!
Next time I will talk about MARKETING! xo...debi