How to Open a Clothing Store

If you have a passion for fashion and style and want to be your own boss, then opening a clothing store may be the perfect decision for you. However, this isn’t a simple task. Starting a business takes a lot of thought and planning. Start by deciding on your target audience and the niche your store will fill. Then find the perfect location. Add up all your anticipated costs and apply for a startup loan if you need one. Market your business online to increase your sales. Finally, have a big grand opening event to kick off your new store.

[Edit]Steps
[Edit]Researching the Market
Identify your target audience. Your target audience determines almost everything else about your store, from the products you carry to the location of your storefront. Start by brainstorming who you’d like to market to. Then use that decision to make other decisions about your store.[1]
Think big at first. Do you want to appeal to men or women? Then get more specific. Think about what ages, professions, and styles you want to appeal to.
To start, go by what you know. If you worked in a store that sold suits to businesspeople, then you already know that market. Consider entering a field you have experience in like this.
Consider where you might make the most money. Business suits might not be in high demand in a small town. But you may get a lot of tourists in the summer. In this case, it may be better to open a store geared to tourists.
Investigate potential locations for your store. Location is one of the most important early decisions you’ll make in opening your business, so conduct careful market research. Look for a location that has a good foot traffic to get your first customers. Look for other businesses like yours. Small businesses often cluster together to attract as many customers as possible, so this may be a ready-made location for you.[2]
Don’t locate yourself too close to identical stores. If there are a lot of other small clothing stores in the location you’re looking, this market may be too saturated. Consider finding a different location.
If you’re marketing to tourists, for example, then locate your store near the main attraction areas.
For good foot traffic, open the store near restaurants and coffee shops. Places where people visit often can bring in a lot of window shoppers.
Find out what the rent is in every area you look. This will be a big expense, so don’t overlook it in the planning stage.
Find a specialty for your store’s merchandise. Big department stores offer all the big brands at low prices, so your store won’t stand out if you try to follow that model. Think about what would set you apart from larger competitors and other small businesses. Carry brands or products that department stores don’t, or develop a specialty in a field that your area lacks.[3]
One good angle is carrying brands made by local manufacturers. This gives a much different flavor to your store than someone could get at a large retailer.
Your town may have a lot of off-brand boutique stores, but perhaps they lack a maternity store. This could be where you make your niche.
Develop a backup plan if your business isn’t successful. Remember that starting any business is a risk and many small businesses fail. Don’t let this discourage you, but also have backup plans in mind in case the business doesn’t work out.[4]
Have emergency savings to cover 6 months of living expenses if you have to find a new job.
Remember that clothing stores usually have smaller profit margins than other businesses. Get into this because you love the industry and want to work with people. This passion will help you deal with below-average profits.[Edit]Financing and Incorporating the Business
Determine your total operating costs. Figure out how much your store will cost to run before opening it. If you don’t have a full financial picture, your store is unlikely to succeed. Operating costs, sometimes called overhead or fixed costs, are the expenses you have to pay regularly just to keep the store open. Add up all the costs that remain consistent each month and have to be paid. The resulting sum is your operating cost.[5]
Common items for operating costs are rent, utilities, insurance, and phone/internet connections. If you take out loans, paying them back is also a fixed cost.
Common advice is to keep your rent about 6% of your yearly sales. Keep this in mind when you add up your costs. If rent is $2,000 per month, that’s $24,000 per year. That means you’d need about $400,000 in sales to meet this recommendation. If you can’t project sales that high, consider finding cheaper rent.
Add up your inventory and labor costs. These costs are called variable costs, because they can change from month to month. For instance, you could buy less inventory or hire less workers and your store would still stay open. Add up what all your inventory will cost you and how much paying your employees will cost. Then combine this number with any other variable costs you have.[6]
Some other variable costs include advertising and marketing expenses, since you technically don’t have to do these things to stay open.
Add up your fixed and variable costs to get your breakeven price, meaning the amount you have to make each month just to cover your expenses.
Draw up a business plan. A business plan is crucial not only to focus your own thoughts, but also because any potential investors will want to see your plan before providing any financing. Put together a comprehensive explanation for your business, including the products you’ll sell, your operating plan, and all your expenses. Be ready to present this plan to anyone you ask for financing.[7]
Start by describing your business concisely. What will you sell and who is your target audience?
Then outline how you will fit into the current market. Explain the research that you’ve done and how you’ll set yourself apart from competitors.
Finally, outline your total costs, both fixed and variable. Then note how much financing you’ll need to get started.
Form a legal business entity. While forming a business entity is not a requirement, there are many advantages to doing so. Forming an entity separates your personal and business finances, so your personal savings are protected. Merchants, manufacturers, and lenders are also usually more willing to work with a business rather than an individual. Finally, you can declare business expenses and get tax write-offs as a business owner.[8]
The most common entities are a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and corporation. Most small businesses are LLCs because they usually don’t involve a lot of people.
File for a business license in the state you’re operating in. If you don’t want to handle the paperwork yourself, you can hire a lawyer or other business to do the work for you.
Apply for a business loan or find private investors. If you don’t have enough savings to open the store yourself, then secure financing from a bank or private individuals. Apply for a small business loan from a local bank. If the bank won’t provide enough funds, a private investor may be a better option. Keep in mind that private investors usually want to see a larger return on their investment than a bank. They may want to own a part of the business in exchange for the loan.[9]
The amount of the loan depends on your total costs. Experts recommend having 6-12 months of expenses on hand when you start up, because it will take several months to start bringing in money.
Typical amounts for opening a small clothing store range from a low of $50,000 to over $200,000, or even more for larger stores.
It’s better to have more cash on hand than not enough. Most small business fail within their first year because they don’t have enough capital.[Edit]Stocking and Staffing the Store
Contact suppliers for quotes on merchandise. With your financing and business plan in place, begin stocking your store. Look for suppliers or manufacturers in the niche your store is in. Find the best items for the best price and place orders for your initial stock.[10]
Consider buying items in bulk to save costs. However, don’t order more than you think you can sell. If you sink all your startup money into merchandise right away, you might not be able to pay your other bills.
Try contacting manufacturers directly rather than wholesalers. You might save money by buying directly from manufactures.
Trade shows are also good places to pick up cheap wholesale items.
Carry products from local manufacturers to set your store apart. Small stores are part of their communities, and a great way for you to insert yourself into the local community is by showcasing local manufacturers. Contact jewelry makers, artists, and clothing makers to place their items in your store. This gives you a good supply of merchandise and is also great for your marketing.[11]
If you don’t have room in your store for locals to stock their items all the time, consider doing a monthly event for local manufacturers. Set up a tent in your parking lot and let them come showcase their products, for example.
Hire employees if you need them. The number of employees you’ll need depends on the size of the store. A common recommendation is for 1 full time and 1 part time worker for each of store. Think about how much work you can do yourself. Then hire more people as you need them.[12]
Have at least one trusted employee who can run the store when you’re not there. You never know when you’ll have an emergency or get sick, so someone should know as much as you know about running the store.
Remember that each employee you hire is another added expense. Only hire people you need.
If work is irregular, consider hiring seasonal employees to save money. If you run a tourist shop that is only active in the summer, you don’t need many employees in the winter months.[Edit]Marketing the Business
Have a grand opening event. After all your hard work, arrive with a bang by having a big grand opening event. Invite everyone you know and advertise the event around town. This is your big chance to show everyone your store and get the word out.[13]
Offer special sales on opening day to give everyone a sample of what you have to offer.
Contact local media sources to come cover the event. This could give you some free advertising.
Invite the mayor or other local politicians to bring more attention to the event.
Use social media to place ads. Social media offers a great, cheap way to advertise. First, start a page for your store on all the major social media sites. Then start ad campaigns on these sites to spread the word to locals about your business.[14]
Since your business has a physical location, set the ads to target people living 5-10 miles from you. Advertising to people 100 miles away will waste your ad budget.
Update all your social media sites regularly. If you haven’t posted on Facebook in 6 months, people may think your business closed down. Aim for at least 1 post per week on each of your accounts. Also make any major announcements, like sales, on all your accounts and website.
Remember that advertising still costs money. Work these ads into your budget to avoid going over costs.
Appear at local fairs and festivals. Most communities have events like these to showcase local businesses. Do your best to attend as many as you can to promote your business. Bring samples and items to sell so people can see what you offer.[15]
Always bring plenty of business cards when you attend these events. Pass them out to as many people as you can.
Check with your local chamber of commerce to find a list of upcoming business events. Attend as many as you can.
Don’t leave the store unattended or closed when you attend events. Leave your best employee to run the store while you’re gone.
Sell online to reach a wider audience. Websites like Amazon and eBay offer a massive platform for small businesses. If you only focus on your in-person sales, you’re missing out on a huge potential to reach more customers. Make selling accounts on one or more online retail site and list your products. This is a great way to attract more customers or keep your profits up if visits to your store are slow.[16]
Stay on top of your online sales. If you get a reputation for poor service, you could get banned from these sites.
Include links to your online store on all your social media sites.
Remember that all online stores have fees associated with them. Find out all the fees you’ll pay and price your items accordingly so you won’t lose money.
[Edit]References
[Edit]Quick Summary↑ https://smallbusiness.chron.com/requirements-open-clothing-store-10074.html

↑ https://startups.co.uk/how-to-start-a-clothes-shop/

↑ https://startups.co.uk/how-to-start-a-clothes-shop/

↑ https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/37944

↑ https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/37944

↑ https://www.investopedia.com/terms/v/variablecost.asp

↑ https://www.business.com/articles/how-to-start-a-clothing-store/

↑ https://www.asha.org/practice/BusinessEntities/

↑ https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/37944

↑ https://www.business.com/articles/how-to-start-a-clothing-store/

↑ https://howtostartanllc.com/business-ideas/clothing-boutique

↑ https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/37944

↑ https://www.business.com/articles/how-to-start-a-clothing-store/

↑ https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/37944

↑ https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/37944

↑ https://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/online-store-and-retail/7-sites-to-sell-your-products-online-whats-best-for-your-business/

Read More

Today in History for 8th January 2020

Historical Events

1610 – Simon Marius. a German astronomer, independently discovers the first three moons of Jupiter one day after Galileo
1968 – Jacques Cousteau’s 1st undersea special on US network TV
1972 – Dmitri Shostakovich’ 15th Symphony premieres in Moscow
1984 – NCAA announces that basketball tournament will have 64 teams
1989 – Boeing 737-400 crashes at Kegworth, England, 46 die
2018 – US record year for cost of natural disasters announced – $306 billion in 2017

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1556 – Uesugi Kagekatsu, Japanese samurai and warlord (d. 1623)
1836 – Lawrence Alma Tadema, Dutch/British painter/husband of Laura Epps
1883 – Pavel Filonov, Russian painter (d. 1941)
1906 – Jan A H J S Bruins Slot, Dutch founder illegal Trouw/MP (ARP)
1965 – Eric Wohlberg, Canadian cyclist (Olympics 1996), born in Greater Sudbury, Canada
1980 – Rachel Nichols, American actress, born in Phoenix, Arizona

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1713 – Arcangelo Corelli, Italian composer and violinist (Concerti Grossi), dies at 59
1811 – Samuel Story, Dutch rear admiral (Battle of Kamperduin), dies at 58
1858 – Friedrich Karl Kuhmstedt, composer, dies at 48
1975 – John Gregson, British actor (Gideon CID, The Longest Day, Shirley’s World), dies from a heart attack at 55
1981 – Woody Chamblis, actor (Mr Lathrop-Gunsmoke), dies at 66
2017 – Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, 4th President of Iran (1989-97) and de facto commander-in-chief of the Iranian military during the Iran-Iraq War, dies of a heart attack at 82

More Famous Deaths »

Read More

How to Transfer a License Plate

If you’re planning to sell an older vehicle and replace it with a new one, you can transfer the license plates to your new vehicle. To do this, both vehicles must be registered in your name and both must have the same registration code. Under certain circumstances, you can also transfer the license plates to the individual you’re selling the vehicle to. While the process for transferring plates from one vehicle to another can vary widely from one U.S. state to another, there are several basic steps that you can follow regardless of where you live.

[Edit]Steps
[Edit]Transferring Plates between Vehicles
Find a copy of your current vehicle registration paperwork. When you first registered the vehicle under your name (e.g., when you purchased the car or moved to a new state), a state official probably gave you a copy of the registration paperwork. This single sheet of paper contains your name, the vehicle’s tag number, and the registration number. You’ll need this document to transfer your plates.[1]
If you’ve lost your registration paperwork, you may be able to request a new copy at the motor vehicle office.
Gather the title to the newer vehicle you’re transferring plates to. The title shows ownership of the vehicle. Since you won’t have registered this vehicle in your name yet, you will have its title but not its registration. (You’ll receive the registration when you transfer the plates.) So, before you transfer plates to the new vehicle, you must show ownership by presenting the title.[2]
If you’ve applied to transfer the vehicle but haven’t yet received the new title itself, that’s okay. Just bring in the title of the copy application that you’ve filled out and submitted.
Collect proof that the vehicle you’re transferring the plates to is insured. Transfer your car insurance from your older vehicle (that currently has the plates on it) to the newer vehicle before visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office or tag office. Before transferring the plates, a clerk will request to see proof that the vehicle is insured. Documents that prove insurance include your insurance card or a paper copy of the form you received from the insurance company upon purchasing your insurance.[3]
This may not apply in all states. In various states, you do not to show prove that you have car insurance unless you have changed insurance companies since the last time you registered a vehicle.
Have your new vehicle inspected if your state requires it. Some states require that vehicles (whether new or used) undergo an inspection before they are registered and plated. In this case, take the vehicle to a reputable car mechanic. Ask them to test drive the car and look under the hood (and under the chassis) to confirm that it’s in good shape. Also ask for a certificate of inspection to prove that the car passed.[4]
In some cases, you may need to get an emissions test as well to make sure that the car isn’t emitting legal limits of toxic gasses.
Not all states require a vehicle inspection prior to transferring license plates. To find out if your state requires it, visit the website for the state’s motor-vehicle agency.
Visit your local motor vehicle agency to begin the transfer process. Different states use different titles for their motor vehicle agencies. Some agencies are managed by the state’s DMV, while others are referred to as “tag offices.” If you’re not sure where the nearest office is located, search online for “motor vehicle office near me.”[5]
For example, if you live in New Jersey, you can find a list of all motor vehicle offices online at: https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/locations/facilitylocations.htm.
Keep your name consistent across the 2 vehicles’ registrations. When you complete the registration paperwork for the newer vehicle, spell your name (and include the same parts of your name) the same as you did on the older vehicle’s registration. If you register the new vehicle under a different name than the old vehicle was registered under (e.g., if you were married and changed your last name), you won’t be able to transfer your license plates between vehicles.[6]
This rule may not hold in every state. If you’re not sure if this applies in your state, ask a clerk at the tag office.
Pay the mandatory fee to complete the plate-transfer process. To finalize the plate transfer, the clerk will ask you to pay a small fee. The amount that you’re required to pay will differ from state to state, but is usually under $10 USD. For instance, in Arkansas it costs $10 to transfer plates, but it only costs $1 in Colorado.[7]
Pay the fee with a credit or debit card, or by writing out a check to your state’s motor vehicle division.[Edit]Transferring Plates to Another Individual
Leave the plates on the vehicle if you’re selling it to a family member. If you are selling a vehicle to a member of your immediate family (e.g., a sibling, child, or parent), you may leave the license plates on. Visit the DMV or tag office with your family member, and bring proof of your relationship (such as birth certificates or state-issued identification). Sign over both the vehicle’s title and the license plates to your family member by filling out any paperwork provided by a DMV staff member.[8]
Your family member can then register the vehicle in their name using the license plates still on the car.
If you sell the car to a family member who isn’t part of your immediate family, you must remove the plates prior to the sale.
Likewise, if you sell the vehicle to someone you’re not at all related to, remove the plates from the car before finalizing the sale.
Give the plates to the new owner if they’re a resident of the same state. In a few states (e.g., Delaware), you are legally permitted to leave the license plates on your car when you sell it as long as the vehicle’s new owner is a resident of the same state. The new owner must then register the vehicle in their name. Check at your local tag office to make sure this is permitted before leaving your plates on the car when you sell it.[9]
If you’re not sure whether or not you can transfer plates in your state, check the website of your state’s motor vehicle agency. Or, ask a staff member at the DMV or tag office.
Keep in mind that this may not be advantageous to you if you’re replacing an older car with a newer one. Without plates to transfer to the new vehicle, you’ll have to pay for new plates during registration.
Return the plates to the motor vehicles office in states that require it. In certain states (e.g., Arizona), license plates are owned by the state government. Vehicle owners must return the plates to the state when they sell the car that the plates had been registered to. The simplest way to do this is to surrender the plates at the tag office. If you don’t live near a tag office, you could also return the plates by mail.[10]
To find out if your state requires drivers to return their plates, check online with the state’s motor vehicle agency. Or, ask a clerk at the tag office.
Alternately, find your state in AAA’s online listing and see if drivers are required to return plates to the state. Check online at: https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/transfer-of-plates/.[Edit]Tips
Some of the particularities of transferring a license plate will differ slightly from state to state. If you’re ever confused or not sure what the next step should be, talk to a staff member at your local DMV or tag office.
In most states, when you sell a vehicle to a new owner (as long as they live in the same state as you), they can keep the same plates on the vehicle. The new owner will still need register the vehicle under their name, though.[11]
In most states (e.g., North Carolina), the plate-transfer fee will be waived if the vehicle’s owner dies and the title and registration are passed to the owner’s spouse.[12][Edit]References↑ https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1585_1587_1590-25274–,00.html

↑ https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1585_1587_1590-25274–,00.html

↑ https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1585_1587_1590-25274–,00.html

↑ https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/title-registration/license-plates/Pages/transfer-plates.aspx

↑ https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/vehicles/aboutplates.htm

↑ https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/vehicles/aboutplates.htm

↑ https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/transfer-of-plates/

↑ https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1585_1587_1590-25274–,00.html

↑ http://doa.alaska.gov/dmv/plates/transfer.htm

↑ https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/transfer-of-plates/

↑ http://doa.alaska.gov/dmv/plates/transfer.htm

↑ https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/title-registration/license-plates/Pages/transfer-plates.aspx

Read More