Boutique disasters are common and if you have lack of experience, you are in trouble before you know it.
Not everybody knows stitching and even if one knows, there are times, when you are more interested in getting a dress done rather than doing it yourself.
If you know the inside disasters which ruin a boutique, you can avoid them and make good money out of your fashion boutique.
SETTING UP A BOUTIQUE IS EASY
A couple of years back, I opened my fashion boutique. I already had an Umbrella Sewing Machine and a Stitch magic and a big wooden table for cutting purpose.
I bought an interlock machine and a few more things and rented a shop in a nearby market.
For one or two months, things were slow but later business started picking up and very soon I reached my break-even point and started making profits.
After about six months time, I had to close my boutique due to my family and health reasons but the lessons I learnt there, stayed with me and enriched me a lot.
My experiences are bundle of my blunders and now I can find them amusing but at that time, they were enough to blow my head apart.
If you are planning to run a fashion boutique or already started with one or if you think that running a fashion boutique is quite easy then go ahead to read.
May be you could relate to it. You may add some more interesting insights to it. You may avoid committing them yourself or may be you can understand your designer better. So, let’s share the journey:-
- I inaugurated my boutique with great pomp and show. Spent good money on a rented shop. Got the interiors done and bought expensive things but one thing I forgot that it was a rented shop, which needed to be vacated at some point of time.
- Though, I got good standing in business and earned from that shop but that shop was put on sale by the owner and spending too much on it was ridiculous.
- One good thing was my chief cutter. He was a master and knew great tricks and he could cut and sew any kind of dress in no time. Later he saw that the sale is going up, he started playing tricks on me and demanded money every now and then.
- By the time he intended to leave, I had learnt the professional way of cutting, stitching and designing and not needed to be dependent on him.
WHAT I LEARNT BY OPENING A BOUTIQUE
- If your work area and your customer dealing area is common and your workers are dealing with customers, then disaster is waiting to happen.
- There should be a specific staff for customer dealings and workers should concentrate on their work only. Otherwise, workers get this wrong notion that the whole work is done by them and owner is making good money. The fact is that they forget the owner has to meet other incidental expenses like electricity, water, tea, refreshments, market welfare, wear and tear, apart from their salaries.
- Once, workers start having apprehensions, your work quality and output suffers. Worker unrest sets in and so does absenteeism.
- There is always a short supply of good workers and it impacts the hiring, too. Generally, employees are kept for work by word of mouth reference. In this case, it’s better to check their identity cards, if any.
- I remember, once I hired a very good worker on reference but in a few months’ time when he ran away with my money, I got to know that he was an absconding criminal. I thanked my stars for saving my life even at the cost of money.
- In business, it’s not a good thing to trust too much. Learn to distrust, if you are also like me and want to survive a long innings. I trusted some of my lady staff but soon I realized their on floor affairs and all time engagements, which hampered the business. Though, counselling is the key but you need to be firm on certain rules and stick with them.
- Your employees look upto you as a pioneer not as a buddy. Sometimes, being a buddy is okay but while taking decisions you may not need to look upto their approvals.
- While, you may have good intentions of making them feel good but sometimes it back fires and your employees start sidelining you. Hence, be the decision maker in front of your customers, at least.
- Set clear work responsibilities. Do not mix work as far as possible. It is agreed that even in corporate world, multi tasking rule the roost but clearly defined work responsibilities allow your workers to concentrate on their work better.
- Report on work on time and work like an employee. Even when it’s your business, you should not take the leeway to attend or not to attend work. It should be the priority to report on work on time and not to waste time around. Our employees look upto us and thus a work culture of a workplace is built.
- While hiring new workers, always check their capabilities. Take a trial test if possible. Initially, don’t leave them unattended. Keep an eye on their work and if need be, give them training or counseling.
- Keep your personal finances and business finances separate. So many online solutions and apps are available today to keep your finances in place but even if you can’t do that, keep a diary.
These are just a recap of my experiences, which I have already shared before. I am sure if you are also into stitching business, you would be having your experiences to share with us.