How to Start a Boutique in India and make it profitable with tested systems.
This article would also help you understand the problems a new boutique may face if you are not prepared in advance.
So, let's find out how to ensure that you start a profitable clothing business and it runs smoothly everyday.
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Table of Contents
Step 1 : Requirements for Opening a Boutique
1. Have An Open Mind
I have met many people who want to open a fashion boutique in India but fear that they may need fashion or sewing degree to start.
Here is a good news for you!
You need no license, no certification and no degrees to start a boutique in India.
Though, having a professional qualification may help you brand your expertise better but it is not necessary.
Basic Sewing Requirement For Opening A Boutique
If you can cut and stitch and you are planning to make dresses yourself then you need to check out the latest trends.
You do not know sewing
Understand basic measurements, human body structure and some sketching. Else you may hire a customer attendant.
You don’t have to give exams, you need to know just basics, that’s it!
Sewing is no rocket science.
Anybody can start and run a fashion boutique from home that also profitably.
Though, it helps but you don’t need a fashion designing qualification for a work from home boutique.
Get Some Design Books
It is a small investment you can make.
2. Be Ready To Learn Everyday
You can start as well as earn good in boutique business in India if you are ready to learn on everyday basis.
My father said that food, clothing and shelter are three essentials and there are ample of money earning oppotunities in each of these sectors.
One condition is, you must be ready to learn and you must be aware what you are doing.
Now you may ask if you know what you are doing then you can never go wrong anywhere!
What’s the big deal?
But here in boutique business if you want to dig gold, you can do so very well if you analyse -
- Your Competitors
- Market Demand
- Customer Preference
- Seasons In India
- Festivals In India
- Cultural And Social Preferences
- Fears, Apprehensions And
- Social Taboos.
3. How To Start A Boutique With No Money
That’s simple here. When you want to invest less, you need to make your brain and your legs do the extra work.
If you are starting a one person boutique business you will need -
- 1 Sewing machine
- 1 Overlock machine
- 1 Cutting Table | Ironing Table
- Sewing Tools
- Some ready to show dresses
- Dress designs either on your phone, computer, magazines, wall posters or slides.
Almost anybody can climb the Everest, only if one knows how and where to start.
If you have been sewing as a hobby you may be having most of these things and you are ready to start your boutique from a corner of your room.
If you don't have many of these things, you may search around if a nice lady could rent you her sewing machine on monthly basis.
You may also offer to partner with some housewives and start a boutique as a cooperative that would help you scale your business faster.
4. Write down your goals and boutique business plan
I suggested many ideas in my earlier blog Earn Money : Work From Home explaining how to make money with sewing in simple ways.
Once you get your vision clear, things become easier for you.
By this time, you set up a corner of your home as work center and entertain your customers there.
Else you may get your own idea where your customers can reach you.
And write down your boutique business plan –
Who would be your wannabe customers.
How much you are going to charge – Don’t go cheap.
Some people think if they charge less, they are going to attract a huge customer following.
Stay competitive, that is at par with your competitors. You can charge even more if your end product and service is at premium.
What is the competition
What the other people selling your customers at what price. How you can be different from them.
What is your unique selling point
That could be timely delivery, good fitting and alteration or something else? Find your specialty, your niche.
Never make the mistake of undervaluing yourself. If you want success, you deserve it and you’ll get it but you need to keep patience.
Don’t get over-confident
Believe in yourself, take good care of your health – mental as well as physical.
If you would be in good health then only you can do anything in life.
Be money wise
Never make the mistake of overlooking your finances. Keep your finances in check.
Write each expense and income head on regular basis. It will help you at the time of paying taxes.
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5. How to arrange a small boutique to Work From Home
Your work or your business can be run through phone – Whatsapp, facebook page, instagram or your own website.
Not necessarily you need all the brick and mortar set up.
In fact, the concept WORK FROM HOME has nothing to do with working online.
Work from Home exactly means WORK FROM HOME!
For centuries, thousands of people across the world are working from their home and many of them do not need to switch on their phone or computers at all.
What you work from home to earn money is work from home. Running errands is not called work from home.
Now, the things are easier.
You can run your boutique business with more viewability and reachability to your customers through phone and computers.
Thus you can increase your profitability!
Things to remember when starting a boutique in india
Hire from trusted sources
Find out and establish contacts with some hands on tailors in your locality.
DON’T FORGET TO CHECK WORKERS' CREDENTIALS.
It’s better to check workers' identity cards or some other proofs to establish that you and your merchandise is in safe hands.
Once I was in dire need of a tailor to finish some festival orders on time.
I hired a young man with the reference of my existing cutter.
After about fifteen days, this new tailor started skipping the work.
When inquired, he said that his mother was very ill and he needed advance.
He looked so innocent and true that I gave him the money.
Next day on wards, he stopped coming.
When I tried to locate him, I got to know that he was free on parole and was caught and sent back to prison. How much I thanked for my life!
LESSON LEARNT : WHILE HIRING WORKERS, CHECK YOURSELF. REFERENCES MAY ALSO HAVE A TAINTED PAST AND PRESENT.
Spread The Word That You Are On Working Mode.
Free marketing is simpler now then it used to be earlier. Your -
- YouTube channel
- Google Business Page or
- website (if you have) will help you to spread the word faster and publicize free at no time.
I am sure you’ll start getting orders this way. Once you get the orders, contact your tailor to be at your place with his sewing machine or give him yours to finish the work
If he could take the work with him and deliver on time, then it’s best.
You’ll save on time, electricity, tea and headache.
Don’t Do Everything Yourself
Even if you design and stitch yourself, it’s better to outsource some of the basic work.
Though, you may have to share your profits but it’ll help you deliver work faster, hence earn more money by working less.
SMART TIPS TO OUTSOURCE BOUTIQUE WORK
If you can cut and sew on your own and you are making dresses yourself, then it's GOOD.
But, you must try to find people, who are willing to work for you.
In one of fashion designing classes, I ran a workshop for working professionals.
The biggest hurdle was the MANPOWER MANAGEMENT.
Before making an entry into fashion boutique, I was a human resource and training manager in public health, so I knew the challenges of manpower management.
But, situation is a little bit different here, hence the solution has to be different.
Outsource the time-consuming activities –
You can’t escape and skip the designing part but some of the production part / activities can be delegated.
It makes sense if you hire some wannabe fashion designers, tailors, learners to work on piece rate basis.
That means you pay them only after successful completion of each piece according to the quality standards you have set.
For example, if it’s a simple pyjama, you can set a rate of suppose INR 80/- and give the specification about the -
- number of pockets,
- trimmings etc.
Based on the JOB you may pay for each pyjamas.
You can contact stay at home people in neighboring places, who may be interested in less skilled work of -
- sewing buttons,
- trimmings etc.
Thus you may hire at a very low rates but you must provide them with regular work and timely payment.
This way you can keep your workers and employees happy.
Reason is – They are working just for some extra pocket-money and working is not their necessity or priority.
If you don't pay them on time, they may leave your work and start with your competitors.
Before delivery, get the dresses ironed or dry cleaned, if needed by a professional, who is affordable and within your reach.
It’ll save a lot of your time and ensure timely delivery.
These ideas proved to be useful for the work at home as well as fashion brand boutique owners, who attended my last class.
Their contentment and success encouraged me to write this piece of information with you.
I hope this article helps you to start a boutique in India, and earn profitably.
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