Though Mumbai isn’t as well-known internationally as other fashion capitals like New York, London or Paris, it should be. Established in the late 16th century and formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is India’s most prominent city that hosts one of the country’s largest ports.
It might be a dream of you to open a fashion boutique in Mumbai, you’re probably excited about becoming your boss and running your own business. But before you dive in, it’s important to understand the challenges of owning and operating your own business in India.
If you have plans to open a fashion boutique in Mumbai, you may not be entirely sure what you need to do before opening your doors to customers. Here are some tips that will help get you started on the right foot with your business plan and help make your venture successful right out of the gate.
Before you start designing your fashion boutique or start searching for an office in Mumbai for rent, you need to decide how much money you can afford to invest. This should take into account rent, labour costs, utility bills, and other fixed costs.
With all these expenses factored in, you’ll have a better idea of what your budget is and what type of clothing store you can open. If you don’t have enough cash on hand, consider taking out a business loan.
If you want to invest any money into your business or take out loans, it is necessary that you have a business plan. While writing a Business Plan isn’t all that fun, it does make everything much easier once you are ready to get started. It also makes you focus on what is important and helps put together all of your thoughts so that you can start your business!
When deciding how much money to set aside for each part of your business, try thinking from a customer’s perspective: What kind of shopping experience do you want them to have? A trendy one or an upscale one?
In general, higher-end boutiques tend to cost more because they offer more services. For example, it may be worth investing in some new equipment if it means providing customers with an experience that will help build their loyalty.
If you’re thinking of opening up a shop in Mumbai, choose your location carefully. Consider where your customers are and how many of them there are likely to be in your area. Also, think about whether it’s right to open up near similar stores you don’t want to risk being overshadowed.
And make sure that people can easily find your store; if they can’t, they might not bother looking at what you have on offer. Finally, consider whether your chosen location in Mumbai is accessible by public transport.
It may seem convenient to set up shop next door to an underground station or bus stop in the city of Mumbai, but if it means that all of your potential customers have already passed through before they get anywhere near your store, then you could be wasting valuable opportunities.
Hiring qualified and trustworthy staff is one of your most important responsibilities as an entrepreneur. Take time to interview prospective employees, verify references and perform background checks before you commit to hiring them. Once you’ve hired staff, keep these things in mind: Employees are the backbone of your business, always treat them with respect.
Choosing your niche is an essential step to starting any business, and no matter how broad you aim to be, your boutique will benefit from having a specific focus. Once you’ve identified what that focus is, make sure it’s something people will actually buy. Yes, even if it’s fashion, if people can’t relate to or understand your niche, they won’t be likely to spend money on it
The vibe of your shop is more important than you think. When people step into your boutique, they should feel comfortable and want to stay awhile. Doll up your place with nice lighting and pleasant, comfortable furniture so that it doesn’t feel like a sterile retail environment. The kind of space you create will also impact how much money you make and if customers enjoy being there, they might just spend more money!
Regardless of what you plan to sell, keeping an eye on the latest trends is essential. New styles are introduced every day, and getting ahead of these new designs will help set your boutique apart from those that don’t follow trends. Of course, staying abreast of emerging design ideas can take some time and if you’re looking to create your own clothing line or handbag line rather than sell other brands, it can be even more difficult.
The foundation of any fashion store is customer service. You’ll need to provide customers with friendly, responsive service that meets their needs while also introducing them to new trends and merchandise. If you don’t know anything about fashion or retail, it’s not essential but if you do, your passion for your products will come through in your customer-service interactions and help you forge strong relationships with clients.
Shoppers often become bored by repetition, so don’t have more than 10 percent of your stock consist of items that have been on display before. Make sure these items are still priced at an attractive rate and remain relevant to customers; if they don’t, it’s time to remove them. If you manage to keep your store looking fresh, it will attract new shoppers and encourage existing ones to buy again.
If you want to start your own fashion brand, one of the main steps should be building up an audience of followers on social media. This is no small feat: There are countless accounts vying for attention on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest every day, all with virtually no budget. But if you’re creative and willing to work hard, it’s not impossible.
These days, people from all walks of life want to become online influencers. From high-school students to housewives, almost everyone wants to be an influencer or at least likes to think that they are one. We indeed look up to these people on YouTube and Instagram. As such, if you can create content which appeals directly to your target audience, you can use it as leverage for your e-commerce store and make them loyal customers as well.
More and more women have come forward with ideas of starting a fashion business considering the scope of entrepreneurship in this niche. This is an opportunity for women to empower themselves to become entrepreneurs with an influential clothing line.
But, before you rush out and open up your own fashion boutique, make sure to understand your risk tolerance as well as what type of competition you’ll be facing locally. Find the office space and start your business with a well-structured plan.
With such a saturated market, it can be hard to get noticed. Don’t let that deter you! With some time and effort, your boutique will get noticed for your unique items, personalised service and overall love of fashion. Just remember to stay motivated. Nothing good comes easy so don’t give up!