Starting a fashion boutique tends to be an expensive and complicated process. You've got to manage your costs for rent, insurance, payment processing, product packaging, and promotional material, and that's without factoring the costs to source or produce unique product to draw in customers. While some of these challenges and expenses also apply to business owners who operate an online DTC fashion brand, many are unique to brick-and-mortar boutique owners.
Whether you are looking to start your own boutique or to improve your existing one, you'll need to make sure you have a planned out process to startup and sustain your business through busy seasons like pre-holiday and slow seasons like those in 2020. That's why we recommend purchasing these five must-read ebooks to advise you through the process. Each is written by professionals in the field and covers the most important aspects of brick-and-mortar retail, A to Z.
1. The Ultimate Boutique Handbook: How to Start, Operate and Succeed in a Brick and Mortar or Mobile Retail Business
By Emily Benson
Do you want to learn how to define your target market?
How to make the most money selling products?
How to build a professional brand image?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then, this handbook has the answers for you. This easy to read book advises on how to open a boutique, as inspired by the author’s own experiences. You can also use this book as a guide to open a fashion truck, or even to help you decide between opening a fashion truck or a boutique. The author – Emily Benson – owns The Fashion Truck and has more than 10 years of experience in the retail industry.
Also Available in Paperback Price: $9.99
2. Business Boutique: A Woman's Guide for Making Money Doing What She Loves
By Christy Wright
Christy Wright prefaces the book by explaining the title. When she would ask women with businesses how they got the idea to start their business, they would all respond: “I’ve always loved…”, whether it be sewing, baking, or design. “Their business was about making money,” Wright continued. “But more importantly… their business was about doing what they loved.”
Wright wants to help women make money doing what they love by providing a customized plan to start their business, simplifying business concepts, and teaching marketing tactics.
Also Available in Paperback and Audiobook Price: $9.99
3. The Everything Guide to Starting and Running a Retail Store: All you need to get started and succeed in your own retail adventure
By Dan Ramsey
As the title implies, this handbook addresses everything there is to know about starting and running a retail store. Chapters range from capitalizing on retail trends, to furnishing your store, to hiring competent employees, just to name a few. This book will completely immerse you in the world of retail and help you “succeed in your own retail adventure”.
Also Available in Paperback Price: $15.99
4. The Online Boutique CEO - How to Start An Online Clothing Boutique Line from Scratch
By Denise Ulasi
This comprehensive guidebook is intended for those looking to launch an online boutique. Starting with the difference between online and offline boutiques, the book continues to detail important concepts such as brand trademarks and managing a boutique website. With many boutiques moving to an online location, The Online Boutique CEO helps novices and veterans alike.
Also Available in Paperback Price: $8.00
5. Boutique Business: A Guide for Budding Entrepreneurs Who Can't Find Answers on Google
By Jance Staten
As much as we like to believe it does, Google doesn’t have all the answers. Luckily, this book does. After working for over a decade in retail, Jance Staten wants to share the wisdom she picked up along the way with other retail entrepreneurs. Staten covers topics such as “where to buy merchandise for your boutique” and “attending fashion trade shows”. This is a great resource for those interested in advancing their retail and inventory knowledge.
Also Available in Paperback Price: $8.99
Though it’s tempting to dive head first into the retail industry, it’s useful to first collect information from experts who’ve been there before.