I am officially a business owner!
Becoming a mompreneur has always been in the cards for me. Honestly, that’s what sparked the birth of this blog. I knew that I wanted to fully experience my son’s life and didn’t want to miss any of his milestones. As much as I love blogging, it was time for me to branch out and evolve in my career. My life has been in constant flux for years as a military wife between PCSing and deployments and I could never find the perfect time. So a couple of months ago, I just had to be honest with myself. There will never be a perfect time or perfect approach to launching the business. I decided to take a change and launched in March 2021. A Pop of Accessories, a trendy online accessories boutique, was born.
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Start An Online Boutique In 30 Days or Less
PIN IT FOR LATER:
Select Your Boutique Type and Name
What kind of online boutique do you want? Do you want to sell clothing? Shoes? Accessories? How about all of the above? It’s up to you to decide and do the research necessary to specify what type of boutique you will have. I’d also recommend you get the name for your online boutique decided one time. Before you finalize your boutique name, check online and within your state’s business directory to ensure the name isn’t taken within your industry.
I didn’t want to sell more than accessories at the moment. I’ve always been a huge fan of accessories. Ask anyone who knows me. I’m known to wear unique pieces and pair them with fashion looks that typically only I would choose. Clothing is depending on sizing which would require a lot of inventory and also relies on too many options. For my first business, I wanted something that reflected me, A Pop of Life, and my current budget and lifestyle.
Write A Short Business Plan
Just like any business, you need to have a plan on what you are creating and how you will finance it. Do you want this to be an LLC? Are you going to be a sole proprietor? Are you going to apply for a loan? Or maybe you want to use your personal income to get your business off the ground. Whatever works for you, make sure to detail it and put a plan together for reference.
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Register an EIN
An EIN , Employer Identification Number, is the business equivalent of a social security number. This is how the government and the rest of the business community will identify your specific business. You will register your business with the IRS and they will provide you with an EIN. An EIN is extremely important and necessary to set up your business in 30 days or less.
Purchase Your Domain
If you did a thorough research of your business name, your complete business name as a domain should be available.
For example, my online boutique is A Pop of Accessories. The domain address for the boutique is apopofaccessories.com .
If your business name isn’t available, get creative with the domain name. Just be mindful that you don’t want to confuse your potential customers. The last thing you want is to lose out on business because your customers can’t either spell or associate your domain name with your business name.
Ex. If apopofaccessories.com wasn’t available, I probably would have considered apoa.com.
That is an acronym for the business name. While it’s obvious when you already know the name of the website, I’d think it’d be hard for some people to assume that when only knowing the name. Imagine telling someone that your business is named A Pop of Accessories. They come home later to check online for your online boutique but can’t find it when they try to type it in or google it. With enough searching, of course, your potential client will eventually find the site. But, do you want to potentially lose out on business based on the assumption that your future customer has the patience or time to look?
Keep it simple and to the point with your domain name for the sake of your customers and your potential sales.
Select An eCommerce Store Platform
There are several eCommerce platforms to choose from for your online store. I won’t pretend to be an expert on each one. What I can say is that I recommend that you do your research on pricing, features, etc. for each platform.
I chose Shopify for my boutique. It integrates well with a lot of other platforms and partners that I knew I would need for my boutique. Being that I wanted to start up very quickly, I also wanted a platform that wouldn’t require too much work to get started and be ready to launch. Selecting an eCommerce platform is a choice specific to your online boutique and the factors of your business.
Choose Your Branding Style
What is the vision for your boutique?
What do you want your brand to be described as?
A Pop of Accessories caters to millennial women that like to add some flair to their sense of style. I’m a lover of statement jewelry and dramatic looks. The perfect accessory can take a simple outfit to casual chic in two seconds. That is what I wanted A Pop of Accessories to be for our customers. Our visual branding represents this.
I’d recommend creating a vision board for your business and take it from there.
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Design Your Website
After your branding, you’ll be able to have a grasp on what you want your website looks like. I always recommend choosing three websites that you like to narrow down your vision and expectations of your website. This is especially important if you’re getting someone else to do your website. You’ll want to make sure both parties are clear on what your website design should look like.
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Purchase Shipping Supplies
I recommend that you see your shipping supplies as an extension of your branding. It’s not a requirement to purchase anything special. You could just get free boxes from the USPS and use that until you’re able to branch out. I started early with my branding from the beginning. You’d be surprised how cheap you can get branded shipping supplies on Amazon. It’s been a godsend for me. Whatever look you choose for your shipping supplies, you’ll want to have them ready to go from your launch. Don’t want to keep your customers waiting on their packages.
Get Ready To Launch
It’s very realistic to start an online boutique in 30 days or less. Hey, I did it! The steps I mentioned above are just the basics to get your business launched. There are so many more aspects to running an online boutique just like any other business. I’d recommend as you get ready to launch and in the early months, you take the time to learn as much as possible about running a business. It’s far from easy and surely has a learning curve. But, you have to just take the leap and learn as you go!
Until next time….