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How much $$$ to open boutique? - Page 2

post #16 of 53
I remember reading an article in the Boston Globe a few years back about the gay revival of neighborhoods.

I know that this is not what you are looking for, but it might offer some helpful information/tips about starting up your own buisness, http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com...le-retail.html
post #17 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelVH
It's great to get involved in your passion.

I am a business student and currently work in a clothing store.

I would guess, an initial investment would be around 150-200K CDN to open a small boutique. There are many initial costs: banking, finding a lawyer, renovations, display racks, initial inventory, hiring staff, retail POS systems, and marketing. Once off the ground, you need to keep in mind your operational costs and have the ability to run at a loss for six months to a year.

This is about right. When I did my bus. plan my initial investment was about $200,000. That was/is for a 1500 sq ft store @ $25/sq ft. rent, 125k-150k for clothes and 50k for everything else.

Also, check around your local colleges / Small Bus Assoc / community colleges for classes on making a business plan. I had an excellent class which helped me from beginning to end in making the plan. They also offered help after the class was over with completing the plan. Then, they would do free consulting as you business gets underway / up an rolling.

They are/were an excellent resource.

Edit: I forgot. You'll need to come up with at least 20% of the money on your own before you can get a loan from a bank.
post #18 of 53
A smaller town changes things a fair amount, as your rent will likely be a little bit less, but so will your traffic and sales. In terms of in-stock inventory, it depends on a number of factors, but if you want to have a couple items in each size in stock, it will be fairly expensive. Furthermore, I believe AA does wholesale, wasn't that guy selling it in the B/S forum at wholesale?
post #19 of 53
I know they used to sell AA at Von Maur. There is a small shop in downtown Omaha that sells AA as well. I used to buy AA wholesale too...
post #20 of 53
Thread Starter 
"In terms of in-stock inventory, it depends on a number of factors, but if you want to have a couple items in each size in stock, it will be fairly expensive."

Exactly my problem, I want my store to seem very exculsive in the sense that if you purchase a piece your not gonna see 10 other people wearing it, giving the buyer a sense of individualism. Say if I wanted 5 pieces of 20 different items, that's 100 items, would that be considerably more expensive than orering 100 pieces of one item because I'm not buying one product in bulk?

The area I'm targeting is downtown where they have other shops, 3 or 4 but they are more traditional mens stores and sell suits or are completly urban (which works to my benefit). This would present them with a young yet modern and clean cut option. There is a large gay community which will definatly help me, however I don't want them to be my main demographic, I mainly want to advertise as the place "rappers" shop when it's time to grow up haha. They are used to wanting name brands and have an interest in lothing already, but when they go to college or university they are going to need to refine thier style and that's where I'd come in.

I couldn't see rent being any more than 1500 - 2000 a month, I really don't plan on opening a large store, a small premium boutique will be fine. Any info on POS systems?
post #21 of 53
Thread Starter 
thanks for the article, it was a good read
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayMcDenim
"In terms of in-stock inventory, it depends on a number of factors, but if you want to have a couple items in each size in stock, it will be fairly expensive."

Exactly my problem, I want my store to seem very exculsive in the sense that if you purchase a piece your not gonna see 10 other people wearing it, giving the buyer a sense of individualism. Say if I wanted 5 pieces of 20 different items, that's 100 items, would that be considerably more expensive than orering 100 pieces of one item because I'm not buying one product in bulk?

Keep in mind, companies have minimums to order. You might only want 5 pieces but you'll probably need to place a minimum order unless it is a very small company with lower ordering standards. Figure at least $10k at minimum. Companies don't want you to buy just one thing in their line. They want you to buy several if not the whole line. You can haggle a bit but it may be difficult.

Quote:
The area I'm targeting is downtown where they have other shops, 3 or 4 but they are more traditional mens stores and sell suits or are completly urban (which works to my benefit). This would present them with a young yet modern and clean cut option. There is a large gay community which will definatly help me, however I don't want them to be my main demographic, I mainly want to advertise as the place "rappers" shop when it's time to grow up haha. They are used to wanting name brands and have an interest in lothing already, but when they go to college or university they are going to need to refine thier style and that's where I'd come in.

I couldn't see rent being any more than 1500 - 2000 a month, I really don't plan on opening a large store, a small premium boutique will be fine. Any info on POS systems?

Find a good library and you will be able to pinpoint your exact demographic (where they live, what they make, their hobbies). It is amazing how much info is out there.

Macs pos is somewhere around $2000 (I think) and it's called POSIM. Maybe a little bit more? $3-$4000?) Don't know what's out there for Microsoft (nor do I care )
post #23 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tck13
Macs pos is somewhere around $2000 (I think) and it's called POSIM. Maybe a little bit more? $3-$4000?) Don't know what's out there for Microsoft (nor do I care )
Mac all the way!
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelVH
It's great to get involved in your passion.

I am a business student and currently work in a clothing store.

I would guess, an initial investment would be around 150-200K CDN to open a small boutique. There are many initial costs: banking, finding a lawyer, renovations, display racks, initial inventory, hiring staff, retail POS systems, and marketing. Once off the ground, you need to keep in mind your operational costs and have the ability to run at a loss for six months to a year.

If you don't have any experience in management, consider checking your local college or university for a certificate in business management. Courses range from three weeks for a certificate, two years for a diploma or a complete bachelors in commerce.

All excellent points of consideration. Please also keep in mind that a great many small businesses fail because they fail to take advertising and marketing costs into consideration as part of operational expense. Money starts getting tight and the first thing they cut back on is advertising. That is the LAST thing you should cut back on.
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by FriscoSoxFan
All excellent points of consideration. Please also keep in mind that a great many small businesses fail because they fail to take advertising and marketing costs into consideration as part of operational expense. Money starts getting tight and the first thing they cut back on is advertising. That is the LAST thing you should cut back on.

If I'm not mistaken, I think advertising should be around 5% of sales. Probably around $1500-$4000 per month? It's very expensive especially in larger markets.
post #26 of 53
Interesting posts guys. I remember talking to Scott (is that his name?) over at South Willard about how he runs his business. The interesting thing he said was that he wanted a good location that's fairly exclusive, he also doesn't keep his front door open because he doesn't want the randomers just strolling in to waste time. As opposed to business up on melrose who seem to want to take whatever they can get because they're so desperate for action. Some of those places are pretty high pressure with the salespeople actually hard selling you to even go in their shitty store. Different philosophies. He also said that he does little to no advertising. It's all word of mouth. He said he'd rather take money that would be used for advertising and put it towards charity or better causes. I thought that was interesting too. I'd be surprised if his rent is more than 4k.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by lance konami
He also said that he does little to no advertising. It's all word of mouth.

The guy as had mentions in GQ and other glossies. I doubt he does no "marketing" in the broad sense of the word. My impression would be that he knows people who can get the word out.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by LA Guy
The guy as had mentions in GQ and other glossies. I doubt he does no "marketing" in the broad sense of the word. My impression would be that he knows people who can get the word out.
Exactly. I think that's the best way to do it. He doesn't have to pay for those mentions in magazines, that's all free press for him (afaik). Guerilla marketing. Having a write up for your business in any publication is a hundred times more effective than paying for an ad yourself. And the only way to get those types of write ups is to sell quality product and run your business with excellent service and have the right contacts. It's all about networking.
post #29 of 53
People are overestimating. You could have a startup with <$50k, it's just not going to be a dream store. But it'd be a good start. You'd have to find a way to stay alive, and give yourself an advantage over other retailers (good prices, good/friendly service). Paint, floor renovations, makeshift dressing rooms. Not that expensive. You can find cheap ways too have a store look good. $30k in stock is more than enough to start (if you can find companies that are willing to sell in small quantities - which you can.)
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ineffable
People are overestimating. You could have a startup with <$50k, it's just not going to be a dream store. But it'd be a good start. You'd have to find a way to stay alive, and give yourself an advantage over other retailers (good prices, good/friendly service). Paint, floor renovations, makeshift dressing rooms. Not that expensive. You can find cheap ways too have a store look good. $30k in stock is more than enough to start (if you can find companies that are willing to sell in small quantities - which you can.)

How are you going to fill a 1500 sq. ft. store with $30k worth of clothing including expenses? Maybe if it's all t shirts and one run of one kind of jeans (levis/wranglers/lee) or very inexpensive clothing? It wouldn't be with the clothing mentioned in the earlier thread.
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