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How to Write an Online Boutique Clothing Store Business Plan + Example Templates
8 min. read
Updated May 17, 2023
In 2022, U.S. consumers spent over $1 of every $5 in online shopping on apparel .
From rare, vintage fashion to contemporary clothes for all shapes and sizes, shoppers have increasingly turned to the eCommerce market to stock their wardrobes in recent years. But with that opportunity comes fierce competition.
Anyone looking to start an online clothing business will need to have an unequaled knowledge of both their target market and competitors. This makes writing a detailed, flexible business plan an essential first step to successfully launch and sustain your online clothing business.
On this page
Why You Need a Business Plan for Your Online Boutique Clothing Store
Understand your niche in the online clothing marketplace, develop a unique brand and product offerings, create an online marketing strategy, plan for inventory management and fulfillment, set financial projections and funding requirements, then be ready to change them, prepare for changing customer preferences, download a free online boutique clothing store business plan template and example.
A business plan will help you determine the startup costs you’ll need to buy inventory, set up an order fulfillment process and establish your online presence. It will also help you set realistic sales expectations and ensure that the revenue you bring in will be enough to cover costs and generate some profit.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to tailor your business plan to meet the needs of the fast-paced online fashion landscape – you can even download a free online boutique clothing store business plan template to help get you started.
The surge in online shopping presents a major opportunity for fashion-minded entrepreneurs looking to enter the online clothing space. But you’ll need to show a firm understanding of the industry, your target market, and the consumers you intend to serve if you hope to carve out a niche online.
As you begin writing your business plan, you should be prepared to go beyond the basics like your company description, focus and management team. While those are certainly important, the business plan gives you an opportunity to describe your store’s unique selling proposition and how you intend to set it apart from competitors.
How will you stand out from the competition?
You’ll definitely be asked what makes your business unique if you hope to secure any outside investment. So take the initiative and start detailing your store’s value proposition here. Maybe it’s that you sell popular clothing styles of old that most shoppers can’t find in stores these days. Or it could be that you emphasize sustainable sourcing and environmentally friendly packaging. The sooner you start thinking about your strategic advantages, the better prepared you will be to defend it to an investor or bank.
You will also need to conduct extensive Research into your target customers, including their demographics (age range, gender, income level and location) and psychographics (values, lifestyles, interests and personality traits).
Create a customer persona
One way you can do this is by creating what’s known as a Target Customer Persona. Basically, you’re creating a representation of your target market in the form of one ideal customer. To do this effectively, you will need to investigate their current online clothes shopping habits, pain points and customer experience expectations.
Then, realistically assess how your product offerings and brand values align with your ideal customer’s needs and desires. Adding this information to your business plan will provide a clear understanding of who you’re aiming to serve.
In your business plan, document how you will create a unique brand identity that sets your online boutique apart from competitors. This includes developing a memorable brand name, logo, and tagline, as well as defining your brand’s values, voice, and visual style.
Many stores offer customer retention incentives like loyalty programs. If you are considering strategies like reward programs or discounts for returning customers, use your business plan to determine which strategies make the most sense for your online store. It’s also an opportunity to consider the brand-building initiatives you might undertake to capitalize on these programs, such as personalized email marketing campaigns.
Consider your sales channel
Another consideration for your brand – and your business plan – is whether to host your online clothing store on an eCommerce platform or sell through a standalone website. Platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce streamline many aspects of the online shopping process, but have costs of their own that can grow as you try to scale your business.
In your business plan, consider the costs of choosing a platform versus the boost you can receive using a host like Shopify to let it handle logistics like order processing. Then, outline the platform you’ve chosen and the reasons for your decision.
Your business plan is the place to detail your plan for effectively capturing the attention of your target audience and converting them into loyal customers. In your business plan, detail your marketing budget, reintroduce your target customer traits from earlier, and detail the channels you’ll use to reach them. In a space with as much competition as online clothing, you will likely need to use a combination of tactics to reach your target audience. These might include:
Platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest are powerful tools for reaching and engaging your target audience. Explain how you’ll develop a consistent posting schedule, tailor content for each platform and leverage paid advertising to reach a wider audience.
In your business plan, explain how you’ll nurture relationships with customers and promote new products through email marketing. Discuss your plans to create engaging email content like newsletters, promotional offers and new product announcements. Consider how you will measure the success of your email campaigns through metrics like open rates, click-through rates and conversions.
Search Engine Optimization
While it may seem difficult to find the time to create high-quality, engaging content for your audience while running your business, it can be a valuable tool for attracting customers. Whether it’s blog posts, videos or podcast episodes, targeting certain Google search keywords that resonate with your audience will make your website more visible to them as they shop online. Be sure to discuss in your business plan how you will measure the success of your content marketing efforts through metrics like traffic, engagement, and conversions.
Do you know anyone who loves your style? If so, they could be your next influencer. While people tend to think of big-name celebrities when they think of influencers, establishing partnerships with customers who resemble your target audience can help generate exposure and build credibility for your brand. In your business plan, discuss how you might offer giveaways, collaborate on content or produce sponsored posts to showcase your products and build social proof.
No matter how popular a brand you develop, you will need to carefully manage processes like inventory management and order fulfillment to avoid disasters like running out of stock or facing delivery delays.
In your business plan, describe all of the logistical aspects of your business and the systems you will put in place to manage them. These include: inventory sourcing channels, whether they are wholesale suppliers or local artisans; inventory management methods, such as dropshipping, holding inventory in a warehouse or using a third-party fulfillment center; packaging and shipping methods; and return policies.
In addition, describe your contingency plans for how you will manage orders in case something goes wrong with one of your third-party suppliers or other partners.
A key component of any business plan is a detailed financial analysis. Financials can be intimidating for any business owner, but you will need to demonstrate in your business plan that your online boutique clothing store can be both profitable and financially stable. Proving that you have at least thought through the long-term vision for your business could be the difference between securing a loan or investment, or not.
Base your financial projections – ideally a 3-5 year forecast – on market research and up-to-date industry data. You may also want to consider different scenarios such as best-case, worst-case, and most likely outcomes to account for potential fluctuations.
Of course, trends evolve quickly, and what’s fashionable at the beginning of your forecast may be passé by the next season. So staying ahead of fashion trends and understanding the competitive landscape will help with your forecast as you go.
As you research trends in the fashion industry, respond to the changing needs of your customers, and identify gaps in the market that your online boutique can fill. As you do so, you may need to change where you source your clothing, or your marketing strategy, or your distribution channels. All of those will affect your financial forecasts. But that’s a perfectly normal part of the business planning process..
To help get your business started, check out our free online boutique clothing business plan template . You can download this document in Word form and use it as a foundation for your own business plan.
In addition to these resources, you may want to brush up on how to write specific sections of a traditional business plan. If so, take a look at our step-by-step guide on how to write a business plan .
Elon is a marketing specialist at Palo Alto Software, working with consultants, accountants, business instructors and others who use LivePlan at scale. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Oregon.
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How to create a business plan for your online clothing store
Creating a detailed business plan is critical to the success of your online clothing store. Your business plan guides most operations, from clothing styles to marketing to website design.
So, how can you position your small business to survive?
Your journey starts with an online clothing store business plan that considers your audience and competition.
Read on to learn how to create a business plan to win and keep customers.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Online clothing store business plan 101
Benefits of an online clothing store business plan, parts of an online store business plan, tips for writing a successful online clothing store business plan, final thoughts: how to create a business plan for your online clothing store.
An online clothing store business plan is a document that contains information about aspects of your clothing business, such as products, marketing, ideal customers, and growth forecasts.
It provides an overview of how your small business will serve customers and make profits. You can also update then plan when the key elements change over time.
It’s always best to create your business plan before you start operations. But if you’ve started selling clothes without one, you can still create one now.
Whether you start from scratch or use an online business plan template as a starting point, going through this process will help you understand your ecommerce business deeply.
Creating a business plan may sound stressful. But it’s a vital part of working towards starting your online clothing store.
An online clothing store business plan helps you:
Determine the viability of your business
A core reason to create a business plan is to identify the chances of gaining market share and making profits before you invest more time and money into the idea.
A clothing line business plan contains information about your niche market, potential customers, opportunities, and threats that you might otherwise miss in the excitement of opening your own business.
In other words, it helps you avoid diving head-first into the unknown and the losses that come with it. It also helps set the context in which your business is more likely to thrive. No two stores are the same.
For example, a business plan for a boutique storefront would require a different approach to that of an ecommerce business plan. Moreover, its focus would be vastly different from those of say, a second-hand clothing store business.
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Improve clarity and focus of operations
Every successful clothing store startup has a strategy that guides its operations. The operations outlined in the plan will keep you focused and on track.
Without a business plan for your clothing store, you might have difficulty sticking with one strategy and achieving growth. After all, your business plan is the roadmap for your company.
Secure the right employees
Using your business plan as a roadmap allows you to see the skills needed in your operations easily. So when you are ready to hire employees, it’s easy to define precise requirements and hire only for positions you truly need to fill.
There are many ways to write a business plan. But every effective business plan should contain vital information about business operations, products, customers, marketing strategy, and growth potential.
In the end, it should be helpful for your business and investors. You can start with an online business plan template or start from scratch.
Whichever option you choose, use these nine key parts of an online clothing store business plan:
1. Executive summary
The executive summary of your clothing business contains details such as objectives, mission, products, and keys to success. Think of your executive summary as a brand’s elevator pitch where you have to hook a reader in a few minutes.
While the executive summary appears at the beginning of your business plan, it is written last. By waiting until everything else is written, you have a complete view of your plan and know the most important information to add.
2. Business description and mission
Your business description will tell people about your brand name, products, and target customers.
Your mission statement also works as an extension of your description. With it, you can state your overall company goals and anything that sets you apart from other companies.
Give shoppers a reason to buy clothes from your ecommerce store rather than competitors.
For example, Nordstrom describes its business and mission on its “About Us” page.
3. Market analysis
To sell clothes, you must study the people who want to buy them. How large is your potential customer base? What types of clothes do they like?
Your market analysis will detail the market size for your clothing niche, buying trends, and target market demographics.
While doing this, perform a SWOT analysis to uncover your new business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Then, you need to perform a competitive analysis. That includes analyzing competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. What makes your store better? How can you attract their customers? These answers are the basis you’ll use to inform your marketing strategy.
4. Business structure
You need a business structure to operate as a business. There are many options for a legal structure for your business. Some options include a sole proprietorship, an LLC, a partnership, or a corporation.
You can check out the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) page on selecting the right business structure .
5. Products and services
In this section, you’ll list products and how they appeal to your target customers. If you have many products, you can just provide an overview of categories.
Do you have new products in mind for the future? Include them here. Also, remember to list intellectual property that can boost profits, such as proprietary T-shirt designs.
As an online clothing store, you’ll also need to consider product availability and review current fashion industry trends.
6. Clothing marketing strategy
Your marketing and sales strategy will outline steps to reach potential customers and attract them to your products.
In particular, you should lay out an example ecommerce marketing plan for your clothing business website. Remember, your website will replace a physical store. As an ecommerce business, your marketing plan will likely focus on channels such as email, social media, search engines (SEO), and your website.
You should also aim to optimize your website design and user experience to offer an easy buying journey to your target audience . After all, if your online clothing boutique is hard to use or slow, many shoppers will leave without buying.
In this section, you can also include your planned key performance indicators (KPIs) for your marketing campaigns.
7. Operations plan
In your operations plan, you want to provide information about how the business will actually operate, from sourcing materials to getting the products to customers. So you should add details such as suppliers, lead times for ordering stock, equipment, inventory management, and shipping.
Will you drop ship clothes, buy inventory from wholesalers, or manufacture from raw materials? What payment options will you accept? Will you sell directly through social media?
For delivery, will you handle shipping in-house or through a third-party partner? According to the 2022 Salsify Report , 24% and 22% of U.S. shoppers choose where to make purchases based on delivery options and speed, respectively.
Be sure this section covers each step of your operating needs.
8. Clothing store startup costs and funding
No matter the size of your clothing business, you need money to start the business. The amount you need will differ across business models such as dropshipping , cut-and-sewn salons, printing graphic t-shirts, buying from wholesalers, manufacturing custom clothing, or second-hand sales.
In this section of your business plan, you need to show your startup costs. These may include inventory, production, website hosting and design, and equipment and software.
Also, keep in mind to indicate which of these costs will be one-time or recurring costs.
In this section, you can also add your projected profit and loss statements and cash flow.
The funding part of this section of your business plan will outline how you want to get money to run your business. Common funding options for your online retail business are friends, family members, crowdfunding, and bank loans. This section should explain most of your financial plan.
9. Ecommerce growth forecast
An ecommerce growth forecast lets you look forward to the future of your new company.
Your growth forecast will answer questions like:
- What are your financial projections over a few years?
- What are the market projections for clothing ecommerce?
- What products are you planning to add to your store, and when?
Your growth forecast should show where you see your business in a few years.
There’s no single right way to write a business plan. But you’ll increase your chances of writing a successful online store business plan if you follow these tips:
- Write your business plan in simple language that most people can understand.
- Keep your business plan as short as possible while still covering all necessary points.
- Create buyer personas for product categories to better understand your ideal customers.
- Present a realistic growth forecast for investors.
When you follow these tips, you’ll have a business plan that people can read easily. While reading, they’ll also get a sense of what you’re trying to achieve with your clothing business.
Starting and running an online retail business is a lot of work.
A detailed online clothing store business plan will help ensure your business direction and goals are clear.
As an online store, your website is one of the most important elements in your business plan. After all, your online clothing startup literally lives on the internet.
Your business plan will fall apart without reliable website hosting and an easy-to-use design.
Our WooCommerce hosting packages help you turn your online clothing store concepts into reality. Paired with vital features like autoscaling for traffic surges, we’re ready to host your business as it grows in the coming years.
Try our WooCommerce hosting today and experience the difference.
Maddy Osman is a WordPress expert, WordCamp US speaker, bestselling author, and the Founder and SEO Content Strategist at The Blogsmith. She has a B.A. in Marketing from the University of Iowa and is a WordCamp Denver organizer while also operating The Blogsmith, an SEO content agency for B2B tech companies that works with clients like HubSpot, Automattic, and Sprout Social. Learn more about The Blogsmith's process and get in touch to talk content strategy: www.TheBlogsmith.com
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How to Create a Business Plan for Your Online Boutique in 2023
You’ve heard the saying “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail”.
To have a successful business you must gain clarity before you start.
The traditional 20-page business plan that takes you weeks to complete will probably be obsolete by the time you actually decide to start your online boutique.
You need to get organized quickly so that you can take real steps toward creating the business of your dreams TODAY, not months from now.
Starting an online boutique can be a daunting task. There are so many things to consider before you actually launch your new business, from the initial planning stages to setting up your shop and marketing it. That’s why it’s important to have a business plan in place before you do anything else.
Many aspiring boutique owners make the mistake of not creating a business plan before starting their business. This can lead to a lot of problems down the road. And make you feel more confused, stressed, and overwhelmed.
A business plan will help you stay organized and give you a clear road map to follow as your business grows.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what you need to think about before starting your online boutique and give you a simple business plan template that you can use as a guide.
Why You Need A Business Plan For Your Online Boutique
As we mentioned before, there are a lot of things to think about when starting an online boutique. Starting a successful online boutique is more than just choosing a name, buying some clothes and having an Instagram profile.
It’s important to understand who you’re selling to , what you’re willing to invest, where you’ll spend to grow your boutique, and how you’ll know what’s actually working.
Creating a business plan can help you stay organized and give you a clear road map to follow as your business grows.
But it doesn’t have to be too complicated. The traditional 20-page business plan is outdated and time-consuming, especially if you’re starting your online boutique on your own or with a friend.
All you need is a simple business plan for your online boutique that covers the essentials.
You’ll be able to have a brief overview of your goals and tasks so that you can move quickly, stay focused and actually get results.
What To Include In A Business Plan For Your Online Boutique
Business plans are important for all new businesses but especially for online boutiques.
With so many things to balance—from planning inventory, taking photos, and marketing on social media—you have to be clear on the goals and tasks that will help you be successful (not just keep you busy).
So there are a few key things you’ll want to include in your business plan.
First, you’ll want to write out your business goals and objectives. What do you hope to accomplish with your online boutique? What will make your boutique stand out from all the boutiques already out there? What types of products will you sell and at what price point?
Next, you’ll want to understand your options for marketing your online boutique. What strategies and platforms will help you get the word out about your business? How will you get strangers to buy from you (more than once)?
You’ll also need clarity about your finances. How much money do you need to get started ? How will you generate consistent revenue? How much will you set aside to buy inventory for your online boutique ? What will you invest in marketing for things like ads, social media growth or working with influencers ?
Finally, you’ll want to set clear milestones and timelines. When do you hope to have your online boutique up and running? What are the markers for success?
When you can clearly and confidently answer these questions, you’ll have a much better chance of success with your online boutique.
Business Plan Template For Your Online Boutique
Now that we’ve gone over what you should include in your business plan, let’s give you a simple business plan template that you can use as a guide.
This will help make the process easier and less overwhelming, especially if this is your first time starting a business.
And the best part is that this business plan is only one page!
Plus it helps you think about some of the issues that most new boutique owners skip over, like the mail carrier you’ll use or how you’ll package your products.
By following this simple business plan template, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful online boutique. Just remember to stay organized, set realistic goals and timelines, and be prepared to put in the work.
That’s the only way to guarantee success with your online boutique.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of key questions to ask yourself before starting an online boutique business.
- What is the name of your online boutique?
- What will you sell?
- Who will buy it?
- What makes your online boutique different than what’s already out there?
ALL ABOUT THE MONEY
- What is the retail price range of your boutique?
- How will you accept payment?
- What is your initial purchasing budget?
- What is your marketing budget?
GETTING THE WORD OUT
- How will customers learn about your business?
- How can you encourage referrals?
- How can you encourage repeat purchases?
- Will you offer free shipping?
- How will you deal with returns/ exchanges/ refunds?
- What mail carrier will you use to ship your products?
- Will you need to keep multiple packaging options on hand (poly bags, boxes, etc)?
- Will you have custom or plain packaging?
- What vendors will you get your packaging from?
MY ONLINE BOUTIQUE IS SUCCESSFUL WHEN IT HITS THESE METRICS
- Number of customers served:
- Number of orders processed:
- Annual net income:
I created my one-page online boutique business plan — with everything you need to know, do, and track on just one simple sheet of paper.
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Online Boutique Business Plan
There are several fashion enthusiasts and designers who want to start a boutique business , but not everyone wants to go through the hassle of owning a physical store.
After all, a physical store requires a huge amount of resources, finances, and time. Also, with the rise of eCommerce websites and the convenience that comes with them, many people have switched to buying their clothes online.
This makes now a time as good as any to get started with your online boutique business.
If you are planning to start a new online boutique store, the first thing you will need is a business plan. Use our sample Online Boutique Business Plan created using Upmetrics business plan software to start writing your business plan in no time.
Before you start writing your business plan for your new online boutique store, spend as much time as you can reading through some samples of Retail & E-commerce Business Plans .
According to data, the apparel eCommerce market in the US stood at a value of 91.7 billion US dollars in 2020 and has grown at a rate of 8.06 percent in 2021. Also, with the increase in preference for shopping for clothes online, it isn’t going to slow down any time soon.
With contactless and convenient deliveries, hundreds of options to explore, and no long queues for changing rooms, the number of people who prefer to shop online has increased exponentially.
And this has turned the eCommerce fashion industry into one of the fastest-growing and most profitable ones.
Some Aspects to Consider Before Writing an Online Boutique Business Plan
Find the right ecommerce platform for your business, offer unique designs.
Your designs should catch the eyeballs and appeal to the heart. It is necessary to help you stand out from thousands of other options.
It also helps you create your unique style and become more memorable to your target audience.
Know what your customers want
This is essential to the success of an online boutique.
Because more often than not, people shop online because they can’t find what they want in physical stores.
Build your network
Though an online business comes minus several hassles of a physical store, it has its own set of challenges too.
Chalking out Your Business Plan
Reading sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for. It will also show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.
We have created this sample for you to get a good idea about what a perfect online boutique business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.
Online Boutique Business Plan Outline
This is the standard online boutique business plan outline covering all important sections that you should include in your business plan.
Executive summary: The executive summary of your online boutique plan provides a high-level overview of the entire plan
Company overview: this section of your plan provides a detailed description of your online boutique, its vision, mission, and future goals., product & service offerings: this section describes the product and service offerings your online boutique intends to provide., market analysis: your market analysis section will provide a detailed description of your industry, target market, competitive advantage, and growth potential., sales and marketing strategies: your marketing plan will outline the marketing and sales strategies you will use to attract new customers or pet owners., management team: the management team section will introduce your management team to readers. the list may include the founders and other key people involved in the business operations., operations plan: it’s a section outlining business procedures and day-to-day business activities that ensure seamless business operations., financial plan: this section provides a clear overview of your financial projection and financing needs. a well-prepared financial plan is key to raising capital for a new business..
- Problem Definition & Validation
- Mission Statement
- Keys to Success
- Avante – 5-Year Highlights
- Company Ownership / Legal Entity
- Interior Operating Facilities
- Hours of Operation
- Start-up Summary
- Casual Jumper
- Patchwork Jacket
- Contemporary Overalls
- Production Process
- Shoe Segment
- Accessories and Bags
- Jewelry and Bags
- Market Trends
- Competitive Advantage
- SWOT analysis
- Distribution Strategy
- Direct Sales
- Trade Publications
- Trade shows and Lifestyle Exhibitions
- Targeted Online Advertising
- Positioning Statement
- Target Market Segment
- Online Marketing Channels
- Offline Marketing Channels
- Pricing Strategy
- Organization chart
- Management Team
- Hiring plan
- Important Assumptions
- Brake-even Analysis
- Profit Yearly
- Gross Margin Yearly
- Projected Cash Flow
- Projected Balance Sheet
- Business Ratios
Download a sample online boutique business plan
Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go; download our free online boutique business plan pdf to start.
It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your online boutique. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.
You may also explore our clothing and fashion business examples before you start writing.
Write your business plan with Upmetrics
A business plan software like Upmetrics is the best way to draft your business plan. This incredible tool comes with step-by-step instructions, customizable templates, and an extensive library of 400+ sample business plans to help you get started.
So, whether starting an online boutique or planning to grow an existing one, Upmetrics is the tool you need to create a business plan.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a business plan for an online boutique.
Yes, you surely need a business plan for an online boutique. It’s an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful business. It helps to get clarity in your business, secures funding, and identifies potential challenges while starting and growing your business.
How to get funding for your online boutique?
There are several ways to get funding for your online boutique, but self-funding is one of the most efficient and speedy funding options. Other options for funding are:
- Bank loan – You may apply for a loan in government or private banks.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) loan – SBA loans and schemes are available at affordable interest rates, so check the eligibility criteria before applying for it.
- Crowdfunding – The process of supporting a project or business by getting a lot of people to invest in your business, usually online.
- Angel investors – Getting funds from angel investors is one of the most sought-after startup options.
Apart from all these options, there are small business grants available. Check for the same in your location and you can apply for it.
What is the easiest way to write your online boutique business plan?
A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of any online boutique business plan example and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software .
What key components should an online boutique business plan include?
The following are the key components your online boutique business plan must include:
- Executive summary
- Business Overview
- Market Analysis
- Products and services
- Sales and marketing strategies
- Operations plan
- Management team
- Financial plan
Can a good online boutique business plan help me secure funding?
Indeed. A well-crafted online boutique business plan will help your investors better understand your business domain, market trends, strategies, business financials, and growth potential—helping them make better financial decisions.
So, if you have a profitable and investable business, a comprehensive business plan can certainly help you secure your business funding.
Business Planning Guide & Resources
We have plenty of free business planning resources available to help you with your planning. You can download our resources to learn all about business planning.
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Clothing Line Business Plan – Free Online Boutique Template
Sell the hottest fashions with your own clothing line or fashion boutique. Use this free clothing line business plan to get your business started, including setting up an online clothing store from home.
Download this Clothing Business Plan free for easy editing in Google Docs or Microsoft Word:
Table of Contents
1.0 CLOTHING LINE BUSINESS PLAN – EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Booming Boutique is a start-up clothing line business that will sell fashionable clothing to women of the Baby Boom generation. We will locate Booming Boutique in downtown Pleasantville, Florida, which is a popular retirement and tourist destination. While our initial goal is to open one boutique, expansion plans include potentially franchising our retail store and/or building a well-recognized brand name. In turn, we would hope to penetrate a sizable portion of the online retail market.
1.2 PRODUCTS & SERVICES
The fashion and retail industry tends to be overly youth focused. However, by closely following generational fashion trends as well as our own customers’ purchasing preferences, we will tailor our inventory to meet the specific needs of our clientele. We will solely focus on the our styles, colors and fits to flatter the lady Baby Boomer/ Meeting the needs of her figure will be our specialty.
1.3 MARKET ANALYSIS
The total sales reported in the U.S. retail industry in 2007 (including food service and automotive) exceeded $4 trillion. There are roughly 75 million Baby Boomers, half of which are women. In Pleasantville, the current population is just fewer than 40,000. 54 percent of the total population is women who have a median age of 48. The median income is $48,600. We will initially seek customers locally, but will increase our reach as we build our brand and secure our image.
1.4 STRATEGY & IMPLEMENTATION
Booming Boutique recognizes the importance of marketing for this clothing line business plan. And to that end, we plan to promote our retail business with an ambitious, targeted marketing campaign, which will include a grand opening event, local media coverage, print advertising and a direct-mail campaign. Our goal is to keep our marketing budget to no more than 5% of our gross annual sales, and we will partner with local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Merchants Association as often as possible.
Robin Mathews and Joanna Jensen are co-owners and will co-manage Booming Boutique. Mathews has worked ten years in the retail industry, including four years as the manager of an antique furniture shop. She earned a BA degree in finance from Britannica College in Tampa, Florida.
Jensen’s experience lies in the fashion industry. She’s worked with designers, wholesalers and retailers for roughly 20 years. Jensen holds a BA in fashion merchandising from Colliers Fashion Institute in Miami, Florida.
1.6 FINANCIAL PLAN
Our company will earn revenue from our customers’ purchases of our products. Booming Boutique’s first-year income statement illustrates a profit margin of at least fifty-two percent, with a net income of $44,075 per month – after taxes. Finally, we have determined our break-even point will equal no less than $15,500 in total monthly sales. We project our annual profits to reach $380,000 by year three.
Our company will generate revenue from the retail sale of clothing and other merchandise. First year sales are projected to be $285,000, and we expect sales to surpass $525,000 by the end of year three. We will achieve month-to-month profitability within the first year.
1.7 SOURCES & USE OF FUNDS
Booming Boutique requires $282,000 to launch successfully. We’ve already raised $62,000 through personal investments and a small community grant.
We are currently seeking additional funding from outside angel investors and business loans. Start-up funds will be used for renovations, inventory and operating expenses such as rent, utilities and payroll.
Further, most of our initial investment will also be used to purchase retail equipment and inventory software – all of which will produce future benefits for the company.
A small portion of our investment will be used to create an online clothing store. There are inexpensive e-commerce tools that provide a very easy way to create an online boutique store where we can sell our fashions all over the world.
2.0 CLOTHING LINE COMPANY
2.1 company & industry.
Booming Boutique will be located in downtown Pleasantville, Florida. Our company is a retail establishment selling fashionable women’s clothing to up-and-coming Baby Boomer retirees. Our business operates within the retail industry and is classified under NAICS code 448120 – women’s clothing stores.
2.2 LEGAL ENTITY & OWNERSHIP
Booming Boutique is a multi-member Limited Liability Corporation formally organized in Florida. Robin Mathews and Joanna Jensen are the company’s principle owners. We hold equal shares of ownership in the company.
2.3 COMPANY HISTORY TO DATE
The Company is a new business aimed at providing women of the Baby Boom generation stylish clothing options to buy and wear. As the company’s founders and as Baby Boomers ourselves, we found that Florida’s current boomer-wear market is missing the mark.
In fact, most clothing shops for the 55+ set are still selling clothes that our grandmothers would have worn. As our local population ages and more Baby Boomers reach retirement-age and migrate to Florida, we recognize the need for a shop that caters to the up-beat, fashion-forward Baby Boomer generation who want to look and feel young.
Presently, Booming Boutique does not have a bricks-and-mortar location at the time of writing this clothing line business plan. In addition to starting an online boutique, we have identified an ideal spot in the downtown district of Pleasantville. The gorgeous area includes numerous restaurants, an art gallery, coffee shop, candy store and a picturesque park in the town square. We have signed a three-year lease for a 1,700 square foot building at $18 per square foot. Comparable properties are renting for $17-24 SF/Year.
Working with the property owner and the City of Pleasantville Downtown Redevelopment Committee, we have secured a $2,000 grant to beautify the façade of the building to include painting, signage and a new awning. We will only need minimal internal renovations such as installing dressing rooms and decorative items.
When considering the addition of wall mounts for merchandise, multi-level clothing displays as well as creative floor planning, this facility is large enough to support future growth. Additionally, we will be able to conduct all aspects of our business from this location since it has access to a loading dock and a back office for managers. This includes deliveries and shipments, inventory management and administrative duties such as finance, buying and marketing.
2.5 KEY ASSETS
Our key assets are our co-owners, Robin Mathews and Joanna Jensen, who bring tremendous experience and relationships to this business.
Once we launch Booming Boutique, our primary asset will be our brand, which will convey style, quality and a great shopping experience. In the long-term, it is this brand that will separate Booming Boutique from other retailers both locally and nationally.
3.0 CLOTHING BRAND – PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
We will earn profits by selling our merchandise. Our pricing structure will remain flexible, as we will implement suggested retail pricing on common brands as well as the standard practice of keystoning prices. Additionally, we will use a value-based pricing structure, which measures the value of our products to our customers such as easy access, quality, customer service and styles flattering to our target consumer. We will implement end of season sales, holiday and overstock sales, multi-buy savings and promotional coupons at strategic intervals.
3.2 FEATURES & BENEFITS
One key feature that separates Booming Boutique from all other local boutiques and chain department stores in the area is our commitment to providing women of the Baby Boom generation stylish, quality clothing options. Because our primary concern will be ensuring our consumers are happy with the fit and style of their purchase, we will provide products tailored to all shapes and sizes of women. In addition, we will make every effort to have petite and plus size versions of our merchandise in stock. If they are not in stock, ordering them will be easy, cheap and efficient.
Further, as we emphasize in this clothing line business plan, Booming Boutique will not just be a store that sells clothes. Our clientele will benefit from an experienced, knowledgeable sales staff. Out of the gate, our goal is to implement a superior customer service system. Beyond our friendly reception and an inviting atmosphere, Booming Boutique will also offer customers fashion information and advice. Our trained personnel will provide counsel that women simply cannot find at other clothing stores. The service is like a beautician who offers advice on what hair styles best complement his/her client’s face. Our hip and qualified fashion-industry expertise will ensure our customers walk away with the perfect outfit.
In Pleasantville, there are no direct competitors offering our unique services or targeting Baby Boomers specifically. In the Downtown District, the shops most closely competing with Booming Boutique are as follows:
- EcoWise Boutique, which targets a younger demographic and specializes in natural fiber clothing. They also carry local art and jewelry.
- Caddy Corner Kids, which targets parents shopping for children, specializes in children’s clothing, accessories and toys.
- Kati Kouture, which targets younger women, specializes in offering industrial chic clothing with “classic lines and a punk gothic edge.”
- Marjorie Joe’s Fashion & Gifts targets older women within our target demographic, but specializes in the more homemade, old-fashioned style clothing.
- Petal Place Boutique targets women within our target demographic as well, but they specialize in an affordable, folksy style of clothing with handmade shawls and embroidered shirt sets.
- Second Time Around targets women and may overlap our target demographic slightly. However, they specialize in consignment clothing.
There is one super-store within a 60-mile radius of Pleasantville. The store is similar to Walmart in that it sells lesser quality items at lower price. But there are two chain department stores. They sell men’s, women’s and children’s clothing along with home accents, electronics and appliances. While familiarity is comforting, industry research indicates increasing frustration with the inferior quality, sub par customer service and vastness of super-stores. Not to mention, the inept sales staff and lack of selection often found at department stores.
3.4 COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE/BARRIERS TO ENTRY
To date, our primary competitive advantage is the absence of any store like ours in the Pleasantville area. In addition, company co-owner, Joanna Jensen, has worked in the fashion industry for more than 20 years. Her experience includes working with apparel retailers, clothing wholesalers, garment manufacturers, and fashion designers. She understands the fashion industry and knows how to spot the latest trends.
While there is no guarantee a competitor will locate within our area, we have no doubt in our fashion sense, outstanding customer service and quality products. In turn we will quickly establish Booming Boutique as the place for lady Baby Boomers to shop.
Also, we would be the only niche fashion retail-store for hip, older women. While other stores offer some style equivalents, they are not focused solely on the baby boomer generation. We are, and therefore, have a distinct competitive advantage in our niche.
Our supplier relationships and exclusive product offerings will prevent future competitors from entering the market as a competitor. Also, it takes time to build a retail store, and by the time a competitor attempts to compete with us directly, we will have already established a strong customer base.
As our company grows and our boutique earns a positive reputation, several opportunities will open to us. And we are considering some options already. Should we choose to remain a small local boutique, we will develop and grow our company by increasing existing clothing lines and expanding our selection to include additional products such as swim wear, lingerie, or sportswear. Within five years, we will assess the potential for franchising our stores in select locations.
Additionally, as we build our business, we plan to simultaneously develop an online clothing store for Booming Boutique. The power and ease of an online storefront is obvious to us, and we plan to develop one quickly and efficiently. We also see the potential for regional and/or national expansion at some point.
Our online clothing store will help to spread awareness of our product line and brand to a wider community.
4.0 CLOTHING LINE MARKET ANALYSIS
4.1 target customer.
Having said that, there are currently about 75 million Baby Boomers living in the United States. A boomer is better described as the generation born between the years 1946 and 1964. About half of this population is women.
While those born in the 1940’s are still slightly more conservative, those born during the 1950’s and 60’s were trailblazers and trendsetters. Specifically, these will be the women we target vigorously with our marketing and offerings. These women range in age from their mid 40’s to late 50’s. They value uniqueness, convenience, service and quality. As they retire, price does become a factor in decision-making. At the same time, they were always a generation of the “buy now and pay later” philosophy.
4.2 MARKET SIZE
Pleasantville accommodates a robust retail market. While car dealerships, grocers and home improvement retailers account for a sizable portion of the retail market, the main local shopping district is downtown. With tree-lined streets and quaint shops and restaurants, the downtown retail district is the social and shopping hub of the community. The current population of Pleasantville is just fewer than 40,000. 54 percent are women who have a median age of 48. Their median income is above the national average at $48,600. Moreover, according to National News, Pleasantville is one of the 2008 Top 6 Towns to Retire for Baby Boomers. Many of these retirees are looking to retire on the water in a cozy, yet thriving community.
In addition to local consumers, we will also benefit from tourist traffic. Pleasantville is located a mere 30 miles from the sandy white beaches of St. Petersburg and Clearwater. It’s also within close proximity to many Tampa and Orlando area attractions. Our town boasts a healthy and recession-proof tourism industry. In addition, Pleasantville hosts several annual craft and golf events, which bring several thousand of our target consumers into the area each year.
4.3 CLOTHING TRENDS
The retail fashion industry is a solid business with ever-changing styles and ever-present consumer demand. While supercenters and megastores ruled the past two decades, more and more consumers are looking for change. They’re searching for a more serene and customer-friendly shopping experience. This is true especially for those nearing retirement age. In reality, as the Baby Boomers numbers decrease, there will be fewer older Generation X-ers to sell to. However, this market decrease will not occur for at least twenty years. Even then, clothing will always be in high demand. The fashion industry in America has been thriving since the advent of moving pictures.
4.4 SWOT ANALYSIS
- Experience and understanding of the fashion industry
- Unique shopping experience with exceptional customer service
- Great downtown location
- Large and growing consumer base
- Untested market in Pleasantville
- While market is large, it is a niche market (Baby Boomers)
- Outstanding shopping experience will lead to repeat business
- Growing online clothing store Booming Boutique
- Establish a Booming Boutique clothing line
- Cost and effectiveness of marketing to women “Baby Boomers”
- New retail shops that may or may not open in the future
5.0 STRATEGY & IMPLEMENTATION
Our company’s core business strategy as highlighted in this clothing line business plan is to combine exceptional and knowledgeable customer service with quality stylish merchandise. And in turn, we’ll provide an enjoyable shopping experience for our customers. Booming Boutique’s mission is to offer women of the Baby Boom generation a wide selection of fashionable, figure-flattering clothing. Our aim is to establish our company as a pioneer in this youth-obsessed industry and build a boutique brand name that will be synonymous with the fashion industry revolution.
5.2 PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
We are currently working with several apparel wholesalers, garment manufacturers and two freelance fashion designers to assemble our inventory. We are also working with city economic-development officials to secure all required permits and occupational licensees. Once we secure financing, we will move ahead with the façade renovation, which we will pay for via the PDRC. We will also use the financing to purchase inventory, retail displays, and office supplies.
Prior to the grand opening of Booming Boutique, we will schedule an event with the Chamber of Commerce and start our promotions with pre-publicity flyers, advertising and additional marketing activities.
5.3 INTERNET STRATEGY
As the Internet has become a staple of American life and retail merchandising, Booming Boutique will build a website on which we will sell our products, too. We have secured the domain name BoomingBoutique.com and will begin site development using Bluehost for website hosting and Thrivecart for a high converting online shopping experience. These platforms allow us to create an online storefront quickly and will manage all aspects of it including creating shipping labels, accepting payment, and monitoring inventory. Customers will also be able to create wish lists for items they want to purchase later.
Having this online presence will allow us to build our email marketing list and send regular promotions to customers with new product announcements, discounts, specials, birthday coupons, and fashion ideas.
Foremost, we intend to showcase our brand, our clothing and provide customers with the ability to purchase items online. As the site progresses, we will include features such as fashion advice, designer interviews, newsletters, and Internet-only specials. Eventually, we hope to establish and nurture an online social community where women can gather and discuss topics of the day, network and share clothing secrets.
5.4 CLOTHING LINE MARKETING STRATEGY
We both have strong marketing backgrounds and recognize the significance of effective marketing. We expect our strategy to draw consumers into Booming Boutique from the very beginning. Moreover we will hire a local PR firm to help us develop and implement a strategic marketing plan and guide our publicity efforts in a cost-effective manner. Our marketing message, logo and slogans will revolve around the idea of the Baby Boom generation as revolutionaries and trend setters. Boomer women are in their prime and at their best. Our store will recognize them as a force within the fashion industry.
Our goal in this clothing line business plan is to keep our marketing budget to no more than 5% of our gross annual sales. We will partner with local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Merchants Association as often as possible. We already have connections in all the necessary places. These strategic partnerships will allow us to piggyback on publicity for local events, as long as they are within our targeted demographic. Booming Boutique’s initial marketing efforts will remain local as we establish a presence in our community. These will rely heavily on local print and broadcast media coverage, traditional advertising, signage, a direct mail marketing campaign and networking. We will initially allocate a significant portion of our advertising budget to print and broadcast media to get the word out.
Of course, we will build anticipation and excitement about the new boutique prior to its grand opening. Working in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, we are already talking about a grand opening soiree. This will include hors d’oeuvres donated by the bistro across the street and a silent auction of a local artist’s painting collection. The collection is currently on display in the Downtown Art League Gallery.
We will also hold a drawing for a $100 shopping spree and fashion consultation. Entry collection will start at the grand opening and continue throughout the week. We will use these names and contact information for follow-up marketing initiatives. The Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Merchants Association will promote the event in local newspapers and radio advertising. Comprehensive advertising and semi-annual direct mail marketing campaigns will follow the grand opening. We will also take advantage of low cost publicity activities such as posting sale flyers on community bulletin boards and online.
5.5 SALES STRATEGY
Booming Boutique plans to generate sales via strategic marketing efforts. These concentrated efforts will be targeting new and returning customers as well as single-visit tourist consumers. We will also implement a referral program rewarding customers who refer new customers with discount coupons. Following our grand opening, we will conduct a direct-mail campaign to targeted consumers that we have signed up through our in-store mailing program. The direct mailers will consist of 5,000 full-color postcard mailers. Each will include at 10% coupon. We will offer promotional discounts and seasonal and clearance sales throughout the year.
Our sales staff will include both co-owners and 2-3 part-times sales associates. Combined, Jensen and Mathews have nearly 30 years experience in the fashion and retail industries. We will provide comprehensive training to each sales associate. This will include how to sell merchandise as well as how to provide fashion advice to customers. Our sales team will earn an hourly rate, plus a generous percentage of commission from each sale.
5.6 STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
Booming Boutique plans to join the Pleasantville Chamber of Commerce as well as the Pleasantville Downtown Merchants Association. These organizations are dedicated to promoting local businesses within our community and sponsor several events downtown each year. As a member of these organizations, Booming Boutique will gain exposure, make business contacts, and will benefit from Chamber and Association advertising, Web site promotions and events.
As a retail establishment, Booming Boutique will conduct business seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. During the holiday seasons and during special events, we will extend store hours. At this point, the retail store will take require approximately 2/3 of the building’s available space. We will use the remaining space for stock and administrative purposes. In addition to the two full-time co-owners, we will hire three part-time employees to serve customers.
Our company will secure merchandise from local manufacturers with showrooms in Orlando and Miami. We’ll also have access to the Florida Apparel Market, which is the largest wholesale merchandise warehouse in the state. Purchasing from FAM, buyers receive product displays and promotional materials with purchase. Additionally, we will work closely with our regional sales representative. We will also attend relevant pre-season fashion trade shows.
To control costs, track inventory and manage stock levels, we will put an inventory control system in place. This will include the standard bar code with its related equipment and software. Staff will conduct annual inventory audits and hire outside auditors when necessary. We will maintain all accounting and finances using Quickbooks online.
5.8 CLOTHING BUSINESS GOALS
The following is a list of business goals and milestones we intend to accomplish our first year of operations using this clothing line business plan.
- Complete renovating, stocking, hiring and initial marketing.
- Host a successful grand-opening event.
- Penetrate and raise awareness in 60 percent our targeted consumer market.
- Achieve a profit margin of 50 percent.
- Build a solid customer base and mailing list.
- Generate repeat and referral sales.
- Become a profitable business with expansion potential.
- Establish a solid reputation as quality retail establishment.
Our first major milestones will be securing funds and setting up our business. This is our major focus right now. In five years, we hope to have established our retail business within the community and within our industry. Furthermore, as co-owners, we would like to see the growth of our store with an increase in product lines, further penetration of the national market with online sales and, under the right set of circumstances, the opening of franchise Booming Boutiques in strategic locations.
5.9 EXIT STRATEGY
The co-owners intend to launch and grow Booming Boutique for many years into the future. In the event that our investors require repayment of their initial investments, plus a large return on their investments, we will seek a partner to buyout the investors’ shares. Another alternative is a management buyout, which will be agreed upon in advance.
In the long-term, we will position Booming Boutique as a profitable business that will be an appealing acquisition for any number of retail chains.
6.1 organizational structure.
As a small business, we will have a small staff. Both co-owners will assume leadership roles within the company and will be responsible for daily operations, overseeing marketing efforts, buying merchandise and managing inventory and all other administrative duties. A small sales staff will assist co-owners with securing sales, assisting customers and general maintenance of stock on the floor.
Co-owners, Robin Mathews and Joanna Jensen, created this boutique business plan. Both will co-manage Booming Boutique. However, daily responsibilities will differ.
Robin Mathews will manage the day-to-day operations including supervising staff, maintaining inventory and bookkeeping. Mathews worked ten years in the retail industry including four years as a manager of an antique furniture shop. Mathews earned a BA degree in finance from Britannica College in Tampa, Florida.
Joanna Jensen will oversee the merchandise buying for the store as well as maintain a keen awareness of trends within the industry. She will also work with our public relations firm to ensure superior marketing plans are in place and implemented. Jensen worked in the fashion industry in various capacities working with designers, wholesalers and retailers for 20 years. She earned a BA in fashion merchandising from Colliers Fashion Institute in Miami, Florida.
6.3 STAFF MEMBERS
Booming Boutique will employ a sales staff of 3 part-time employees. These positions are yet to be filled. However, we feel the labor pool is such that finding qualified employees will not be an issue. Our sales associates will be paid an hourly wage, plus commission. We will provide bonuses via sales incentives and conduct an annual review to encourage employee retention.
7.0 FINANCIAL PLAN
At this time we have raised $50,000 in equity capital and an additional $12,000 for a specific-use grant. Both co-owners, Robin Mathews and Joanna Jensen, have invested $25,000 each into Booming Boutique. We are seeking investors for an additional $170,000 in equity investment and $50,000 in loans.
7.2 USE OF FUNDS
We will use the funds we obtain from investment in this boutique business plan to pay for renovations, including the outside façade (to be paid for via PDRC grant), construction of fitting rooms, sales counter, painting, carpeting, lighting, decor and display fixtures. We will also purchase inventory, a cash register, computer equipment and an inventory management system. We will use the remainder of the start-up funds to cover operating expenses, such as rent, utilities, wages and marketing to increase retail sales .
7.3 INCOME STATEMENT PROJECTIONS
Based on our marketing plans , location, store size and product offerings, we expect to collect annual sales of $285,000 in year one, $375,000 in year two and $525,000 in year three.
Our average cost of goods sold will be 40%, which leaves us with a gross margin of 60%. Our minimum monthly fixed costs are $15,500 per month, so we will need to generate sales of $25,833 per month to break even. We will become profitable on a monthly basis before the end of our first year.
In our third year, we will earn net income of $105,000. The accompanying income statement demonstrates our company’s profitability.
7.4 CASH FLOW PROJECTIONS
Our business will collect immediate payment from customers, so our cash flow statement will be substantially similar to our income statement. Our cash flow statement clearly demonstrates our ability to cover all bills.
7.5 BALANCE SHEET
Booming Boutique will launch with $220,000 in equity capital and $50,000 in loans. Credit amounts and supplier terms for inventory will appear in our balance sheet as short-term liabilities. We will not document jewelry consignments from vendors in our balance sheet and will expense these items as we sell them. Details are shown in our enclosed balance sheet.
We base our projections on the assumption that the economy, consumer spending habits and population growth in Pleasantville will continue for the foreseeable future.
We must also assume that our present and future suppliers will continue to sell inventory to us at prices that allow us to maintain our present margins. It is also important that we are able to hire reliable employees at reasonable wages.
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How to develop a business plan for an online clothing store
How to develop a business plan for an online clothing store. If the internet age catches your eye and you have a clothing business, an online store may become your best option. But, it´s important to clarify that starting an eCommerce is not as easy as opening a physical store. To attract the so-called “potential customers” you need to create a business plan. And if you don’t know how to do it, you don’t have to worry. Because in this post we will explain how to create an online clothing store business plan.
How to make a business plan for an online clothing store?
These are the points that can´t be left out when writing your business plan:
- Executive Summary The team that´s working for your online clothing store project or future investors will first be interested in reading your business synopsis. That´s why the executive summary is very important. And as it´s the first impression of your project, you can´t make the mistake of adding unnecessary elements. Or even using words that you can´t understand later. The best thing you can do is use your comprehension skills to write your ideas in the correct order. Also, it´s not necessary to extend it. Explaining each point of your virtual business plan and not leaving out the following elements will be more than enough:
- Presentation of Ideas It´s enough with two lines to make the definition of your project. And add what is the main competitive advantage and the value proposition.
- The team behind the project A good entrepreneur must know how to present themselves. So, it´s ideal to leave the repeated formulas aside when developing the curriculum.
- Basic data In this section, you should include the acquired legal form, the planned name, and the location. Another important item would be your goals concerning the scope of your business. And to make it easier for you, you can present this information using a table.
- Mission Here you must explain the reason why you want to create an online store. The role it plays in the market, the audience you´re targeting, and the factor that differentiates it from other businesses.
- Vision The vision consists of explaining the goals that want to be achieved in the long term. Of course, a touch of ambition must be added to these goals to be motivating.
- Values It´s also relevant to publicize the ethical principles that will identify your eCommerce. Likewise, it´s important that in this section you only add those that can be supported by each of your acts. This point must be very well analyzed, and for this, the “SWOT analysis” can be used. As its acronyms describe it, through this type of analysis, both an internal and external assessment of the positive and negative characteristics of your project can be made. To know what should you work on or what needs changing for its proper functioning.
- Competition It´s normal for the owners of an online store to think that having competition is a negative point. But, it´s only a mistake since the absence of competitors only means that there´s not enough demand. So, your online business plan should show that there´s competition for your online clothing store, but without posing a threat. The important thing is that you transform your competition into opportunities. So, you must analyze them one by one to know their strengths and weaknesses so that you can overcome them. Also, determining who your competition is is very easy. Since it will only be enough to take a look at Google to know the best-positioned pages.
- Legislation The legal aspects in the market where you interact should also appear in your business plan. That´s why you must be aware of any regulatory changes that may occur. As this could be beneficial or a threat. To know the legislation, you must know the legal requirements necessary to start an eCommerce.
- Technology If you´re going to start an online clothing store, you will without a doubt need the use of technology. Consequently, you must determine what the main work tools will be. And then analyze if they represent an investment if they are unique tools . And of course, whether you have enough knowledge to use them or you will have to hire third parties.
Products and services
The reason is that your business plan must clearly express what your target audience will be. And the problems that you must solve for them. In the same way, you must know if there are other similar alternatives to establish your added value.
To handle this type of data you can also make use of a table. Where you will include your products, prices, and estimated profits. Also, if you´re looking for financing, the risk analyst will not pay much importance to the price. But to why users will want to pay it and the number of their earnings.
This is where marketing is taken into account for your eCommerce business plan. And the goal will be to get constant visits to your online store. So, you should know that getting visibility is slow work and you have to plant it. That´s why a marketing plan is necessary. It allows an analysis of the market study of an example online store to identify its direct competition. Later, it is that you will decide on which marketing strategies to apply.
In the business plan, you must add the communication channels that you will use to get your brand message across. And get the highly acclaimed leads that will later become customers. At the moment, these are the most used channels for online stores:
- Social media.
- Email marketing.
- Videomarketing and YouTube.
- Traffic paid with Facebook Ads and Adwords.
- Content Marketing.
Similarly, the operational plan reflects the tasks that your online store requires to move forward. But, if it´s a single person in charge of the business, it´s enough to show what the routine is like. Likewise, it´s important to identify which work will require the most attention to grow:
- Offer customer service support.
- Returns management.
- Attention to any unforeseen event.
- Negotiation with suppliers.
- Inventory management.
It´s likely that during the journey as an entrepreneur you´ll have to make certain modifications to your online business plan. For better performance and to have all the tasks in control.
Where do you see your online clothing store in 1 or more years?
This question must be asked as the business´ that doesn´t know where they´re going will be at a disadvantage.
So, this projection will be essential to move towards your goals and what you must do to achieve them. Once your first profits begin to arrive, you must set the percentage of profit that you´re going to reinvest to continue growing your business .
If you need external financing this point should also be on the business plan.
At this point the monetary amount required and what you´ll do with the entire amount is detailed. And it´s something logical.
Since no person will want to put their money into a project without first obtaining all the information of interest. That´s why you must be very specific. Not only with the amount of money you need but also your plan to use it correctly.
Did you like this post?
There are many benefits that a business plan can have for your company. Since it´s the exact way to know the objectives of your project and get the resources to carry it out.
As for the writing, you can write it yourself or seek help. At BluCactus we have the necessary tools to create a business plan. And in addition to that, we can create the marketing plan you need so that your online store becomes visible and reaches your potential customers .
You just have to contact us , and we will gladly assist you! If you want to keep up with the world of digital marketing, you can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
Quote your project to let us create your Fashion project to increase your audience and sales today!
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Boutique Business Plan Template
Boutique business plan.
You’ve come to the right place to create your Boutique business plan.
We have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their Boutiques.
Below is a template to help you create each section of your Boutique business plan.
Bella Chic Boutique is a startup women’s fashion and accessory boutique located in Dallas, Texas. The company is founded by Terri Jameson, a fashion designer who has created a successful and vibrant business designing fashions for her private customers through word-of-mouth referrals during the past twelve years. Terri is now looking to increase her product line and her sales by opening the boutique that will carry her clothing line to the next level.
In addition to the clothing pieces offered, Terri will curate an assortment of accessories and shoes to accompany the fashions she creates. Her associate, Mari Hodges, who has been her fashion assistant for ten years, has been recruited to be the Manager of the Boutique. Mari will oversee staff and ensure the general atmosphere of the boutique reflects the personal taste and style selections of Terri Jameson.
The following are the products and services that Bella Chic Boutique will provide:
- Curated fashion pieces that are on-trend and relevant to the activities of the Dallas social environment: casual, social, and evening wear
- Exceptional customer service, including customer sizes, needs and preferences on file
- Designer accessories and shoes to accompany the fashion clothing
- Inclusive sizes to fit all women comfortably and appropriately
- Trunk sales to encourage small communities of women
- One-to-one personalized service upon request
- Champagne and petite chocolates for each client upon entering the boutique
Bella Chic Boutique will target all women of the Dallas area and surrounding communities. They will target current and former clients of Terri Jameson, along with friends and associates of those customers. They will target members of clubs, women’s groups, community associations and businesses who seek to build their wardrobe to the level of excellence and beauty. No matter who the client may be, Bella Chic Boutique will welcome and encourage each new friend to become a member of the Bella Chic Boutique friendship circle.
Bella Chic Boutique will be owned and operated by Terri Jameson. Terri Jameson is a fashion designer who has created a successful and vibrant business designing fashions for her private customers through word-of-mouth referrals during the past twelve years.
Terri has a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion & Design Institute in Los Angeles, California and has worked in numerous locations around the world, developing her fashion style and assisting fashion designers in building their own businesses.
Terri Jameson has recruited her associate, Mari Hodges, who has been her fashion assistant for ten years, to be the Manager of the Boutique. Mari will oversee staff and ensure the general atmosphere of the boutique reflects the personal taste and style selections of Terri Jameson.
Bella Chic Boutique will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:
- Friendly, knowledgeable, and highly qualified team of Bella Chic Boutique
- Comprehensive menu of products and services that will appeal to all women of any size and reflect the personal style of Terri Jameson and her brand.
- Personal one-on-one styling upon client request.
- Trunk shows for small groups to form “communities”
- Champagne and petite chocolates upon entering the boutique
- Bella Chic Boutique understands that most women must work within a budget. In respect of that, the prices are reasonable and, sometimes, negotiable.
Bella Chic Boutique is seeking $200,000 in debt financing to launch its Bella Chic Boutique. The funding will be dedicated toward securing the office space and purchasing office equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated toward three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing costs for the social media marketing strategies and other marketing costs. The breakout of the funding is below:
- Office space build-out: $20,000
- Office equipment, supplies, and materials: $10,000
- Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities): $150,000
- Marketing costs: $10,000
- Working capital: $10,000
The following graph outlines the financial projections for Bella Chic Boutique.
Who is bella chic boutique.
Bella Chic Boutique is a newly established, full-service women’s boutique in Dallas, Texas and surrounding communities. Bella Chic Boutique will offer the most cost-effective fashion designs for every society occasion, including daytime, evening wear, and special events. Bella Chic Boutique will provide a comprehensive selection of clothing, accessories and footware for women of all sizes to wear and enjoy. Their full-service approach includes one-on-one styling service, if requested, and champagne and petite chocolates for each customer who enters the boutique.
Bella Chic Boutique will be able to sell at retail a full line of fashion designs, accessories and footwear, including sunglasses, handbags, and beauty wraps. The team of professionals are highly qualified and experienced in both fashion and personal fittings to assist clients in looking their best. Bella Chic Boutique removes all headaches and issues of the clothing shopping experience and ensures a lovely exploration for each customer into high-end and beautiful fashion clothing, while Belle Chic Boutique delivers the best in customer service.
Bella Chic Boutique History
Since incorporation, Bella Chic Boutique has achieved the following milestones:
- Registered Bella Chic Boutique, LLC to transact business in the state of Texas.
- Has a contract in place at one of the office buildings. Mari will manage the set up of its office and meeting areas within the 10,000 square foot space.
- Reached out to numerous contacts to include current customers and former customers.
- Began recruiting a staff of four sales representatives and office personnel to work at Bella Chic Boutique.
Bella Chic Boutique Services
The following will be the products and services Bella Chic Boutique will provide:
- Designer accessories and footwear to accompany the fashion clothing
The women’s boutique industry is expected to grow over the next five years to over $28 billion. The growth will be driven by the need to maximize the time/results during a shopping experience. The growth will also be driven by the personalized service and special sizes that can be obtained in boutiques. The growth will also be driven by the need to try on clothing rather than order them online. The growth will be driven by customers who like the communities that are created with like-minded clients.
Costs will likely be reduced as clothing supply chains open further and more Asian countries become open to manufacturing upper-end clothing for quality designers. Costs will also be reduced as more women choose the boutique experiences and results, allowing more clothing to be sold and moving the trend forward.
Demographic profile of target market.
Bella Chic Boutique will target those women in Dallas, Texas and the surrounding communities. They will target busy professional women who have little time to shop. They will target groups of friends who will enjoy trunk shows. They will target community and business groups to encourage groups to shop together.
Bella Chic Boutique will primarily target the following customer profiles:
- Women who have discretionary income
- Professional women who work near the city center
- Clubs, groups and associations who enjoy meeting at trunk shows
- Women who need personalized services
- Women who need specialty sizes
- Women who enjoy casual social outings
- Women who want footwear and accessories that complete their fashion purchases
Direct and indirect competitors.
Bella Chic Boutique will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.
True Bleu Boutique
True Bleu Boutique provides fashion clothing that is hand-selected and curated for women who enjoy clothes of the 1980s and 1990s. This includes tie-dyed fashion looks, bright solid clothing pieces, harem pants, halter tops and other fun-and-fashionable clothing and accessories.
The message of True Bleu Boutique is to “Find Your Fun in Fashion” and the owners, Marty and Mary Turner design the apparel that fits the brand message. Marty and Mary have been well-known fashion designers in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas for over twenty years. They provide wedding apparel, personalized designer clothing items that are made for one client at a time, and they enjoy large gatherings of customers who can select apparel from a Seasonal Bleu Show four times a year. The current business has garnered millions of dollars in revenue; however, during the pandemic most of the assets were devalued due to lack of business. They now hope to reignite their client base and grow the business once again.
The owner of Ecstasy Boutique is focused on gauze and chiffon apparel that can be worn at the beach, in the tropics, during the summer months, or as leisurewear. The looks are flowy, sheer and lightweight, leading to an epiphany of enjoyment while wearing the pieces of Suzanne Stillwell. Established in 2015, the Ecstacy Boutique caters to women aged from 30 to 50 years and has many selections that can be handmade to match children’s dresses and leisurewear in fashionable sets.
Suzanne Stillwell is the owner and operator of Ecstasy Boutique and offers a plethora of choices of chiffon, gauze, sheer and lightweight fashion pieces specifically designed by Suzanne. The apparel is often seen layered over other pieces or crafted to be layered appropriately. There are extensive displays of jewelry items available for purchase, including jewel-toned leather-bound agate stones, light bracelets and necklaces and other simple pieces. There are no footwear items offered. Trunk shows are not offered; however, personalized service is available for a fee.
The 5 & Dime Shop
The 5 & Dime Shop is focused on providing gently used fashion designer clothing for resale. The shop is extremely popular with young women who are working in the central city area of Dallas, where the shop is located. Inside the shop are racks filled with designer clothing, most of it labeled and priced according to the proprietor’s gauge of value and resale value. Judy Compella, an enthusiastic buyer of old clothing, is often seen at The 5 & Dime Shop, either helping customers find something fun to wear or buying clothing from the closets of women within the Dallas area. Although the concept for the shop is strong, Judy’s determination to keep the shop small and friendly has limited the revenue and thus the profits accrued.
Bella Chic Boutique will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:
- Their pricing structure is the most cost effective compared to the competition.
Brand & value proposition.
Bella Chic Boutique will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:
- Highly-qualified team of skilled employees who are able to provide a complete selection of fashion designer clothing that meets their size and style preferences.
- Trunk shows on a seasonal basis that encourage communities of women
- Accessories and footwear that complement the fashion apparel
- Skilled, personalized service by the fashion designer to ensure perfected looks
- Reasonable pricing and service charges
The promotions strategy for Bella Chic Boutique is as follows:
Word of Mouth/Referrals
Bella Chic Boutique has built up an extensive list of client contacts over the years by providing exceptional service and expertise to the clients of Terri Jameson and Mari Hodges. Bella Chic Boutique clients will follow them to their new company and help spread the word of Bella Chic Boutique.
Professional Associations and Networking
Terri Jameson and Mari Hodges will join and attend professional associations and networking events to bring the Bella Chic Boutique to the minds of each attendee when they or someone they know needs beautifully-crafted clothing for any event.
Two weeks before launch, a direct mail piece will be sent to each resident within the greater Dallas area to invite clients and visitors to come through the door at Belle Chic Boutique. The direct mail piece will offer a personalized service of 30 minutes in consultation with Terri or Mari and will also offer a 20% discount off everything in the boutique if redeemed within the first two weeks of business.
Bella Chic Boutique will utilize social media and their website to announce the launch and build out their clientele in this new company. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all their services that Bella Chic Boutique is able to provide. The website will also list their contact information and demonstrate fashion designs that are available for purchase. The website will contain SEO marketing tactics so that anytime someone types in the Google or Bing search engine “designer boutique” or “boutique near me”, Bella Chic Boutique will be listed at the top of the search results.
The pricing of Bella Chic Boutique will be reasonable and on par with competitors so customers feel they receive excellent value when purchasing their services.
The following will be the operations plan for Bella Chic Boutique. Operation Functions:
- Terri Jameson will be the Owner and President of the company. She will oversee client relations and product previews, ordering and client relations with both entities.
- Mari Hodges, a current fashion assistant, will be the Manager of the boutique and oversee staff, ensure the general atmosphere reflects Terri’s style, and carry the message of Bella Chic Boutique forward. Mari will oversee staff and ensure the general atmosphere of the boutique reflects the personal taste and style selections of Terri Jameson.
Bella Chic Boutique will have the following milestones completed in the next six months.
- 5/1/202X – Finalize contract to lease office space
- 5/15/202X – Finalize personnel and staff employment contracts for the Bella Chic Boutique
- 6/1/202X – Finalize buyer contracts for Bella Chic Boutique
- 6/15/202X – Begin networking at association events
- 6/22/202X – Begin moving into Bella Chic Boutique office
- 7/1/202X – Bella Chic Boutique opens its office for business
Key revenue & costs.
The revenue drivers for Bella Chic Boutique are the clothing fees they will charge to the customers for their products and services. .
The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff the Bella Chic Boutique. The expenses will be the payroll cost, rent, utilities, office supplies, and marketing materials.
Funding Requirements and Use of Funds
Bella Chic Boutique is seeking $200,000 in debt financing to launch its fashion designer boutique. The funding will be dedicated toward securing the office space and purchasing office equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated toward three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing costs for the print ads and association memberships. The breakout of the funding is below:
The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.
- Number of Customers Per Month: 500
- Average Fees per Month: $62,500
- Office Lease per Year: $100,000
Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, boutique business plan faqs, what is a boutique business plan.
A boutique business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your boutique business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.
You can easily complete your Boutique business plan using our Boutique Business Plan Template here .
What are the Main Types of Boutique Businesses?
There are a number of different kinds of boutique businesses , some examples include: High-End Fashion, Sports/Athletic Clothing, Lingerie, Maternity, Kids Clothing, Wedding Dresses, Suits, and Hip Hop Clothing.
How Do You Get Funding for Your Boutique Business Plan?
Boutique businesses are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.
What are the Steps To Start a Boutique Business?
Starting a boutique business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.
1. Develop A Boutique Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed boutique business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.
2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your boutique business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your boutique business is in compliance with local laws.
3. Register Your Boutique Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your boutique business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.
4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your boutique business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.
5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.
6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.
7. Acquire Necessary Boutique Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your boutique business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.
8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your boutique business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising.
Learn more about how to start a successful boutique business:
- How to Start a Clothing Boutique
Development of a business plan for launching an online clothing retail shop
Project report, 2013, ali hammad (author).
Free online reading
Table of Contents
1.0 Business description 1.1 Background and history of the online retail clothing industry 1.2 Description of the product 1.3 Goals and objectives of the business 1.4 Supplier Information and agreements 1.5 Ownership structure 1.5.1 Investment of funds 1.6: Legal consideration
2.0 Business opportunities 2.1 Potential customers and geographical area 2.2 Business competitors 2.2.1 Differentiation from competitors
3.0 Marketing strategy 3.1 Costing and pricing 3.2 Marketing plan 3.3 Sales Projection
4.0 Business operations 4.1 Operational functions 4.2 Personnel 4.3 Services offered
5.0 Finances 5.1 Expenses 5.2 Revenue 5.3 Final Projections
6.0 List of references
Business plan for online clothing retail store
1.0 Business description
Online clothing retail store has been selected for developing a business plan. Some of the critical and important issues have been discussed in this section such as; background and history of the business, goals, description of the product, supplier information, agreements, ownership structure and legal considerations.
1.1 Background and history of the online retail clothing industry
The online clothing industry has doubled over the last five years, as the increasing number of users has access to broadband and smart phone and forsaken the high street (Telegraph, 2011). According to a report by Mintel, 4.3 billion £ worth of the clothes are bought online in the year 2011, up from 26 percent in the year 2010 (Telegraph, 2011). Online shoppers spent 10.1 billion pounds in November, 2013 (IMRG, 2013). On the other hand, mobile commerce is also becoming an important medium for sellers to sell their products (Capgemini, 2013). Online business has various advantages compared to traditional business, which can be seen in the figure below:
Figure 1.1 Advantages of online business
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Source: SAS, 2013.
Hence, stepping in to online clothing retail business can help entrepreneur to sustain, grow and make profits with the extremely positive market growth.
1.2 Description of the product
The business is new online clothing store, which provides comfortable and easy clothing buying solutions to men and women, through its own website and an online e-bay store. The business focuses on retail clothes and shoes for men and women, which will be available in different sizes, colours and will be designed and manufactured keeping in view the latest fashion trends of the fashion industry. In short, following products will be offered:
- Jeans (men and women) - Shirts (Men and women) - T-Shirts (Men and women) - Shoes (Men and women)
1.3 Goals and objectives of the business
Goals are important to the business and they define destination and shape future of the business (Marshall, 2005). According to (Zimmerman, 2011) following are the goals of internet business, which must be taken into consideration while starting an online business:
- Providing customer service through information - Generating leads or qualifying prospects - Generating revenue through advertising sales - In addition to the above goals and objectives, entrepreneur will also focus on achieving goals such as follows: - 100 percent positive customer feedback on e-bay - Create positive word of mouth through social networking and websites.
1.4 Supplier Information and agreements
China is the largest supplier and exporter of clothes and apparels in the world (Worldbank, 2010). Since customised clothes with the demanded quality can be imported from China at the convenient price, entrepreneur will focus on importing all the products from China due to low cost and reliable suppliers with tremendous reputation are available over the internet. Moreover, in the start-up of the business emphasis will be given to signing agreement with supplier on low price per unit of the product, to increase the profit margin. Similarly, defected pieces and return policy will also be the part of agreement with the supplier.
1.5 Ownership structure
The ownership structure followed by entrepreneur will be sole trader. According to BBC (2013); following are the advantages of sole trader:
- Generally small amount of capital is needed which reduces the initial start-up cost. - It is easier to make decisions - The wage will be low because there are few employees
Contrary to this there are some disadvantages as well such as; unlimited liability and bankruptcy (BBC, 2013). But keeping the business plan, objectives and goals in view, Sole trader organisational structure is best to be opted.
1.5.1 Investment of funds
All the investments will be done by entrepreneur himself, by investing from savings and using credit cards and over-draft facilities by different banks. According to (Timmons, 1990), entrepreneur must arrange all the finances by himself and should not try to find any investors. Moreover, this is a small project with low investment and high growth potential. Keeping in view the amount and future growth opportunities, entrepreneur will invest by himself.
1.6: Legal consideration
Considering legal obligations, entrepreneur first needs to get a domain name to register the website. Similarly according HM Revenue and customs, UK (2013), following is the criteria for registering sole trader business in UK:
- Self Assessment (Information about sole trader) - National Insurance details. - PAYE information if there are any employees in the company.
2.0 Business opportunities
This part of the business plan focuses on the critical issues related to business opportunities, such as; potential customers, geographical area and business competitors.
2.1 Potential customers and geographical area
As the online clothing shop has to offer products according to the new fashion trends, so potential customers will be both males and females between the age of 16 and 35. According to (Peterson & Tiffany, 2004), focusing one specific customer group with specific demographics is better for an online business. Similarly, All 16 – 40 years old male and females will be targeted across United Kingdom, who use internet.
Here are some latest statistics of internet users given by national statistics (2013):
Figure 2.1 Internet Users and non users by age group (years) in UK, Q1 2013
Source: Office for national statistics, 20013.
It can be seen from the figure 2.1, 100 percent of males and females use internet between the age group 16 and 44. In the light of the data examination, selection of potential customers between the age group of 16 and 40 is ideal, as they all use internet and follow latest fashion trends. Since 100 percent of the males and females use internet between the age group of 16 to 40 years in the United Kingdom, so they all will be target across the country. As internet users between 16-40 years of age are the target group in the UK.
2.2 Business competitors
Online clothes retailers are expected to face a tougher competition in the coming year (Manhattan Associates, 2013). According to a report published by (ibisworld, 2013), there are 648 clothing stores, which are reliable and making profits. The competition is to compete and survive in the market at business start-up with these 648 stores.
2.2.1 Differentiation from competitors
Differentiation is very important in online business industry, as competition is very high due to its high growth and profitability (Tuunainen & Rossi, 2002). Bummat model bsed on (based on Järvelä & Tinnilä, 2000) to implement the overall online business plan in order to be effective, efficient and be different from competitors.
Figure 4.1 Bummat Model for customer channels
Source: (Tuunainen & Rossi, 2002)
In analysis, (Tuunainen & Rossi, 2002) have examined that successful websites such as; feelpretty.com has used and focused on all these components, which are highlighted in the model to be successful and different from competitors and sustain in the market.
3.0 Marketing strategy
This section of the business plan discusses strategies such as; costing and pricing, sales projection and marketing plan.
3.1 Costing and pricing
According to (Bloomberg, 2013) cost of getting jeans manufactured from China and Bangladesh is 90 pence and a shirt of different design is around 0.70-1.5 pounds. Based on the cheap manufacturing costs, the price of the products will be around 10 pounds for jeans and same for the shirt, to make profits and cover all expenses and costs in the start-up. As the competitors and majority of the clothing retail shops and e-bay and from their own websites are selling from 17-20 pounds per item.
3.2 Marketing plan
According to (IMA, 2013), internet marketing consists of activities, which must be taken in to account to create successful internet marketing plan:
Figure 3.1 Activities of internet marketing
Source: IMA (2012).
Similarly, there are some advantages of using all these activities for the marketing plan as they are very cost effective and majority of them are free. According to (The prince’s trust, 2013) Following are the advantages of using internet based marketing activities:
Table 3.2 Advantages of internet marketing activities
Source: Prince’s trust (2012).
Hence, due to several advantages and existence of business in the online platform, all the internet activities will be used to market and advertise the online clothing brand, as shown in the figure 3.2 above.
3.3 Sales Projection
Online clothing industry is growing by leaps and bounds, with the growth rate of almost 26 % each year (Telegraph, 2011). Based on the industry growth rate, the projected growth rate of the business is 5 percent in the first year. During the first year, with passage of earning revenue and profits, more money will be invested in to the business and growth rate will subsequently increase to 10 percent in the second year and to 15 percent in the third year, due to extensive and continuous online marketing and increasing product line. It is shown in the figure below.
Figure 3.2 Sales projections in terms of year and percentage
4.0 Business operations
This part of the business plan includes; operational functions, services offered and personnel.
4.1 Operational functions
Internet retailers must turn online visitors into buyers, to achieve that retailers must provide an online experience which influence and make consumer to buy the product (Linton, 2013). Following are some of operational functions based on article by (Linton, 2013), which will be followed by the company at-start to gain sales and attract customer and run operations of the retail shop successfully.
Table 4.1 Operational function of the retail shop
Adapted from, (Linton, 2013).
As the business is started up and handled by the entrepreneur himself, so there will be no personnel in start-up of the business. All the business operations will be handled by entrepreneur himself. On the other hand, Website infrastructure management, website design, mobile application and all the technology related issues will be outsourced to an information technology company, which will be available to resolve any issues in the system when needed. So the costs related to the personnel associated with the business are variable and will vary according to the help needed to call professionals to resolve any technical issues related to the website.
4.3 Services offered
The British customer is demanding more and more from the customer service they receive (Ecommerceweek, 2013). As the consumers are getting more demanding in terms of receiving customer service, hence to fulfil the requirements of the potential and existing customers, business will offer the following services to the customer so that they can be loyal and come back to buy the products and spread positive word of mouth regarding the brand. Following will be the services provided by the clothing brand:
- Dealing with customer complaints. - Replying to queries within 24 hours of receiving them. - Free delivery on orders above 50 pounds. - 100 percent refund if the product is defected at buying. - 28 days return policy. - Loyalty memberships for regular customers.
This part of the business plan focuses on the revenue, expenses and final projections:, 5.1 expenses.
Identifying the start-up costs for a venture helps to know the amount of money needed before opening the doors of the business (Fasttrac, 2005). By examining and analysing the expenses related to the business, following are the expenses which are needed in the start –up to start the business.
Table 5.1 Expenses for starting online clothing shop
As it can be seen in the table above, total expenses required to start-up are 10,000 pounds. While 5700 pounds are assets which includes cash in hand and inventory at start, while on the other hand 4300 pounds are expenses, which include different costs, which will incur at start.
According to (SAS,2013), out of 88 visitors to the website, 4 of them buy the product in a day from an average retailer’s website. Hence, due to diversified online marketing, it is being assumed that, in the beginning, 4 products will sell in a day at start- up. On the basis of this, the revenue and profits have been calculated as follows:
Table 5.2 cost per unit of the product
As it can be seen in the table above the average cost per unit is 3 pounds after including all expenses. Moreover, the monthly fixed cost is 350 pounds which includes the rent of the store, where stock is kept to dispatch for the final delivery. Hence the breaks – even which will cover all cost and bring the owner to no – profit and no loss situation is calculated as follows:
Figure 5.1 Break even analysis
Hence 88 units are required to come to the break even position. Similarly as four units a day are getting sold, total revenue is calculated as follows:
Table 5.3: Profit calculation in one month
As 32 units are profit for a month in terms of cash, entrepreneur will earn 320 pounds a month in start which will start increasing with passage of time, due to extensive growth rate of the industry.
5.3 Final Projections
It has been calculated earlier that the sale will increase by 5 percent in the first year, 10 percent in the second year and 15 percent in the third year. Based on that, following are the final projections in terms of sale and year.
Figure 5.2 Sales projections in terms of year and sales in pounds
It can be seen from the figure 5.2 sales are continuously increasing every single year. In the first year sales are 1440 pounds, in the second year 15840 and in the third year 18216 pounds subsequently.
BBC (2013), ’Sole traders and partnership’ [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/business/aims/partnershipsrev1.shtml [Accessed: 28 November, 2013].
Bloomberg (2013), ’90 cents- the cost of manufacturing a jeans in bangladesh’ . [Online] Available at: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/07/10/bangladesh-factory-safety [Accessed: 4 December, 2013].
Capgemini (2013), ‘ £87 billion to be spent online in 2013 , [Online] Available at: http://www.uk.capgemini.com/news/87-billion-to-be-spent-online-in-2013_pr2411 [Accessed: 28 November, 2013].
Ecommerceweek (2013),’ online retailers offer the highest standards of customer service’ [Online] Available at: http://www.ecommerceweek.co.uk/item.php?news_id=115 [Accessed: 7 December, 2013].
Ibisworld (2013), ’Online womens clothing sales in the UK: Market research report. [Online] Available at: http://www.ibisworld.co.uk/market-research/online-womens-clothing-sales.html [Accessed: 2 December, 2013].
IMA (Internat marketing academy (2013), ‘ developing an internet marketing strategy ’ [Online] Available at: http://www.ftvs.cuni.cz/hendl/metodologie/developing-an-internet-marketing-strategy.pdf [Accessed: 11 December, 2013].
IMRC (2013), ‘ Highest ever monthly online spend in November’ [Online] Available at: http://www.retailgazette.co.uk/articles/03341-highest-ever-monthly-online-spend-last-month-says-imrg-capgemini [Accessed: 01 December, 2013].
Linton (2013), ‘Best practices for online retail operations’ [Online] Available at: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/practices-online-retail-operations-36326.html [Accessed: 25 November, 2013].
Marshall.I.M (2005), ’Defining your business through goals and objectives : First steps for new entrepreneurs’. [online] Available at: http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ec/ec-727.pdf [Accessed: 4 December, 2013].
National statistics (2013), ‘Internet access quarterly update: Q1 2013’ [Online] Availabe at: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_310435.pdf [Accessed: 29 November, 2013].
Price’s trust (2013 ), ‘Marketing methods’ [Online] Available at: http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/pdf/eec-workbook-page%2079-80-81.pdf [Accessed: 3 December, 2013].
SAS (2013), ‘How UK will shop: 2013’ [Online] Available at: http://www.sas.com/offices/europe/uk/downloads/retail/retail-predictions2013.pdf [Accessed: 25 November, 2013].
Telegraph (2011), ‘ online clothing sales double’ [online] Available at: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG8451109/Online-clothing-sales-double.html [Accessed: 01, December, 2013].
Tuunainen.K, Rossi.M. (2002), ‘E-Business in apparel retailing industry: critical issues’ [Online] Available at: http://is2.lse.ac.uk/asp/aspecis/20020147.pdf [Accessed: 4 December, 2013].
World Bank (2010), ‘The global apparel value chain: ride and crisis’ [Online] Available at: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/46444042_The_global_apparel_value_chain_trade_and_the_crisis__challenges_and_opportunities_for_developing_countries/file/32bfe50d85b7f78c48.pdf [Accessed: 25 November, 2013].
Zimmerman.J (2011), ‘ Web marketing for dummies’ [Online] Available at: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/setting-goals-for-your-online-business-presence.navId-811455.html [Accessed: 2 December, 2013].
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