Today in my series about how to get started in your boutique, I think I should address most new boutique entrepreneur’s worry of MONEY. How do I get enough money to open? Or “How do I fund this boutique dream?” I get this question all the time and I want to give you easy and accessible ways to find money.
To be honest, since the crash of 2008, small business loans a traditional banks are hard to get. Generally you need to show 1-2 years of sales history and present a business plan- which for so many just isn’t where you are at! I want to give you alternatives in this article!
I also want you to know that Kickstarter is a TON of work and you need a massive network to make it work… and everyone that asks about government grants, really? Won’t it be so much more rewarding to figure this out on your own and not have to spend time researching and applying for grants? Maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty scrappy and can always figure out a faster way to get myself going in business… I don’t like depending on others, or the government for that matter.
First, I want to tell you that you don’t need a ton of money to start! I think it’s best to start small to minimize risk and grow into a BIG boutique. You can always go UP!
Here’s my top 3 ways to be a scrappy, startup hungry entrepreneur that will fund your boutique business:
1. Save a set amount a week from your paycheck: Parkinson’s Law says, the demand upon a resource tends to expand to match the supply of the resource. Basically, if you make $500 a week, you’ll figure out how to expand your spending to spend $500 a week. Let’s say you immediately transfer $100 a week to a savings account. In just 2 months, you’ll have $800 saved to start your boutique. 4 months, $1600, which is a TON of money to buy inventory (and do everything else in a free or super resourceful way!). You can self-fund your boutique business this way and you’ll be more invested in it since you truly are your own backer!
2. Start with 75: I’m going to guess you have, or can borrow from a family member, $75, right? $75 is enough to buy about 12-15 pieces of jewelry/accessories from a wholesaler. Let’s say you open a free Facebook page or Instagram page to sell those pieces. You add in shipping to you and a bit for an envelope to ship the jewelry… then mark up the items times 3 (or more if you can!). The potential sales is about $225-$250 when you sell ALL of it!! Amazing right?
Ok, go back to the jewelry vendor and only spend $75 again. You are still have $150 in your bank account and now, when you sell out the second order of $75, you’ll have $350 in your bank account. Maybe this time you spend $100 on items… sell that and you have $550 in your bank. Hopefully you are following this? My point is that you can turnover and turnover jewelry or small accessories inventory (think: one of a kind, limited edition pieces!) until you have enough saved up to purchase clothing and continue to expand. Imagine your a million dollar business telling the story to your team about how you started with $75 and a dream. THAT’S inspirational!
3. Sell things you own on Poshmark or Ebay or FB Marketplace: Seriously, you have things in your closet that will make you money right now! Have a cleaning afternoon and start listing your stuff! This will give you amazing practice in photographing, writing descriptions, pricing and talking to customers! All the things you need to be a great boutique owner.
In general, $1000-2000 can be plenty to start an online boutique. Obviously if you want a mobile or back and mortar, you’ll need more! But, what if you started online, in a small way, discovered if you really like having a boutique and then went on to open a physical store? Starting online is a great way to dip your toes into the boutique world while you’re still at a 9-5, or have little kids at home!
How did you start your boutique business? Tell me below!!