Are you about starting a clothing store? If YES, here is a complete sample online clothing store business plan template & feasibility study you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a clothing store. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample online boutique marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for retail clothing stores. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Table of Content
- Executive Summary
- Market Analysis
- SWOT Analysis
- Financial Projection
- Marketing Plan
- Marketing ideas & Strategies
Why Start a Clothing Store?
There is hardly any human who doesn’t wear clothes. This is because of the need to cover up nakedness. This can also be the reason why so many clothes manufacturers have sprung up in the last centuries; this is so that they are able to meet the teeming population of people who wear clothes. Various clothing designs have evolved over the years too.
Therefore, the clothes move from the manufacturers to the consumers. In between there are [people who are mainly the ones who go between the manufacturers and the consumers. This is one of the reasons why a business such as a clothing store or a boutique as some folks would want to call it, are in existence.
Starting a clothing store isn’t a herculean task to undertake. However, it becomes really needful that the right steps are taken in the right direction. One of the steps that ought to be taken is the business plan step. Here is a sample clothing store business plan that you may want to use to draw up yours,
A Sample Clothing Store Business Plan Template
- Clothing Store (Boutique) Business Overview
One of the reasons why clothing store (boutique) business will continue to thrive is the fact that people can’t do without putting on clothes. People that patronize clothing stores cut across the rich and the poor, the highly place in the society and the lowly placed; everybody need clothes to cover their nakedness.
The clothing store (boutique) industry comprises of small retail stores that sells a limited range of clothing and accessories. The industry is defined as single-establishment stores only. Clothing stores (boutiques) can be strictly designer based (i.e. only one designer’s collection is sold there), or they may sell a mix of designers’ labels (brands) that are specifically catered to the local market.
Players in the Clothing store (Boutiques) industry are defined as having only one location and typically focus on providing high-end or niche products to consumers. Changing fashion trends and of course consumer well-being is essential to industry growth because products are generally more expensive and rely on consumer discretionary incomes.
As a result, the start of the recession and its lasting effects on the US economy hurt industry performance. Per capita disposable income fell as many individuals lost their jobs; accordingly, consumer confidence plummeted and consumers cut spending, causing the industry to contract in 2009. The clothing store (boutique) Industry revenue has since recovered; however, the industry is facing more stringent competition than ever before because of a rising number of imports and consumers’ shift to online shopping et al.
The clothing store (boutique) industry is indeed a very large industry and pretty much thriving in all the parts of the world. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 31,615 legally registered clothing stores (boutiques) responsible for employing about 65,810 employees and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $28bn annually. It is important to state that, there is no company with a dominant market share in this industry. The industry is projected to grow at 3.1 percent annual growth rate.
Over the years, clothing stores (boutiques) have experienced tremendous growth in all cities in the United States of America and in most parts of the world. In response to the ever growing demand for clothes and other fashion accessories, clothing store owners have opened additional stores thereby creating chains of stores across different cities. They are always ready to expanded into new markets and of course adapt to the ever changing trend in fashion and increase sales.
Over and above, the clothing store (boutique) industry is a profitable industry and it is open for any aspiring entrepreneur to come in and establish his or her business; you can chose to start on a small scale in a street corner like the average mom and pop business or you can chose to start on a large scale with several outlets (chains of stores) in key cities.
Online Boutique Business Plan – MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
One major trend over the years in the clothing store (boutique) industry is that, clothing stores (boutiques) have experienced tremendous growth in all cities in the United States of America and in most parts of the world. In response to the ever growing demand for clothes and other fashion accessories, clothing store owners have opened additional stores thereby creating chains of stores across different cities. They are always ready to expanded into new markets and of course adapt to the ever changing trend in fashion and increase sales.
As a matter of fact, it is common to find clothing stores located alongside a busy road, in a busy community, in an urban area, or near a railway or railroad station or other transport hub. In some countries like the United States, United Kingdom and France et al, clothing stores are known to be opened 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
If you keep tabs on the clothing store business and retailing business generally, you would have noticed that It is now a common phenomenon for retail outlets to leverage on technology to effectively predict consumer demand patterns and to strategically position their store to meet their needs; in essence, the use of technology help retailers to maximize supply chain efficiencies. No doubt data collected from customers goes a long way to help retail stores serve them better.
Another common trend in the retailing industry of which clothing store falls under is the pricing system. Aside from having varieties and quality of the items in a convenience store, one of the easiest ways for players in this line of business to sell the items on their racks as fast as they can and keep re – stocking is to ensure that the prices of their items are a bit lower than what is obtainable in elsewhere. For example, it is common to see items with prices in this format; $3.99, $99 and $199 et al as against $4.00, $100 and $200.
- Our Target Market
When it comes to selling items that are found in clothing stores, there is indeed a wide range of available customers. In essence, our target market can’t be restricted to just a group of people, but all those who resides in the locations where we intend opening our clothing store. One thing is certain; we will ensure that we only retail quality and affordable clothes and other fashion accessories in our clothing store.
In view of that, we have positioned our clothing store to service the residence of Los Angeles – California and every other location where our clothing stores will be located all over the United States of America and Canada. We have conducted our market research and we have ideas of what our target market would be expecting from us.
We are in business to retail our clothes and fashion accessories to the following groups of people;
- Male and Female
- Toddles and Newborn Babies
- Bachelors and Spinsters
- Corporate Executives
- Business People
- About to wed couples
- Expectant Mothers (Maternity Gowns)
- Sports Men and Women
Our Competitive Advantage
Mary & Mack Clothing Store™ is launching a standard and registered clothing store that will indeed become the preferred choice of residence of Inglewood, Los Angeles – California and in every other locations where our chains of clothing stores will be opened.
Our clothing store is located in a corner piece property on a busy road directly opposite one of the largest residential estates in Los Angeles and few meters away from a busy business district. We have enough parking space that can accommodate well over 25 cars per time.
One thing is certain; we will ensure that we have a wide range of quality and affordable clothes and fashion accessories from top fashion labels available in our store at all times. It will be difficult for customers to visit our store and not see the cloth or fashion items that they are looking for. One of our business goals is to make Mary & Mack Clothing Store™ a one stop fashion shop.
Our excellent, highly experienced and qualified management team, customer service culture, online store, various payment options and highly secured facility with enough packing space will also serve as a competitive advantage for us.
Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category (startups clothing stores in the United States) in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.
Online Boutique Business Plan – SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
Before choosing a location for Mary & Mack Clothing Store™, we conduct a thorough market survey and feasibility studies in order for us to be able to be able to penetrate the available market and become the preferred choice for residence of Los Angeles – California and in every other cities where our chains of clothing stores will be opened. We have detailed information and data that we were able to utilize to structure our business to attract the numbers of customers we want to attract per time.
We hired experts who have good understanding of the clothing store / retailing industry to help us develop marketing strategies that will help us achieve our business goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market in Los Angeles – California.
In other to continue to be in business and grow, we must continue to sell the products that are available in our store which is why we will go all out to empower or sales and marketing team to deliver.
In summary, Mary & Mack Clothing Store™ will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to win customers over;
- Introduce our clothing store (boutique) by sending introductory letters to residence, business owners and organizations in and around Los Angeles – California
- Open our clothing store with an open house party for people in the community
- Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List our business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Leverage on the internet to promote our business
- Engage in direct marketing
- Encourage word of mouth marketing (referrals) from satisfied and loyal customers
Online Clothing Store Business Plan – Publicity and Advertising Strategy
Despite the fact that our clothing store is well located, we will still go ahead to intensify publicity for the business. We are going to explore all available means to promote our clothing store.
Mary & Mack Clothing Store™ has a long term plan of opening chains of clothing stores in various locations all around the United States of America and Canada which is why we will deliberately build our brand to be well accepted in Los Angeles – California before venturing out. As a matter of fact, our publicity and advertising strategy is not solely for winning customers over but to effectively communicate our brand to the public.
Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise Mary & Mack Clothing Store™;
- Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook , twitter, et al to promote our brand
- Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations all around Los Angeles – California
- Engage in road show from time to time in and around the location of clothing store
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas in the community where our clothing store is located
- Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where our clothing store is located.
- Advertise our clothing store in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site.
- Ensure that all our staff members wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles and trucks are well branded with our company logo et al.
Our Pricing Strategy
Pricing is one of the key factors that gives leverage to clothing stores and retailing business generally, it is normal for consumers to go to places (clothing stores) where they can get good quality clothes and fashion accessories at cheaper price which is why big players in the clothing store / retail industry like attract loads of consumers.
We know we don’t have the capacity to compete with other bigger clothing stores and retailer, but we will ensure that the prices of all the items that are available in our clothing store are competitive with what is obtainable amongst clothing stores (boutiques) within our level and in our location.
- Payment Options
At Mary & Mack Clothing Store™, our payment policy is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different people prefer different payment options as it suits them. Here are the payment options that will be available in every of our outlets;
- Payment by via bank transfer
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via bank draft
- Payment via mobile money
- Payment with cash
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will help us achieve our payment plans without any itches.
Generating Funding / Startup Capital for Mary & Mack Clothing Store™
Mary & Mack Clothing Store™, is a family business that is solely owned and financed by Mrs. Marry Hennessey – Crowder and family. They do not intend to welcome any external business partner, which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the start – up capital to 3 major sources.
These are the areas we intend generating our start – up capital;
- Generate part of the start – up capital from personal savings
- Source for soft loans from family members and friends
- Apply for loan from my Bank
N.B: We have been able to generate about $100,000 (Personal savings $75,000 and soft loan from family members $25,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $150,000 from our bank. All the papers and document have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.
Retail Clothing Store Business Plan – Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the numbers of loyal customers that they have the capacity and competence of the employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.
One of our major goals of starting Mary & Mack Clothing Store™ is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to retail our clothes and other fashion accessories a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are well prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
Mary & Mack Clothing Store™ will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re – training of our workforce is at the top burner of our business strategy.
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more as determined by the board of the organization. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
Check List / Milestone
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Registration: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
- Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Leasing of facility and remodeling the shop: In Progress
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating capital from family members: Completed
- Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the Needed furniture, racks, shelves, computers, electronic appliances, office appliances and CCTV: In progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
- Opening party / launching party planning: In Progress
- Compilation of our list of designers’ labels and fashion accessories that will be available in our clothing store: Completed
- Establishing business relationship with vendors – wholesale suppliers of various brands of clothes and other fashion accessories that we intend retailing: In Progress