Online Clothing Stores
A Tailor-Made Guide to Help You Get Started


Online Clothing Stores / How To Begin

Are you thinking of opening an online clothing store? Have you done all you homework: researched your industry, weighed the pro’s and con’s, contacted suppliers and worked out all the details of joining the apparel business?  If the answer to all of the above is yes, then I say you are ready to jump in the world of cyber entrepreneurs.

Before anything else, there is no guarantee in doing business.  Doing everything that needs to be done and going above and beyond the call of duty is not an assurance that everything is going to be alright, however, if risks are calculated and thoroughly studied, they become minimal and you might just make it through.

Online Clothing Stores / Business Plan

The first thing any business needs before it even becomes a brick and mortar establishment or even a virtual one is a business plan.  A business plan is a written statement of how the business is going to be operated, marketed and financed.  It tackles the goals of the business with a detailed step by step process on how to attain these goals.

For an online clothing store business plan, you need to outline how you want to run your store.  Where are your clothes coming from?  Who are your suppliers? How many staff members do you need to monitor sales, online traffic, shipping details etc? Who is going to host and maintain your website?  Are your hardware and software requirements up to par? 

For help writing your business plan, check out these resources:

Writing a Business Profile

What is Mind Mapping

My Own Business Organization

These are some of the details you need in order to operate an online shop.  Even if you only exist in cyberspace, clients want quality service and that service is vital in operations.  Operations are the foundation of any business.


Online Clothing Stores / Show Me The Money

Money is the life blood of any business.  Without it, things are bound to get tough.  Initially, you need to spend money in order to make money so, who is financing this business?  If it’s on loan, are your projections enough to cover the cost plus interest of your loan?   How many months or years will it take to pay off the loan? What is your profit margin?  How many clothes do you have to sell in order to break even, etc? 

Check out these valuable resorces to help you find the money you need:

Money For Starting a Business

Grant Money For New Business


You need to be well financed in order to start any business.  Opening any business whether in real life or in the web entails money going out before going in, and it might take a while for it to go in, so you have to be well prepared.

You need to think how your website is going to be designed to attract customers who like to shop online.  Is your market for teens, moms, businessmen and women, infants and toddlers, etc?  How am I going to reach them?  The design of your shop needs to incorporate the theme of your market.  You can’t have your store selling baby items looking drab and depressing.  It has to be bright, cheery, mom oriented.  Your design is also a marketing tool.  One glance should tell your visitor that: “I sell baby stuff”. 

Online Clothing Stores / Get Educated On The Web

Once you have your business plan figured out, you now need to go out there and get the business off and running.  This means following your business plan and the steps you need to take in order to realize your goal.  This is why you need a business plan.  When you’ve got everything set up; website’s running; people hired; suppliers contacted, people browsing, etc.  You now need to generate sales.  Sales come from clients buying stuff at your clothing store.  And clients can only get to your store, if they know it’s there—just like real life.

You now have to activate your marketing plan, and market like crazy.  The internet is full of online businesses and you want to be on top of the search page when clients type: online clothing store.  This is where Search Engine Optimization, social networking, blogging, advertising techniques, viral marketing campaigns, and others come in handy.  You have to be able to tell your customers that you exist and most importantly to encourage them to come again.  This is repeat business.  And if they like what they see, they will come back and repeat business means more sales and possibly free advertising for you (by telling their friends to check out your site).

Online Clothing Stores / Following Through

This step is probably the most tedious and least enjoyable part of any business.  It’s the monitoring and assessing part.  You need to constantly update, upgrade, assess and implement new strategies in order to compete.  You need an effective monitoring system in order to track your progress and find out where you are in your business plan.  Strategies need to be adaptable to changes in trends, customer whims, market demands, etc.  This may be the most tedious but this is also the most challenging aspect.  So make sure you always have surprises up your sleeve in order to shock and awe your competitors and clients.

Strive for Dominance

Research has showed that online clothing stores are one of the most crowded industries in cyberspace.  One strategy implemented by online businessmen is to find a niche and dominate it.  So if you want to sell online apparel, differentiate yourself from all the rest by selling something unique like an animal print store which sells animal print shoes, bags, clothes, scarves, accessories and the like or if you like sports apparel you can make an online sports clothing stores that sells nothing but autographed jerseys, t-shirts, shorts, team jackets etc. 

Online Clothing Stores / Examples

LainaLine - this small boutique carries children clothing and accessories

Trendz Boutique - this online clothing store is for teenage girls and slightly older who follow the trends.

Drapers and Damon's - serves the more mature woman.

Cafe Press - here's a casual place for the men to find some cool tees.

Online Clothing Stores / Following Through

Going into business in the World Wide Web is a good choice.  Technology and the internet have made our planet small.  One click and you can sell to people in China or Brazil.  You can take your business everywhere with you as long as you have internet access.   However, this is not a guarantee to success.  Like everything else in life, your online clothing store needs your time, devotion and hard work.  A business is like a plant that needs water and nourishment i.e., your dedication and perseverance in order to grow and blossom. 

For more information on clothing stores, please go to:

http://www.entrepreneur.com/startingabusiness/businessideas/startupkits/article37944.html

For more information on business plans, please go to:

http://www.bytestart.co.uk/content/24/24_4/setting-up-a-new-business-5.shtml

For start up advice, please go to:

http://www.eworkingwomen.com/experts/ebiz11.html

For help in building your online business go to:

Next Level Sites

Manifest Passive Income

Check out informative and eye-opening tips about opening the following brick and mortar businesses:

Starting a Restaurant

Starting a Retail Store

Starting a Spa

Starting a Flower Business

Start a Wine Business

 

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