If you’re reading this, I’m willing to bet you’ve already done the hardest part. You’ve decided to ignore the chorus of people who say that starting a business is too risky and the cloud of self-doubt in your head, and pursue your dream. Whether you’ve worked in retail before and you’re sure you could do things better on your own, or you’re simply a fashion-forward woman who’s ready to share her good taste with the world, you’ve decided to launch your online boutique.
And we couldn’t be more stoked for you.
There’s never been a better time to start an online boutique. With so many online resources out there available to help you succeed and more customers shopping online than ever before, you’re totally making a smart move.
But you can’t go from zero to launch day in 24 hours. Launching a successful online boutique is a straightforward process, but it does involve some serious time and planning. We’ll walk you through everything that should be on your to-do list for launching your online boutique.
Online Boutique Launch Checklist
☐ Decide to open an online boutique. (You’ve probably already done this one!)
☐ Get certified. (Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but you’ll typically need at least a DBA license and an EIN number.)
☐ Create a business plan. (This doesn’t have to be complicated – just jot down goals, objectives, timelines, and your plan for making $$.)
☐ Identify your target customer. (Get specific! The better you are at choosing items & sharing content that resonates with your target customer, the more successful you’ll be.)
☐ Choose a name for your business. (You’re looking for something memorable, easy to say, and on-brand.)
☐ Solidify your brand. (Your brand is what sets your company apart from all the rest – identify brand values, your brand’s mission, and the story behind your brand.)
☐ Create branding visuals. (Start by making a mood board to make your vision plain, then start creating a logo and style guide. You can do this yourself or hire an expert if you have the budget!)
☐ Order inventory. (Make sure you find a trustworthy wholesale supplier with good prices & a wide selection of items.)
☐ Order packaging materials. (Figure out how you’ll fulfill orders and what packaging materials you’ll use to do so.)
☐ Choose what eCommerce platform you’ll use to run your boutique. (Look for one that fits your budget, has great customer service, and will allow you to scale as your online store grows.)
☐ Create your website (from choosing a template to uploading product photos to writing descriptions. Again, you can do this yourself or hire an expert!)
☐ Gather product photos (You’ll want to take some of your own for your website and social.)
☐ Write content from your webpages (From your About page to your FAQ page to your product descriptions)
☐ Create your boutique’s social media profiles. (You’ll want one for Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, at a minimum. Start by posting product teaser photos or mood board photos.)
☐ Build a pre-launch email list. (Invite people to subscribe to your mailing list in advance of your official launch – that way, you’ll have an audience to launch to.)
☐ Set a launch date (and let everyone know about it!)
☐ Test your checkout before you launch (so you know everything works smoothly!)
☐ Plan out launch materials in advance (social media posts, emails you’ll send out to your list, social ads, etc)
☐ Launch your online boutique!!!