Whether you’re a first time business owner or seasoned entrepreneur, your new clothing store will benefit from having a formal business plan. A business plan is a document that outlines its intended purpose and goals, and helps serve as a reference to keep you on track after you open your doors. If you plan to raise capital, you can send your clothing store business plan to friends, family and other potential investors so they have a clearer idea of what they’re investing in.
In this article, we outline what to include in your business plan, as well as a blank business plan template for you to use however you see fit. You can be as detailed as you like when writing your plan. Here’s what you need to know and include to get started:
- How much does it cost to open a clothing store?
- How to write a clothing store business plan
- Clothing store business plan template
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How much does it cost to open a clothing store?
The cost of opening a clothing store varies depending on the size and location of your store. Leasing a retail space costs more in certain geographic areas than others. The average initial cost of opening a store can be close to $48,000 USD, and this figure doesn’t include an upfront payment of first month’s rent or utilities.
How to write a clothing boutique business plan
Your business plan can be as long or as short as you’d like, but it needs to be clear to others, not just yourself. Remember, other people might read your plan in order to determine whether or not to invest, so each part needs to be understandable.
The executive summary should be a summary of your entire business plan. It typically appears at the beginning of a business plan, but you should write this last so you can draw from the rest of the sections for a more accurate blurb.
Business description and mission statement
The next section should be a description of what your clothing business is and does. For example, are you a children’s clothing boutique? Are you selling in store, online, or both? What kinds of styles are you going to cater to? For instance, do you sell basics like plain tee shirts or pieces with a more bohemian aesthetic.
This is also where you should define your mission and company values. Your mission should answer the questions: why are you starting your business and what will your new store bring to the table? Your company values are the characteristics your business aligns itself with and uses to make informed decisions. What values are most important to you and which qualities will you make a priority?
Products, services and pricing
Your products and services section should outline:
- What kinds of items you’ll be selling or service you’ll be offering (i.e. tailoring or clothing rentals)
- The main benefits and features of what you’re selling
- How much each item will cost you vs. what you’ll be selling it for
- How each item will be created or sourced: which suppliers are you getting your inventory from, if any? Do you have existing relationships with suppliers or will you have to create them?
If you plan to offer more or different products later down the line, outline that in this section as well.
Competitor and market analysis
It’s important to look at what your competitors are doing to get a sense of which needs are being met and where the biggest gaps in the market lie. Make sure you explain how you’re positioning yourself and why you offer something different or better than what already exists. Include the following information:
- Competitor analysis: who are your competitors? What seems to be working for them and what doesn’t? How long have your competitors been in business? Are they growing?
- Industry trends: talk about the current trends and future predictions for your industry. Is it popular or growing?
- SWOT analysis: a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis details exactly what it sounds like it does. Think about what your biggest strengths and opportunities are, as a business. On the flip side, is there anything that may be a potential threat to your success?
- Target customer: what kind of person you’re aiming to target. Who is going to shop at your store? Where do they live, how old are they and what are their main pain points? What are they looking to get out of a clothing store, and how will you serve their needs?
Clothing marketing strategies
As a new business, you’ll need to promote yourself to bring customers in the door. Use this section of your business plan to explain to investors and your team how you intend to do that.
- Which marketing channels do you plan to use? Are you going to use email marketing, social media marketing, SEO blogging, PR or influencer marketing?
- Do you plan to run paid advertisements or only market your business organically, or both? If you plan to pay for advertising, you’ll need to include this budget in your costs section.
- How will you measure the success of your marketing efforts? Which metrics will you examine to determine whether or not you met, exceeded or fell short of your goals?
The structure of your business will have a big impact on how it’s taxed and managed. Define your plans for incorporating as well as your org chart:
- How is your business defined, legally? Is it an LLC, an S-Corporation, or a partnership or unincorporated?
- Who is running the clothing business? List the founders and what each person brings to the table in terms of skills and capital.
- What kinds of roles will you be hiring for? Who reports to whom? Create a preliminary organizational chart that includes the current hierarchy of your business and which roles will need to be filled.
Clothing boutique startup costs and funding
There are many upfront purchases to be made as well as recurring expenses that come with starting a clothing store. This is where you’ll list what you need to buy and the funding you’ll need in order to make sure you get everything you need. Here are some examples of costs you might include:
- Lease, security deposit and other fees associated with signing a retail lease
- Furniture and façade costs
- Initial inventory
- Technology hardware, such as computers, tablets, phones, credit card readers
- Grand opening costs for the store’s launch day
- Rent and utilities
- Employee wages
- Marketing and advertising
- Retail commerce platform subscription
- Accounting services
In addition to listing expected expenses and funding needs, also add a projected profit and loss statement, cash flow and balance sheet, if you’re able to. This will help paint a more complete financial picture.
In this section, list how much inventory you’ll have on to start and your initial assets. Plan how much cash you’ll have on hand for your grand opening.
Here is where you can predict how quickly you will grow and in what ways you intend to expand. How much revenue do you intend to generate after one year in operation? Do you plan to offer more products in the future? Are you envisioning outgrowing your first retail space? Do you intend to open more locations? Describe these plans to the best of your ability.
Clothing store business plan template
Now that you know what goes into a business plan, you’re ready to make one. Fill in this free template to set your future clothing store up for success.
Founders and executive team:
Products and services:
Future plans and goals:
What does your business do?
What gap does it fill in the market?
Products, services and pricing
Description of each product and service:
How you plan to price each item:
Supply chain details:
Competitor and market analysis
Which marketing channels you’ll be using:
Plans for paid vs. organic marketing:
Startup costs and funding
What you need to buy:
How much funding you need:
Profit and loss statement:
Cash on hand:
Revenue (projected or actual):
Other growth plans or predictions:
Create your clothing business the way you envision it
A clothing store business plan can help you solidify your thoughts and ideas so that you can start your business the way you intend to. Taking time to ask yourself important questions like how and why you’re starting will serve you well in the long run.
Clothing retailers use Lightspeed’s commerce platform to take sales, manage inventory, create a website and so much more. If you’d like to chat about how Lightspeed can help you accomplish your business goals, get in touch.