Tag Archives: how to open a store

Back on Track: Business Plan Day 1

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Starting this blog has been fun.  It’s great to spend time putting together graphics and themes based on the clothes and designers I love, but with the new year approaching, I realized I need to be pushing towards the ultimate goal of opening that shop, right? 

So here we are, back on track and trying to find some footing.  Over the past three months I have done a lot of research on how to open a physical store front.  What it really comes down to is having the ability to stay afloat for a year(or longer) before turning any profit.  I originally thought it would take around $40,000.00 to open the doors, but it’s looking to be more around $100,000.00 (or more).  Scary at first, but all this does is add another step to the journey: online vintage store on Etsy, to an e-commerce online boutique, to a physical store front.

The first step of opening an online vintage store has been taken.  Frequency Vintage is on Etsy.  It’s been slow going, but a great learning experience.  I will be commenting more on how I plan on making improvements to the shop in tomorrow’s post, but today I would like to talk about the next step in the process: e-commerce online boutique.

Frequency Vintage took only a small financial investment to start, so although a business plan would surely make the shop more successful, I thought it was something I could skip.  An online boutique on the other hand takes a much larger investment which has led me to the first my first goals of 2012: Writing a business plan.

Ever hear the saying “I went to art school and all I got was this attitude”?  Well, I went to art school and as far as business goes, it is very true.  Luckily, there is a wonderful website for all us beginning our path to owning a small business: www.SBA.gov.  This is a really great reference site.  The following is their outline for a business plan, and my jumping off point:

Elements of a Business Plan

  1. Cover sheet
  2. Executive summary (statement of the business purpose)
  3. Table of contents
  4. Body of the document
    1. Business
      1. Description of business
      2. Marketing
      3. Competition
      4. Operating procedures
      5. Personnel
      6. Business insurance
    2. Financial data
      1. Loan applications
      2. Capital equipment and supply list
      3. Balance sheet
      4. Breakeven analysis
      5. Profit and loss statements
      6. Three-year summary
      7. Detail by month, first year
      8. Detail by quarters, second and third year
      9. Assumptions upon which projections were based
      10. Pro-forma cash flow
    3. Supporting documents
      1. Tax returns of principals (partners in the business) for last three years, personal financial statements (all banks have these forms)
      2. Copy of franchise contract and all supporting documents provided by the franchisor (for franchise businesses)
      3. Copy of proposed lease or purchase agreement for building space
      4. Copy of licenses and other legal documents
      5. Copy of resumes of all principals
      6. Copies of letters of intent from suppliers, etc.

As I start to write my plan, I will breakdown what I learned about each section and give you an inside to what to look forward to yourself. 

Now for a cup of coffee and diving into finding a niche.  Check out this little blurb from the SBA on finding your niche market: Finding a Niche

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Uping Your Etsy: Part 2

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As promised in Uping Your Etsy Part 1:Using Your Tags, here is another way to gain views/sales on Etsy.

Offer international shipping!

When I first started Frequency Vintage a little over a month ago I was only offering shipping from US to US.  I thought shipping international would be way to expensive.  WRONG!

You can use a flat rate box and it will ship to Canada , Mexico  or anywhere else  for $13.95 or less!

As long as the package is under 4 lbs, the cost aint that bad.  This is perfect for a dress or belt, even a pair of shoes.  Plus packaging is easy.  So I went ahead and adjusted all my items to reflect that, yes, Frequency Vintage does ship internationally for $13.95.  And voila!  Sold a belt to a stylish gal in Australia that same day.  Success!

Wondering what your packages will ship for?  I found this to be a great resource to help figure out postage for the different USPS zones.  Just fill in your package info and get shipping times and rate: http://ircalc.usps.gov/default.aspx?Mode=Intl_Single&CID=10054  Share your shop WORLDWIDE!

Do you have any tips to help grow an Etsy shop?  Would love to hear them.  Every little bit helps.

Fashion Forward

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Simply said: My name is Bonnie and I want to open a clothing boutique in Philadelphia.  What better way to chart my progress than to blog it step by step?  This blog will follow the ups and downs, what keeps me inspired, what helps, what hurts, likes/dislikes and how am I going to finance this!!

I am going to jump right into the scariest part: Finance the Business.  Basically, I think I have a good eye for style and love clothing, consequently I want to own a boutique. So why not invest in that from the beginning? I am taking $300 and starting an online vintage boutique, Frequency Vintage.  What does it sell? Vintage items hand-picked by yours truly.

Goals of  “Frequency Vintage”
Finance a physical store front
Help specify my style niche
Help specify my client
Learn how to run an online shop
Setup an efficient way to track inventory
Setup an efficient way to track finances
Practice marketing techniques

Now, to finish this post, I have to shout out my inspiration of the day/blogging in general: BehindtheGreenVeil.blogspot.com    Never would I ever have started a blog without it!  Thanks Cyndi for showing how it’s done.

MORE ON FREQUENCY VINTAGE COMING SOON!!!!

Oh, also, gotta share a look of the day!  This can be anything from street style to a look from Tokyo Fashion Week (like today!)  Saw this crawling through style.com, talk about a modern vintage look:
G.V.G.V, Spring 2012