How do you start an online boutique?
Opening an online store seems difficult, but it’s doable! I wanted to include the notes from the lessons I learned along the way to be an encouragement to anyone else who is thinking about taking the leap!
Welcome to the 2nd installment of Emmy Mae Presents! :) For the first couple of posts, I wanted to answer a lot of the common questions that I receive when I tell people that I launched an online women’s boutique! My most popular question is why: Why did you launch a women’s clothing store? I answered that question in my post last week.
The next question that I’m asked is how: How did you launch an online store selling women’s clothing? I learned a lot from and leaned a lot on my dear friends and family. I kept pretty good notes, too ;)
So I thought I would share some of the steps I took as I launched my e-commerce store! I figured that all the lessons that I learned (some the hard way) wouldn’t do any good locked up in my head. So I’m putting them here for all to learn! Hopefully this helps you and encourages you to take the leap!
This is probably the hardest part. You’ve got to have a good idea that’s the cornerstone of your business. This idea has to be good enough to drive you to launch, and it’s important enough that you’ll return to it as you work out the details of your business approach. It’s got to be good enough to excite you and drive you. And it’s got to be good enough to get you in the door with your ideal customer.
So you came up with an idea that’s so good that you can’t keep it in. Now what? Well, it’s time to register your business with your state of residence. Pretty easy, but you have to have a name to register. You have to find something that’s meaningful, short, catchy… AND NOT ALREADY TAKEN. For me, picking a name was the hardest part! If you’re registering in Ohio, the process is pretty easy, though. Just decide if you’re creating an LLC, a sole-proprietorship, or a corporation and then do the filing through the state’s website then register for a vendor’s license through the Department of Taxation.
Once you’ve got your name lined up and reserved, you had better reserve a matching web address before it gets snatched up! Ugly fact: there’s people out there that skim state public filings for new business names. They cross-search those names against web addresses. If they find one that doesn’t have a website yet, they reserve it (usually for $1 a month). Then they’ll try to sell it to you for hundreds of dollars! Don’t make that mistake. You’re better off reserving a bunch of URLs and then releasing the ones you’re not going to use! Google owns the interwebs anyway… just register it there!
Still with us? You’ve got your business lined up and you bought your inventory. Now you got to get some awesome pics! No big secret here. You have to find an AMAZING photographer who takes AWESOME pictures. Emily Rochelle fits each of those descriptions. I’m so thankful for her! Stay tuned on a piece with more information about Emily!
But you have to find some lovely girls who are beautiful on the inside and out who will wear your clothes for pictures! I’m so thankful for Ali, Morgan, and Lauren. They’re the faces behind Emmy Mae! Stay tuned for a full-feature on the faces behind Emmy Mae.
You’ve got a million things to work on from here. If you’re amazing at html coding, you can work on a site from scratch and integrate it with tax information, payment platforms, and shipping options while making the web interface attractive and user friendly… :/
Yeah, that’s not me either. Just head to Shopify and let them worry about the coding. You just design the site of your dreams!
As you’re designing your site, you have to get a good lookin’ logo to be the face of your company! The importance of a good logo can’t be overstated. Think of a popular business. What image popped into your mind? Their logo, right?! That’s pretty powerful, and pretty important. You better work with someone who understands marketing trends and is killer at graphic design. Look no further than Hayley Brooks! She did an amazing job with Emmy Mae’s logos and submarks, and her recent work is a testament to her world-class talent!.
That’s it in a nutshell! Are you on the fence? Go for it; take a chance! You’ll learn a lot and meet some amazing people:) God has put some amazing people in my path as I’ve built Emmy Mae. If nothing else, you’ll be thankful for the relationships that you build along the way.
Thanks for reading! Leave us a comment and share this post on social media for anyone you know that is thinking about launching a business! Just click on the share button below :)