My name is Emily and I own Savvy Wool. We are an Online Boutique that offers a monthly membership where our girls can buy our boutique styles for up to 40% off (join here) I jumped into the online boutique world about a year and half ago and I wish there was a post like this before I started. So if you are considering your online boutique, that is awesome and good luck to you! Here are 10 things I wish I knew before I started:

  1. You may not pay yourself for the entire first year. I am serious here, every bit I made, I put back in. People love new arrivals, even when your other product hasn’t sold, you still need to provide, So this is a hard thought, but it might be reality.
  2. The competition is huge. I had NO idea about the online boutique world. I actually walked blindly into this thinking the industry was young. It is not young, there are hundreds, if not thousands of boutiques online already. This is why it is important to set yourself apart. The good thing is we all have our own network.
  3. The people you think will buy from you and support you, might not. The people they know will be your buyers. I was shell shocked when my best friends didn’t even give me a nod. I quickly understood this though and never pushed items on my personal social media pages because of this. I never wanted to become spammy and make them feel annoyed. Develop a separate Facebook Group, an Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, etc… specific for your business. Your best friends will however, tell their friends….and they will become your buyers.
  4. Social media growth is hard! Don’t wait to start Facebook or Instagram Live Sales. You likely won’t go viral overnight. Don’t pay for fake followers. I know the swipe up feature on Instagram would be nice to link your website to, but you know what’s really nice? Authentic users, that may become customers and may make you money to finally pay yourself. While you are using your social media, be yourself. The customer wants to get to know you. I have been told by many that they love to buy from me because it’s supporting my family. Let them get to know you. You are interesting and everyone has a story to tell.
  5. Somedays are better than others. Oh, my naïve little soul jumped from a seven year career in HR to owning my own business. I walked into this full of 3 year old enthusiasm at a new playground. BUT like every 3 year old, you will trip and skin your knee while you think you’re just trying to have fun. You will walk into this venture full of excitement and motivation, but hit your first July (giant vacation month) and you’ll have yourself questioning the whole idea of your company. Try to stay positive. In a different blog, I will drop my tips on how I stay positive.
  6. This is going to be a family affair. I have two young boys. The entire family will be effected by your choices and this business decision. The start up phase means this is all you. You are a one-woman show, unless you have a partner, but likely you are rolling solo. You will be up late, your kids might get picked up by the babysitter more than you and they might just get a lot of good bonding time with your spouse. Either way, your entire family will be effected by the time spent to start your business. I sometimes work 60 hour work weeks. You’re going to be exhausted. Try to carve out an hour of uninterrupted time for your family. Let that one pressing item wait. Family is why you started this. To make a better life for them, so don’t forget them when you are knee deep in measurements and packaging.
  7. No one cares about your business as much as you. I mean this in the nicest way possible. You may sit there and wonder, why isn’t anyone tagging me in this picture while wearing my dress so I can grow? Why aren’t people adding their friends to my facebook group? It’s because YOU and YOU alone are breathing every bit of this company. They are supportive, but they truly just don’t care as much as you. Incentives make them care more.
  8. Pay your taxes on the first day of the month! If you don’t, you might rack up fees more than what you even owe! Tax Jar is a great app. Also, filing online is so much easier then mailing in returns, in my opinion.
  9. Buy a theme for your website, it saves time and money in the beginning. It’s also easier to navigate. It gives you time to decide what you really want as well….SO when you grow you can reinvest in developing your own site, or better yet, paying someone to do it!
  10. Listen to motivational podcasts, books and ted-talks. When you are starting a business alone, you need to just keep yourself focused. It’s so easy to get anxious and crawl into a hole.

The first year is the hardest. It is the year you start to understand your buyers. My buyers are mostly 30+ and conservative dressers. It took me a good year to understand what they wanted to see on a weekly basis. It is also the year you start to realize certain areas you are strong in and certain areas you are weak in. Keep track of these things because when you grow big enough, which you will, the weak areas are the ones you will hire others to handle :}.

July 24, 2018 by Apolo Media
}