Opening a Boutique?
How to Write a Boutique Business Plan (FAST)
Step by Step
Thinking of opening your own boutique? Well, you’ll need a boutique business plan! In this example, we’ll dive deep into the key elements of what’s required when writing a plan for your very own retail shop.
Taking the time to write a business plan can seem like a chore, but in this case study we’ll give you a step by step walkthrough, which will save you both time and money.
By checking out this example boutique business plan, you’ll get a better understanding of your business and the resources you’ll need along the way, as well as having a roadmap to help set out clear goals and a vision for success!
Let’s do this…
#1 Executive Summary
a Boutique Business Plan
The Executive Summary section of your business plan outlines what your business does. It summarizes the company’s key points and introduces the rest of your business plan’s content.
In this boutique business plan sample, the executive summary is made up of:
- Who we are,
- What we sell
- Who we sell to
- A financial summary.
Check it out and feel free to lift anything you want.
Who We Are
Gifts R Us Limited specializes in retailing high quality gifts and lifestyle products specifically sourced from the far East for a wide range of UK customers. At present Gifts R Us Limited operates from a private residence but have recently secured a shop space sharing opportunity where they hope to offer products and services online through their ecommerce website.
The unique selling point of Gifts R Us will be the authentic and high quality Oriental products that the company can source and offer to their UK clients. Currently all suppliers are based in China, who offer a reasonable discount with increased ordering quantity.
What We Sell
Gifts R Us Limited will offer high quality gifts and lifestyle products sourced from the far east. The main focus will be on an eclectic collection of well-made oriental gifts. These include oriental themed jewelry, silk products, cloisonné accessories, cloisonné homeware, handmade ceramics, hand carved wood pieces, QiPao dresses and embroidery as well as art pieces created by current Chinese artists – this may be done by co-operating with auction houses or organizing an exhibition or art event.
Who We Sell To
Gifts R Us Limited’s client group will mainly be women or men buying for their loved ones. Their target market will be 25-55-year old’s who are comfortable financially and who will appreciate the individuality and uniqueness of the products offered. As many are handmade, this will have an impact on the price, meaning customers who are financially comfortable are more likely to be in a position to purchase them.
The five-year budget is $250,000 with rent plus business rates at $25,00 per year maximum. Gifts R Us Limited aims to break even after the first two years with profit expected to show in the third year. All products are maintained to be at minimum costs with the mark-up on price being between 60-180%.
#2 Business Plan for a Boutique Store
Company Profile Section
The Company Profile is also known as the Company Description. If it’s well written, your potential investors will find it easy to understand your business model, your mission and goals, and how it’s going to meet the needs of your target market.
For the purpose of this boutique business plan, we’ve included the following:
- The Company and Management Team
- Mission Statement
- Company History
Gifts R Us Limited is a new business. The sole director of the company is Helen Long. The company is currently set up from a private residence but has secured a shop space sharing opportunity from 12th April 2017 -12 June 2017. Helen will be covering multiple functions to begin with but in the future, looks to employ both a shop assistant and store manager. There is an outside contractor working to design Gifts R Us Limited’s website along with a company accountant.
Helen is currently the sole member of the management team at Gifts R Us Limited. As the business grows she plans to employ a shop assistant and store manager. Helen is confident at planning, product sourcing and buying, organisation and general management. She is currently working with a designer to ensure that the website will be as marketable as possible.
Locations and Facilities
At present, Gifts R Us Limited is being set up from a private residence but Helen has secured a shop space sharing opportunity running from 12th April – 12th June 2017, the address is : 111 The Road, New York. Stock storage is at 1182 The Street, New York and is managed by a company specializing in storage, delivery and return for eCommerce owners. They will be overseeing the deliveries and returns for the website
Tagline: Live, Love, Shop.
Mission Statement: Helen’s vision is for Gifts R Us Limited to become the ultimate destination for those who choose to cherish life and memories via the art of gift giving. To be able to convey the beauty of Asian culture to their customers and showcase its rich history in arts and crafts and provide products that are both elegant and individual. Gifts R Us Limited will ensure that their customers can approach any special occasion or event with minimum effort but maximum style.
Gifts R Us Limited is a start-up company currently operating from a private residence. The company is looking for shop space and has enlisted the assistance of local real estate agency to ensure that this happens as soon as possible. Gifts R Us Limited embraces the best that Asian culture is able to offer: it is subtle but elegant – and most importantly unique. With modern technology, along with globalization, Asian culture is becoming more welcomed and desirable.
#3 Boutique Business Plan
Products & Services Section
The Products and Services section needs to be much more than simply a list of what your new business is going to provide.
This is especially important if you’re looking to get funding; so make sure that you showcase the value, quality, and benefits of your business.
- What sets you apart from your competitors?
- How does your pricing compare?
- Why would people buy from you as opposed to your competitors?
Here’s the example.
Products and Services
Gifts R Us Limited offers products that represent the beauty of Asian culture. They capture the flavor of the Orient, are exotic, and will be remembered and treasured by the recipient. Gifts R Us Limited will also offer a customization and product sourcing service. This enables customers to personalize their gifts, whether for themselves or their loved ones. Additionally, a customer can contact them, in advance to advise what they are looking for and whom the recipient is. The company will then research the suitable gift that matches the requirement of the customer. This makes gift giving a far easier and happier experience.
Some of the products that Gifts R Us Limited offers are:
- Oriental themed jewelry
- Silk products
- Cloisonné accessories
- Cloisonné homeware
- Handmade ceramics
- Hand carved wood pieces
- QiPao dresses and embroidery
The company is also looking into selling art pieces created by current Chinese artists. The aim will be to introduce their work to more foreign customers and will increase the Gifts R Us Limited Brand reputation. This could be achieved by working with Auction Houses or by organizing exhibitions or art events.
Currently there are no high-street retailers offering similar products to those offered by Gifts R Us Limited. There are however websites that sell Oriental Products such as Alibaba and Gifts of the Orient, and a small number of established gift shops in New York – including ABC Gifts and XYZ Gifts. These offer more contemporary homeware and jewelry, with ABC Gifts being more quirky and creative.
Gifts R Us Limited offers products that are not usually seen in the above-mentioned stores. Being of Chinese origin, Gifts R Us Limited has the upper hand with sourcing top manufacturers in China and sourcing products that will push the brand ahead of the local competition. Gifts R Us Limited offers a more adequate shopping experience as well as truly authentic Oriental products.
Product and Service Development
As mentioned previously, Gifts R Us Limited will offer a product sourcing and personalization services. A website is currently under development, which will detail all products that are currently available. As Social Media is crucial to business growth and brand image building, Gifts R Us Limited will use both Instagram and Facebook to attract new customers both online and offline. Once the company breaks even, Helen will design some of the products herself in conjunction with the existing suppliers. When it becomes profitable, Gifts R Us Limited will introduce more Chinese art to the US market by organizing social events such as auction or art exhibitions, whilst at the same time increasing brand recognition.
Sourcing and Fulfilment
At present, all the suppliers are based in China. Payment options will be available once Gifts R Us Limited establishes a regular and stable relationship with them. As the ordering quantity is increased the rate of discount will too. As the value of US Dollar against the Chinese RMB is very weak, the currency used to purchase products is Chinese RMB; once the value increases it will revert back to US Dollar.
Gifts R Us Limited has registered a Xero account and will be using Shopify and PayPal to process payments both online as well as in store. A company website is being developed where shoppers will be able to purchase goods online as well as offline.
Gifts R Us Limited is in the process of trademarking their business name and brand.
#4 Boutique Business Plan
Situation & Market Analysis Section
This section of a business plan is very often glossed over because, more often than not, the business owner is so involved within their business that it doesn’t occur to them that they can learn something by writing this down!
This section is one of the most important aspects of your Real Estate marketing plan.
In fact, it defines where you are currently in terms of your market, product, customer, and competition. It also allows you to look at both internal and external factors and to review and document the strengths and weaknesses of your business, as well as identifying any opportunities and threats within your marketplace.
It can include:
- Market Analysis & Trends covering your demographics, geographic and psychographic profiles
- Key Customers
Here’s the example.
Asian culture is becoming more and more popular generally, especially within the arts and fashion industry. Designers are incorporating Oriental elements into their designs, using patterns such as cranes, peacock and dragon etc. With cheaper flight tickets combined with easier transportation, more and more American people have visited Asian countries and have experienced the eastern culture, making them appreciate and understand the beauty and uniqueness of the Oriental products. Gifts R Us Limited aims to appeal to women aged from 25 -55 years and men from 35-55 years old. The main target group is women as they are more likely to make a purchase depending on how the feel at that particular time. Men however, often make planned purchases, meaning they only buy things that they actually need instead of what they want.
It can be difficult to find a truly unique and special gift for a loved one from the Far East without having to actually travel there. This is the problem that Gifts R Us Limited solves. The boutique will be a hub for Oriental gifts and lifestyle products. It offers the flexibility of a product sourcing service as well as advice in choosing which gift to purchase. This will save time and energy to those customers who are not naturally good at shopping or simply do not have much free time. Customers will also have the option of a personalization service, such as jewelry or dresses specifically made to their request or embroidery with a loved one’s name or initial embossed on it.
Gift giving is an innate quality of human beings, the act itself will never change but trends are driven very much by consumer demand. Gifts R Us Limited believes that their customers should always be offered products worth giving and special enough to be seen as a gift. By offering a bespoke service to their customers, what is currently trending may not be what the customer is looking for, meaning Gifts R Us Limited can diversify between the individual requirements of their customer and the current trend.
If there is any change in consumer behavior, the products can be adjusted slightly, according to the current fashion trend such as a specific color theme, pattern or lifestyle trait
Globalization has made international trading much easier. Customers are able to reach products from every corner of the world due to the marketplace going online, resulting in the retail market growing rapidly over the last twenty years. Many people have experienced the beauty and uniqueness of Eastern countries and are keen to replicate this into their culture and living space. Gifts R Us Limited gives customers the opportunity to purchase authentic and high and quality Oriental products. Because more designers are incorporating Oriental elements into their work, the demand for Oriental inspired products are on the increase.
Gifts R Us Limited is in the retail business. This is fast paced, vibrant and ever changing. Nowadays, more businesses are selling online and using social media such as Twitter and Facebook as an advertising tool for their business. Whereby, previously price may have been the single factor for a customer when making their buying decision, now it can be influenced by things that they have seen or read online, or by recommendations from a famous blogger or celebrity.
Gifts R Us Limited will stock a selection of products that are sourced and manufactured in China and may also arrange social events such as auctions or art exhibitions to introduce more Chinese arts to the US market and increase their brand recognition. For customers who are not naturally ‘good shoppers’ or simply have a busy schedule, Gifts R Us Limited is able to offer a product sourcing service.
As mentioned previously, the client group for the business will be mainly women or men buying for their loved ones rather than themselves. The general age range will be between 25-55 years old. Customers are most likely to be well travelled, having experienced the beauty of the products that come from a foreign culture and financially comfortable. Many of the products are handmade and are of extremely high quality, this does have an impact on the price, making those who financially comfortable more likely to be able to afford them.
#5 Boutique Business Plan
Strategy & Implementation Section
Defining a strategy within your business plan highlights what makes your business concept compelling. It also outlines how you plan to attract and maintain a customer/client base.
- What is your marketing strategy
- How you plan to maintain your customer base
- Delivering on the promise that your business plan has made
- SWOT Analysis
- Your Sales Plan
- Exit Strategy
So, without further ado…
Let’s look at this example of a boutique business plan.
Strategy and Implementation
Gifts R Us Limited’s ideal customers are those looking for something unique and special, along with those who are buying gifts but really have no idea where to start. Although, local gift shops and online gift retailers could be classed as competitors simply by being in the same retail category, Gifts R Us Limited is different as it offers bespoke and unique products.
Overall, the retail price will be marked up between 40-70% of the purchase cost. The marketing strategy to promote Gifts R Us Limited will be mainly by Social Media, along with the possibility of advertising in local newspapers or magazines. Initially, selling will be direct, but dependent on the speed of growth, selling through a third party to build customer client base could be an option, this could redirect them to the website and physical store.
Instagram is another marketing tool that Gifts R Us Limited aims to utilize, attracting customers both nationally and internationally by the use of well captured photographs. This will allow brand reputation to build. Customers who have shopped with Gifts R Us Limited are invited to upload their photos on Instagram and by using a specific hashtag, will enter them into a contest to win either cash vouchers to spend in store or a free gift.
The shopping experience is as important as the products for sale. The boutique will be decorated in an elegant but minimalistic style. The overall theme will be Oriental. Watercolor paintings will adorn the walls along with handmade wood displays. When a customer enters a Gifts R Us Limited boutique they should feel like they are entering an intriguing side of the world. The products will be laid out clearly so as not to be overwhelming. As the target group is woman between the age of 25-55 years, Helen plans to approach the local spas, hairdressers and beauty salons to ask permission for leaflets to be displayed, perhaps offering a discount to customers of the salons.
For more online incentives, an offer such as ‘refer a friend’ could be considered. If successfully referred. Both customers and their friends could enjoy a 10% discount.
All client details will be stored online allowing Gifts R Us Limited to track their shopping behaviors by seeing what they like and click on the most. Search engine optimization is also something the company will utilize to promote themselves.
Primarily, Gifts R Us Limited will finalize their website which will enable them to trade online. The target for this is the end of April 2017. They aim to find suitable premises within three months and have secured a shop space sharing opportunity in the interim. Once the business plan is completed, Helen will pass it on to the Bank of China in order to have a business account registered under the company’s name.
After one year’s trading, Helen will look to employ a full-time shop assistant and after two year’s trading a general manager. Finally, after five years, Gifts R Us Limited may open another boutique in New York or look to purchase the permanent shop space.
Gifts R Us Limited’s greatest strength is offering products that are special, personal and unique. They offer a holistic shopping experience. Their aim is to help customers master the art of gift giving as oppose to pressuring them into making a purchase. Helen has the advantage of speaking Mandarin as a first language. This allows better communication with suppliers without any confusion or time delay due to translations. Having understood Asian culture, Helen is able to recognize what products can represent them fully.
Gifts R Us Limited is new and is in a fairly competitive business. The setup time has taken slightly longer than expected and initially the customer base may be small with the potential to grow with the company.
The most promising opportunities will be using Social Media and selling online. Gifts R Us Limited may contact popular people on Instagram or fashion bloggers, offering them free samples to picture themselves in and to post these on social media. How the boutique window is displayed will play a large part in inviting the customers in.
The main threat to Gifts R Us Limited will be bigger retailers recognizing the demand and manufacturing similar goods at a cheaper price. The company aims to stay ahead of them and to update their products regularly.
Gifts R Us Limited’s local competitors are the local gift shops in New York, these have the advantage of having a permanent client base established. The idea behind Gifts R Us Limited is to offer unique and bespoke products and to make the shopping experience the best it can be. They want their customers to come back time and time again and to share with their friends and families the amazing shopping experience they had. Their customers will be confident that everything they have bought represents a story from the far east. The products will be remembered, treasured and stand up to any special occasion. The product sourcing service choice will be prompt and professional.
Whilst customers will be looking for premium products they will also be seeking exclusive discounts and loyalty promotions. Gifts R Us Limited will use a variety of methods to market to their customers including websites, social media, arranging social events such as auctions or art exhibitions, printed advertising and promotional offers.
Gifts R Us Limited aims to make the purchasing process very easy and pleasant for its customers. A boutique window display, Orientally themed will attract people to come into the store. The products will sell themselves and in addition, the company will build up a CMS database with customers who have chosen to hear about any future promotion and services. Most major debit/credit cards will be accepted online and customers will be notified once an order is received, dispatched and delivered. In store, both cash and card will be accepted.
Gifts R Us Limited sales will work via various channels, these include foot customers, email, social and media marketing and other means of online promotion. These can be broken down into two sections as follows:
Online: Customers are able to browse, select and put items in the shopping cart, they then click checkout to pay. When the payment has processed a confirmation, email will be received and they will be offered the opportunity to register their details, as an incentive a discount on their next shop will be offered. They are notified when the item is dispatched along with an estimated delivery time. Following on the customer will be asked if they wish to take part in a voluntary review of their online shopping experience. Their details will be stored safely online in the website data base and they may be contacted with any promotional activities.
Instore: Customers are immediately welcomed upon entering the store. Help will be offered but with no pressure. Instead of seeing them as simply a customer, they will be made to feel like an individual. They can pay using cash or cards and gift wrapping will be offered at a small charge.
Helen is acquainted with an owner of an auction house in China who is knowledgeable on Chinese Art, along with popular artists who would be able to provide art pieces to be sold. She has a colleague who is a popular Yoga teacher and would be able to use her studios to hold sample sale events.
Currently Gifts R Us Limited is registered as a private limited company. They are able to change the products that they are selling into pure arts, furniture or antiques and can bring in new shareholders to create more investments and cash capital if required.
#6 Boutique Business Plan
Ensuring that you have a COMPLETE financial plan within your business plan will DOUBLE your chances of investment as well as the future growth of your business.
A lot of small businesses don’t have a financial plan and it’s essential to your long-term success and business growth.
We’ve listed here the key elements you need to have in a successful financial section:
- Initial Start Up Expenses – Especially if this is a start-up idea, it’s essential that you have a description of what you need for investment purposes.
- Sales Forecast – It’s essential to have an estimate of your monthly sales revenue as well as annual. This helps you understand your business and plan out any marketing and growth strategies.
- Direct cost of sales – Measures the amount of cash the company will have to spend to produce the goods or services sold by the company. The direct cost of sales only includes the expenses directly associated to production.
- Profit and Loss Forecast – This is a statement summarizing the revenues, costs and expenses incurred during a specific period.
- Balance Sheet – This is the financial position of the company and states its assets, liabilities and owners’ equity at a particular point in time. It illustrates the business’s net worth.
- Loan Repayment – This shows the lender or potential investor the act of paying back any monies.
So… Are you ready to look at some figures?
For one year (Table)
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For 5 years
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Profit & Loss Forecast
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Profit & Loss Forecast
For one year
Profit & Loss Forecast
For 5 years
Profit & Loss Forecast
For 5 years
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Additional Resources:To help you even further in creating your business plan, why not check out the following articles? They will help you write the perfect plan to impress:
Now, over to you...
Now I’d love to hear from you:
Are you going to start up your own boutique or gift shop or have you recently written a business plan?
We’d love to know what you thought about our boutique business plan example.
Feel free to leave any comments below and I will be sure to answer them as soon as they come in.