Your dream is to open a baby clothing store and you’re serious about making it happen. Luckily, as long as people continue to have babies, there will be a need for baby clothes. There are many things to consider before starting a business and it’s important to take your time and address every aspect as you go. With motivation and some hard work, you can start a baby clothing store where parents will enjoy shopping.
Start with a business plan. Even if you are not trying to finance the expense, a business plan will organize your ideas, help you target a certain market and allow you to estimate your start-up costs and financial projections. The United States Small Business Administration provides a free template to help you get started. (See Resources)
Find a location for your new baby clothing store. Unless you are constructing a new building, you will have to choose from empty store fronts in a mall. Pay attention to the shopping habits of young parents. Ask yourself if they shop downtown or if they drive to a larger mall. Choose your location wisely. You want to put your store where it will be accessible to the highest number of parents with babies.
Visit with your banker if you need financing to start your baby clothing store. Bring your business plan and your financial documentation, such as tax records, current debt and assets. Your banker will take all of them into consideration when deciding whether to finance your project.
Contact your state to get your business license and apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS in order to track your taxes from now on. You can apply for an EIN number online. (See Resources)
Call your county offices to determine if you need to obtain further licensing. In some states, all you need is the state license but in others, you must have state, county and local licenses.
Shop for clothing for your baby store by contacting wholesale distributors. By now, you know what kind of clothing line you would like to carry so call the manufacturers and set up meetings with their representatives. Usually, the representatives will come to you, since they make a commission when you carry their line.
Paint, carpet and design your store to suit your baby clothing theme and open your doors. Make sure you contact your local newspaper and invite the mayor for a ribbon cutting.
Take into consideration the retail market where you live. Putting a high-end baby store in an area where only low-income families live may not be as profitable as putting it in a boutique mall with other boutique-type stores.