If you embrace a fit and active lifestyle and want to share your enthusiasm and passion with others, in the form of opening a workout clothing store. You may be excited about the idea, but the prospect of securing start-up capital, finding a location, writing a business plan, locating clothing merchandise and marketing can be overwhelming. However, with resourcefulness and commitment, you can open your own retail business and find yourself running a successful workout clothing store.
Create a business plan. A business plan is needed to secure funding and outline the overall plan for your new workout clothing store. If you are writing the business plan yourself, books and online resources can offer assistance. Highlight your need for capital, provides specific details of your store and how you will market and advertise your business to potential customers looking for active-wear. Your business plan is the blueprint for your workout clothing store's success in the long term.
Make a plan to obtain start-up capital. Consider your start-up costs and have a solid plan to provide capital for your new workout clothing store. You will need funding to lease retail space, purchase clothing inventory, pay employee salaries, business taxes and buy office equipment and software. Keep in mind the costs of Web design and hosting if you plan on also selling your workout wear online. Bank loans, investor capital, personal finances or loans from family or friends are several options for funding your store. You can find out more about loans and grants from the Small Business Administration Website.
Choose a retail location for your workout clothing store. Consider a high-visibility area, such as a shopping mall, plaza or busy downtown location. These locations provide natural traffic, which is always a positive attribute for retail operations. Keep in mind your target market - people with an active lifestyle or who looking to start an active lifestyle. If possible, select a location where your store will be most visible to them. Don't feel limited to opening a store in your community; your business will be more successful in a location where more active people live. Traditionally, fit and active people are more prevalent in mid-to-upper income, affluent areas.
Order inventory. Determine which clothing you will feature in your store and what will draw in customers who may typically shop at big sporting good chain stores. Research wholesalers and other vendors to supply your clothing. Offer unique work out clothing that shoppers may not typically find at big box sporting good stores. You may offer clothing for just one gender or for both men and women. For example, you can focus more specifically on particular sports, such as running wear, yoga and Pilates clothing or golf and tennis threads.
Market your new workout clothing store to your target audience. Place ads in local newspapers and publications read by potential customers who lead fit and active lifestyles. Put fliers, announcements, coupons or circulars where potential customers are most likely to congregate, such as gyms, yoga studios, country, golf and tennis clubs. Send a press release to local newspapers and television stations announcing your grand opening. Offer special discounts to returning customers and consider emailing coupons or circulars to them.
Hire the right people; preferably people who are familiar with active lifestyles. Have appealing decor for your store. Consider selling workout clothing on the Internet. Hire an accountant and consider hiring a business attorney. Market your business to high school and college sports coaches, as well.
Be prepared to work long hours to get your store up and running. Don't underestimate your start-up costs. Don't skimp on accounting software; invest in software that will be most beneficial for your business.
- Hire the right people; preferably people who are familiar with active lifestyles.
- Have appealing decor for your store.
- Consider selling workout clothing on the Internet.
- Hire an accountant and consider hiring a business attorney.
- Market your business to high school and college sports coaches, as well.
- Be prepared to work long hours to get your store up and running.
- Don't underestimate your start-up costs.
- Don't skimp on accounting software; invest in software that will be most beneficial for your business.
Cheryl Gorski Ronzoni is a former nonprofit executive who has been writing for more than 15 years. She has been creating online content for nearly five years. Along with business and grant writing, she has experience writing event scripts and feature articles for local newspapers and magazines.