If you have a love of dance, running a dance clothing store is a natural choice after you've turned in your dancing shoes. Though it takes a significant amount of money and hard work to open a dance apparel store, your efforts can pay off. Hire the right people to support your efforts and you'll be a success.
Find a location for your dance apparel store. A dance clothing store isn't the type of store that relies on foot traffic, so you can easily place your store anywhere that people can drive. However, you may want to look for a location that has a number of dance studios nearby. The more dance students in the area, the more potential customers you have.
Apply for funding. You'll need start-up cash to run your store. Talk to your local bank about an SBA loan, which has government backing.
Register your business. You'll need an employer identification number and the forms to incorporate your business. Retrieve the forms from the link in the resources section.
Stock your store with dance apparel. You'll need tights, shoes, leotards and costumes. Be sure to stock clothing in a wide variety of sizes--from toddlers to extra large adult sizes. You should also have the proper dance clothes for different types of dance. If the dance studios in your area focus on a specific type of dance, it's better to stock your store with more of those items. For example, if the local school only teaches ballet, you'll want many ballet items and only a few ballroom dancing items.
Hire staff that understands the needs of dancers. Your sales staff should have experience dancing so that they can recommend products to help your customers. Additionally, you'll need to hire an accountant who specializes in retail businesses and a lawyer who understands both dance and the retail industry.
Contact local dance schools for advertising opportunities. The best way to advertise your business will be through the dance schools in the surrounding area. Once your dance clothes business is open, the schools can let their students know where to go to purchase supplies.
Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.