VMax, you should definitely talk to that store in Chicago but always keep in mind that your store is your vision both personally and professionally. One very important aspect of fashion is to always have and employ people whose sole job is to keep track of trends and to make buying recommendations as a result of those trends. If you happen to be that person, then you have a great head start. Periodicially holding informal dinners or parties with any women you know with good fashion sense has helped a lot of small fashion businesses.
In terms of inventory, you should make some exact calculations in your spare time as this can be one of your most costly decisions. Finding distributors often requires personal connections and hunting for the right textile firms, many of whom are hidden in generic-looking warehouses. Two key things are to definitely avoid buying too much of one item, especially if your distributor is pushing it (always a bad sign that they`re trying to unload "lemons") and to use a "middleman" firm if you`re buying clothes made overseas. Not only do you avoid any bad press but you allow someone else to do all the complicated overseas trade paperwork that`s involved.
---"Forget inspirational quotes to keep you going. If by doing what you do, you get an hour every day to relax, be with the ones you love in comfort without doing wrong, then it is all worth it." -Anon.
I would definitely visit the store in Chicago. See what you like about it, and see what you would change for your store.
The Money Track
Independent Financial Advice & Personal Financial Planning
I think you should focus on the business model, the products and measure it's probability of success by having a proof of concept. You can start a simple business with less than 2K but it all depends whether the business will take off.
I`ve got a good start on my business plan, feel like I have a niche in the market, have talked with SCORE and others to brain storm my plan and have received very good feedback. However, I am stuck on how to get all the initial start-up expenses put together. FYI . . I`m considering a retail store for women`s specialty clothing.
I know basic expenses for the retail store such as lease, utilities, and other basic store expenses.
Do I need to visit distributors? How do I determine how much inventory to include in business plan projections? There aren`t any stores in my area that are even close to what I want to do but there is one in Chicago -- I live in the Twin City metro area. Would it be a safe bet to contact and perhaps have a meeting with someone who owns a similar store yet in another city so they don`t feel that there is any chance of competition?
My key question is how to get these key start up costs firmed up so that I can move ahead with my business plan? Any and all suggestions are welcome whether it be direct feedback, pointing me to library resources or web sites.
Thank you in advance,