Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
The wedding business is huge! Bridal shops should be raking in the cash these days. My daughter got married last year and she had a very simple, modest wedding and reception that we spent thousands of dollars on. Wedding-related businesses range from caterers to ministers, but typically bridal shops sell wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, mothers’ dresses and accessories ranging from veils to shoes to guest books to undergarments. You can even have a “specialty” bridal store focusing on such things as plus-size brides, petite brides, or older brides.
If you love weddings and can handle the occasional “bridezilla”, a bridal boutique could be just the business for you. Research the opportunity in your area by visiting other bridal stores, talking to wedding planners, and perhaps attending a few bridal shows.
Things you will need:
Business basics: You will need a business license (check with your city or county government), tax ID number (visit www.irs.gov), a strong business and marketing plan, and a business checking account. If your state has sales tax, you will need a permit or license for that as well. You will need credit card merchant status and you might want to look into partnering with finance companies as some wedding gowns can get into the price range of new cars. You’ll also need accounting and inventory systems for this business.
A Store: Check with a realtor and scout out available space. Prices will vary, but don’t let price be your only consideration. A cheap space that gets no traffic will cost you more in the long run. Pay attention to the demographics of your target market. If you want to sell wedding gowns in the $5,000 range, that is an entirely different neighborhood than the $500 range. Locating a high-priced store in a working class neighborhood is a quick way for a business to fail. Your store must be in the area where your prospective brides live and shop.
Store Supplies: The basics include a cash register, display shelves and racks, hangers and so on. A must have is large dressing rooms with additional mirrored areas outside for the bride’s entourage to check out the dress, too.
What you will do:
You will purchase and resell your product(s) to the public. You need good customer service skills and the ability to work on your feet during the hours you are open helping customers, and then organizing and cleaning your store after hours. If you have never worked in retail, a part-time job will help you learn just what to expect. And, working in a bridal store will certainly help you learn priceless information about making your own store a success.
Plan on having plenty of employees to help brides try on dresses. These employees are sales associates, and the better they are at helping brides find the dresses they want and the accessories they need, the more money your store will make. Helpful employees are your most important asset.
The key to success in a bridal shop is having the product (dresses and accessories) that today’s brides are looking for and having the personnel available to help them.
Click Here to Discover How to Become a Bridal Shop Owner
If you’d rather plan the wedding, Click Here to Discover How to Become a Wedding Planner