Boutique ownership is the dream of many self-starters and entrepreneurs. It can be the perfect job if you’re interested in being creative, being a manager, and throwing yourself into your work. It’s exciting to start something on your own, especially when that something demonstrates your own personal style and taste. But, before you get caught up in the fun, there are some basic guidelines you should follow to make sure that you accomplish the number on goal, making a profit! Use this list to make sure you’ve thought of how you will lay out your business before you begin.

Think of what you’re going to sell and how it will be unique or different from your competitors. Do some research and make sure that you’re not repeating a venture that is already in place, or that has already failed in your area. Owning a bait and tackle store may be your dream, but it’s not likely to make much money in the desert. So, once you’ve figured out what will make you unique, it’s time to lay out a plan.

You want to make sure that customers will see what you see at first glance. For instance, you may see your store as a great place to get rare brands of bohemian style clothing and accessories. Then the customer walks by and thinks, “clothes”. Communicating what you want the customer to see, hear, feel and think is the most important aspect of your branding and marketing. Before you decide, “I want shelves full of t-shirts here and a hat rack over there”, consider what you want the customer to think, feel and do. What will convince them to buy something in the long run? What will make them want to come back? And perhaps most important, what will make them want to talk to their friends about you?

When someone glances at your store they need to instantly have an idea of what you carry, why you’re special, your price range, and what feeling your merchandise will give them. There is a very complex process going on in a shopper’s brain. Understanding it and catering to it will put you one step ahead in the game. The first set of retail displays a person sees should alert them to style, price, promotions, and the feeling that you want to evoke. Garment racks and other displays after that should lead them on a journey of discovery through the store, luring them deeper and deeper inside until they’ve seen everything that you have to offer. This gives you the best chance at making a sale and a long-term customer.

About the Author: John Garvey is on the staff of Only Garment Racks, a leading online source of garment racks including clothing racks. Find a high quality garment rack or clothing rack at