How to Start a Fashion Accessories Retail Business

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Selling fashion accessories
Selling fashion accessories (Image: Handschuhe 1 image by danielschoenen from Fotolia.com)

A fashion accessories retail business sells a wide selection of items, such as hats, scarves, gloves, head bands, wigs, shoes, handbags and fashion jewelry to complement the buyer's outfits and complete the fashion style. This type of business enterprise would suit a seller who is young, fashionable, competitive, has a good head for business, appreciates the concepts of high fashion, knows the fashion market with its fast changing trends and is able to keep up with the latest fashion crazes.

Things You'll Need

  • A4 White Paper
  • Computer and finance software
  • Stock
  • Premises
  • Staff
  • Cash register
  • Business license
  • Business insurance
  • Business plan

Carry out market research to find out what kind of fashion accessories the public expects to find when shopping and listen to suggestions about what kind of accessories they might purchase if given the choice. Do this by preparing questionnaires and target the questions at your target market.

Decide on the name of your business, which should reflect the type of fashion accessories you are intending to sell. Design your logo for your business ready for your business letterheads.

Write a business plan. This is a detailed document that describes the nature and objectives of the business and demonstrates how best to achieve it. Provide a brief overview of your fashion accessories retail business, followed by information on your retail business, listing details about your fashion accessories and services, details on your market based on your market research, staff, premises and financial forecasts.

Arrange a meeting at the bank to open a business account and arrange a business loan. You will need to discuss your business plan in a professional manner to prove to the bank manager that you have a legitimate and viable business proposal. Take a few samples of fashion accessories that you plan to sell. If the business plan is accepted, you will be able to open a business account, and you will be asked if you require a business loan.

Locate a shop front to sell your fashion accessories. You could set up an Internet retail business to save on rental costs but the best option would be to find a retail premises, near to fashion boutiques, which complements your style of accessories. Customers prefer to be able to touch accessories so as to match them up against an outfit they have just purchased. Renovate the premises, reflecting your tastes and present a fashionable shop front to entice customers.

Buy stock for your retail business. Decide on the nature of the stock, whether it is materials to make original designer accessories or buy fashion accessories from wholesale retailers.

Hire staff and put them on the payroll, abiding by minimum wage laws. Apply for a business license and a tax identification number. Talk to an insurance salesman about your insurance needs.

Start marketing your business by window dressing your shop front to display a selective range of your products in an effective and imaginative way to entice your target customers, off the street, into the shop. Have your staff wearing the accessories you sell. Display promotional sale offers in the window, such as 'buy one, get one free' offers or a 'percentage off' selected items. Create a business website to advertise your business, and additionally, as a second source to sell your fashion accessories on-line. Take advantage of free advertising Internet sites. Distribute promotional fliers offering sale incentives. Advertise your business in newspaper ads and fashion magazines to best target your promotional offers towards a potentially young, female and fashionable market, as well as using word of mouth to help promote your business.

Tips & Warnings

  • Seek professional business advice prior to setting up your business. Attend short business and finance courses to help support your knowledge in running a business.
  • It is a legal requirement to keep accurate financial records for the business.

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