How to Start an App Boutique: A Complete 2021 Playbook
Don’t sweat it if you see a lot of competition for your boutique startup. Like every type of business, you want to focus on finding the right niche and getting your products in front of the right people. It’s normal to start an App boutique with no money as a side hustle, then grow it into a full-time at at-home business. You can check our guide on how to make money online to get started.
There’s no sugarcoating it: Starting an App boutique is stressful. Planning is an important part of launching a small business, as it decides how your business takes shape. The best App boutiques owners aren’t just creatives, they are also driven entrepreneurs.
How to start an App boutique
The best App boutiques in the industry weren’t thrown together overnight. Even with a little trial and error, these owners had a business plan and process for getting started.
Choose a niche you’re passionate about
Most people don’t start an App boutique because they think they can’t come up with a great business idea. Turns out, that’s not the obstacle you think it is. You already have things you’re passionate about in your everyday life, be it gardening, crafts, cycling, skincare, etc. By considering starting a business around something you’re passionate about, you’ll do everything possible to make your App boutique a reality.
To find a niche market for your App boutique, ask yourself:
What do you like to do in your spare time?
What’s a common frustration you have?
Are they any products you can sell related to your hobbies?
By narrowing down your passions and exploring those ideas, you’re already building your business. It also helps you do market research and decide how to position your boutique for success. Pick a small but growing market and learn everything you can about it. Build expertise and share everything you learn. If you can create a body of content that connects with your audience, you’ll be well positioned to capitalize on it and grow your App boutique.
Identify market gaps
A successful App boutique won’t prosper on passion alone. Consider a problem in your niche market that isn’t currently being filled. Is it a natural skincare cream that cures eczema? Or a line of handcrafted tableware from local artisans in your area? Figure out what products should exist that aren’t being offered by big and small competitors.
Write a business plan
A business plan will guide your journey when creating an App boutique from home. It also validates your idea and helps you think through things efficiently. Take the time to solidify your strategy, spot potential obstacles, understand what resources you’ll need, and clarify your business idea before launch. Ask yourself: What is the goal of my App boutique? Do I want to be a brand sold in retail outlets like Urban Outfitters? Do I want to be a high-end brand sold exclusively in my ecommerce store?
If you want to start an App boutique, it’s critical to learn how to write a business plan.
Develop your products
It’s clear you’ve got a lot of choices to make when starting your App boutique. Beyond the products you want to sell, the biggest decision you’ll make is what business model to follow. Your business model helps determine what products you’ll offer and your future operational expenses.
Common models for developing products are:
Dropshipping, where a third party makes products and fulfills orders. You never hold inventory.
Manufacturing, which involves an overseas company that develops your product and ships to your home or warehouse.
Reselling, which involves buying other brands’ products through a wholesaler and selling them in your store.
Handcraft, or creating products and fulfilling orders on your own.
Print on demand, which is similar to dropshipping, but you design the products (like t-shirts or pillows) and the third party makes it and fulfills the order.
App boutique owners can mix and match different models to meet their needs. As we saw with RT1home, the boutique resells Japanese goods and designs its own products from scratch.
If your boutique will rely on manufacturers, here are some tips for finding the best fit:
Research Google, Yelp, and manufacturing directories to find local producers.
Reach out to a few candidates at once. Email or call direct to set up an appointment.
Meet potential producers with professional mock-ups and prototypes. Communicate that you have a vision for your business. Don’t show up with rough sketches and random ideas.
Sourcing suppliers and manufactures is a unique process, but it’s one of the costs of starting a business. Sometimes it’ll feel like you're hitting a brick wall, but with patience and perseverance, you’ll find the perfect partners for your App boutique.
Choose a business name and logo
If it looks like your products can be created with reasonable costs, you’re ready to start building a brand. This means choosing a business name, a logo, and a slogan, if needed. Customers like brands with a captivating story, so include that in your public profile.
A business name embodies the feeling of the brand. It’s simple and memorable. Potential customers can easily find the brand App and help tell their story.
Price your products
Choosing a price point for your products is one of the cornerstone decisions you’ll make. It affects every area of your business, including deciding on a target audience cash flow and profit margins, sales tax, and understanding what expenses you can manage.
Figure out a pricing strategy that aligns with your market. Decide on a price that funds your production costs, but don’t dissuade the customers you’ll need to launch a successful App boutique.
Create your online store
At this point, your new boutique needs a place to sell online. Appily App Builder is a popular platform for this, with ninety thousand businesses building and launching their online stores to date.
Starting an online store may seem like a daunting task compared to simply listing on online marketplaces, but it’s more profitable and rewarding when done right. You don’t pay high fees for making a sal