The bridal industry is thriving, and as long as love is in the air, it will continue to do so for many years to come. So, if you have a fondness for weddings, a keen sense of style, and a savvy business mind, opening a bridal shop can be a rewarding and lucrative endeavour.
Some helpful skills and interests:
- A love of fashion: To stay competitive in this industry, it’s essential to stay on the cutting edge of current trends in wedding attire.
- The art of customer service: Brides-to-be are seeking memorable shopping experiences when searching for their dream gowns, so it’s important to cater to their needs and delight them with superior customer service.
- A strong business mind: You’ll need to be an adept multitasker in order to operate an efficient, successful shop.
First step: securing finances
As with most business ventures, unless you have enough personal savings, you’ll need to secure financing through an investor or a bank loan to open your bridal shop.
Before approaching any organisation or investor for financing, however, be sure to prepare a detailed business plan outlining your future business operations, a breakdown of costs, and your predicted revenue.
A thorough business plan should include the following:
- General description of business and inventory, detailing specific products as well as local demographics and reasons for your proposed location
- In-depth marketing plan
- Strategy for future growth
- Projected start-up expenses
- Estimation of first year’s net sales, expenses, and net profit
Do your research
There are a variety of aspects to consider when scouting out your perfect bridal shop. A few of these include:
- Location: Ideally, look for a high-traffic location near other businesses that a bride-to-be may need: a bakery, a florist, or a printing shop. You could partner with these businesses to provide a complete wedding package at a discounted price.
- Inventory: Decide what type of inventory your shop will offer. In addition to wedding gowns, veils, wraps, jewellery, and shoes, you could also provide tuxedo rentals, bridesmaids’ dresses, and extra wedding accessories like photo albums and candles.
- Competition: Evaluate the local competition and study their websites, branding, and marketing. Visit their stores and decide how you could style or run your shop differently to make it stand out from the competition.
- Ambience: Make your shop cosy and inviting with essential oils, soothing music, and fresh flowers. Provide comfortable, luxurious seating, offer refreshments, and strive to create a space where you can chat with clients and cater to their needs.
Finally, when choosing your perfect location, don’t be afraid of a little local competition. Keep in mind, if there are several bridal stores nearby, brides might be more apt to spend an entire day shopping for their gowns in that area—ultimately bringing more business to your door.
Licences and permissions
One of the first things you should do is register for an Australian Business Number (ABN), a unique 11-digit number that identifies your business to the government and community.
Once you have your ABN, you should choose and register your domain name so that you can establish your online presence. This will be a valuable part of your business identity and an important marketing tool.
There are numerous steps involved in establishing your own bridal shop, so conduct thorough research and meet with your local city council to ensure you’re covering all your bases.
Keep in mind that the licences and permits needed to run a bridal shop can vary from state to territory. Visit here to make sure you’re fully compliant with all legislation in your area.
Laying a firm foundation
Thorough due diligence will provide a firm foundation for the success and future returns of your bridal shop. Here are some valuable steps to complete before finalising the purchase of your store:
- Visit multiple bridal fairs: Not only will you be able to network with other suppliers in the wedding sector, but you’ll also get a good feel for the current bridal industry, including popular styles, accessories, and trends.
- Interview other bridal shop owners: Ask if you can shadow them for a few days, and get advice from them about starting your own bridal business.
- Hire professionals: A broker will provide invaluable help during the purchase process, and an accountant will help you organise your finances, prepare loan applications, and manage your books once you start conducting business.
Owning a bridal shop will be both challenging and rewarding. You will be a part of one of the happiest moments in a person’s life. However, in order to achieve success, you’ll need to efficiently manage the daily details and provide exceptional customer service at every turn.
Visit here and let us help you get started finding the perfect bridal shop for you!