Apply for a business license in your city
Once again, if your city has website dedicated to business, then you should be able to download an application for a business license. In some cities, you can even apply for a home-based business license. Of course, only fill out a home-based business license if that is your case. Bring or even possibly mail your completed application and filing fee to the appropriate location. The reason I put this step after designing your website is because the business license fee is a yearly fee and so why pay when you are not even close to launching your website.
Apply for a Seller’s Permit
At this point, you should be fairly proficient at filing out forms. The last application you should have to file is for your seller’s permit, sometimes mistakenly called a resale license. The seller’s permit will allow you to buy from your wholesalers without paying sales tax, but it also requires you to pay the sales tax on any items sold, within your state, every quarter. Of course, in modern commerce, you are allowed to collect the sales tax from your customers.
Figure out how you are going to display your products
Before you actually source your products, I believe it is wise to first figure out how you are going to display your products on your website. Are you going to use a mannequin, model, or just lay it flat. Will you outsource your product photography or do it right in your bedroom, which is how we first started. If you are going to do it yourself, then you still need to make sure it fits your budget and business plan as far as purchasing equipment. If you are going to need equipment, then now is the time to either jump online or go out and start making a real investment in your business. Get the facts about supreme box logo hoodie replica see this.
Plan your product mix and find suppliers
While you are figuring out how you will ultimate display your products, you will want to start researching where you will buy your products. If you haven’t done so, then you will want to start thinking more about your product mix. Of course, it needs to fit perfectly with your business plan, concept, and budget you already established in step 1. Fashion buying is another topic completely and I highly suggest you read up on it if you can.
After you have some kind of buying plan, it’s time to find suppliers. If you are lucky, then you will be able to catch the MAGIC Marketplace trade show in Las Vegas. They have vendors for vintage inspired clothing, juniors clothing, indie clothing, etc. It is essentially the largest fashion trade show in the USA and maybe the world. If you cannot find suppliers at MAGIC, then I would honestly be surprised. If you cannot wait for the bi-annual trade show, then you are most likely going to need to take a trip to the Los Angeles Fashion District. If you are looking for the glamorous world of designer labels, then you will be spending your time at “The Intersection.” At this intersection you will find the California Market Center, Cooper Design Space, Gerry Building, and The New Mart. Here you can find brands such as A.B.S. By Allen Schwartz, BCBG, and Betsey Johnson. If you are in this market, then be sure to bring copies of your business license, business card, and seller’s license. Also, as an online business, be prepared to be rejected by many showrooms. If you’re like me though, then it should only inspire you to be more successful so that when the time comes you can reject them.
If your price point is a lot lower, then you are going to really want to spend time around the San Pedro Mart area. You will probably find that 80-90% of these wholesalers are not right for your target market, but that only means that you should find 10%-20% that is right and will be able to focus on building those relationships into the future.
Of course, you can always turn to the internet, registering with sites like fashiongo and lashowroom. Additionally, you can contact individual brand sales reps and they should send you line sheets and look books. In fact, this is how most business will be later in the future, but I suggest you visit trade shows and marts to get your feet a little wet.
10. Start product photography and adding content to your website
Since you should have planned earlier for product photography, this step should be self explanatory. You want to add the products to your website and get it ready for a more official launch.
11. Start your marketing campaign, Search Engine Optimization campaign, and PR campaign
Again, these campaigns should have already been planned in the first step. This step is pretty much a hundred different subjects on its own and so I will not really dive to deep into it. The most rudimentary start would be to submit your site to search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!, sign up for Google AdWords, and start a Facebook and Twitter account. There is probably a good chance that will have to depend on paid advertising to get decent traffic at the beginning, but I highly suggest you plan and budget appropriately.
It might take one day or a whole month, but you’re going to get your first order and at that point you can finally say you really set-up your online clothing store.