Starting a business is a great way to take control of your life and the money you earn. So, if you’re considering opening a baby boutique business, you can turn trendy baby products into a major profit. In fact, about 700,000 babies are born in the UK every year, leading to a steady baby product market.   

But starting any new business is a big responsibility and may seem like a daunting mountain to climb. So if you want to know how to start a baby boutique business, it’s good to prepare before you get started. We’ll cover the essentials. 

This guide will cover how to start a baby boutique business, including: 

  • Planning 
  • Setting up 
  • Organising 
  • Marketing 

Planning for your baby boutique business 

The first essential step of starting a baby boutique business is to develop a plan for your business. It’ll be easier to put it all together if you have a clear idea of what you want your baby boutique to look like. There are a few essential steps to planning. 

Market research 

Conducting market research on the baby boutique industry will help you understand trends, competition, and how to stand out. Look at similar companies in your area and analyse birth rate stats to learn the size of this market and your business’s potential profitability. 

You’ll also want to know the demand of the gift market around baby clothing, toys, and decorations. Since babies grow rapidly in their first two years, you may want to stock varying sizes to encourage repeat customers. 

Target audience 

Knowing the market will help you understand your target audience, which may be new parents or family and friends buying gifts for babies. Even more, consider how you can narrow your boutique to reach a more specific customer. 

For example, you may want to focus on feminine baby products and stock mainly pink products to target new moms of little girls. Or, you could establish a luxury baby boutique with high-end products for new parents and families who want to buy something special. 

Product research 

Once you understand what angle to take and what customer base to reach, starting a baby boutique business means you’ll need to think about which products to sell. Do you want to offer a little bit of everything? For example, you could sell clothing, toys, and decorations that are feminine, masculine, and gender-neutral. On the other hand, you may want to focus on just clothing or toys. 

With this idea in mind, start researching different supplies and comparing prices. Of course, the more you spend on your product, the higher you’ll have to price them to earn a profit. Then, the products you stock your boutique with should work well with each other and appear cohesive. They should also align with your target audience and shop focus. 

You may want to look for a wholesaler (like TheWholesaler) to stock your shop or contact some popular baby brands to purchase from them as a trader. But, if you want to sell other brands, you may need to get the proper licensing. 

Shop vs online 

Next, think about how you’ll sell your baby boutique products. For example, will you open a physical shop, sell entirely online, or do both? If you plan to open a baby boutique shop, you’ll need to source a space and add rent to your startup costs. You’ll also need to decorate the shop and potentially throw a launch party.

If you plan to sell your baby boutique products online, you’ll need to design an appealing website that accepts payments through the site. You could also sell your products on an Etsy or Amazon shop. Either way, this step is crucial to setting up a foundation for selling your products. 

Business plan 

Now that you know what it will look like, an essential part of starting a baby boutique business is creating a business plan that outlines your ideas. Your plan should summarise the purpose and intentions of your business, it’s name, and your short-term and long-term goals. With this plan in writing, you can refer to it as you set up your business and even show it to potential funding sources to prove that you have a realistic plan for their money. 

Budget  

Money is another essential factor in planning for your business. To get started, you’ll need funds that cover your startup costs and operating expenses before you begin to profit. For example, you’ll need to order the products to stock your store, market and brand your business, and get the necessary business software. Plus, you’ll have to pay for any registration and insurance fees. Then, you may have shop rent and design costs. 

To get an idea of the funding, you’ll need, outline a starting budget. Once you have an idea of the costs of starting and running your baby boutique, you can begin to save or look for external funding, such as investors or loan options. 

Setting up your baby boutique business 

Once you have your business plan, you’ll need to set up the logistics to start a baby boutique business. We’ll cover the simple steps to bringing your business to life. 

Registering your business 

First, you’ll need to register your business with the UK government. You can register as either a sole trader or a limited company. You’ll have fewer regulations and taxes as a sole trader but be personally liable for your business. Meanwhile, limited companies have more reporting and taxes, but they are separate legal entities of their director. 

Preparing for taxes 

As a business owner, you’ll need to manage and report your own taxes to the HMRC. These taxes will likely include income tax, national insurance, and potentially dividend tax. As your income will vary year to year, you’ll likely need to submit a Self Assessment tax return to determine what you owe.

If you register as a limited company, you’ll also pay corporation tax. Plus, if you expect to earn over £85,000 annually, you’ll have to register for VAT and comply with Making Tax Digital (MTD) processes. MTD is a government initiative to make taxes digital and more efficient, which will become required for most businesses to use starting in April of 2022.  

Finding insurance

Next, consider what insurance you’ll need to protect your business from financial risk. For example, you may want to get public liability insurance to secure yourself against any damage or illness caused by your business. On top of this, you may want to insure your boutique stock shop. If you have a business vehicle that needs insurance as well. 

Organising your baby boutique business for success 

But, knowing how to start a baby boutique business is more than just setting it up. You’ll need to organise that business well to run it successfully. 

Pricing 

The first step to organising your business is to determine the prices for your products. Pricing can be more straightforward with a baby boutique business than other businesses. Unless you make products yourself, the wholesale price will give you an idea of the production costs. 

Then, you may want to add a bit for shipping costs, labour, shop rent, and other regular business expenses. From there, you can establish a profit margin that ensures you earn more than you spend. 

For example, say you spend £4 on a baby stuffed bear. Then, when considering other business expenses, you may calculate that the bear costs your business about £6. If you want to make a 25% profit margin, you can price it at £7.50. 

When pricing your products, you may also want to look at the pricing of similar shops. Research can help you understand what people will pay for these products and price yours competitively.

Customer service 

Also, be sure to organise your daily operations well and prioritise your customer service. With strong customer service, you can build lasting relationships and retain customers. Plus, happy customers may refer your boutique to their friends or leave you a strong review on your Google business page

You may also want to create a pleasant and friendly environment for customers or be consistent with your shipping times if you sell online. 

To organise your services well, you may want to use a business management tool like Google Workspace or Microsoft Office. With a designated and linked business email and calendar, you can easily stay on top of your communications and engagements.  

Payment methods

You’ll also need to consider how you’ll take payments from customers. With a physical shop, you may want to accept credit card payments to make yourself more accessible, which you could do easily with a tool like Sumup

If you sell online, you may want to build a payment method into your website or use a secure service like Paypal or Klarna

Business current account 

An essential part of organising your business finances is by separating them from your personal ones. As a small business, you must do bookkeeping to record what you earn and spend. So, open a business current account, a bank account specifically for your business. With this account, you won’t have to shuffle through your bank statements to find the ones that matter to your business. 

Accounting software 

Another crucial part of financial management is having the right tools to simplify and speed up the process. With the right accounting software, like Countingup, you can digitise and automate your finances to create accurate records and understand your performance. Countingup is a business account with built-in accounting software that allows you to put all your finances in one place. 

The Countingup app lets you organise your expenses with automated expense categorisation and receipt capture tools. These features help you find tax-deductible expenses in your transactions and clean up your receipt records. 

Countingup also lets you create and send unlimited invoices on the go. The app will notify you when you receive invoices and automatically match them to payments. 

On top of this, the app generates cash flow insights and tax estimates so you can understand what you earn and spend and plan for your tax expenses. It’s an integral tool in keeping up with your business finances. 

Marketing your business to bring in customers

Once you know how to start a baby boutique business, you’ll need to market that business well to find customers. We’ll cover the essentials to a strong marketing strategy.  

Branding 

The first step to marketing your business well is to develop a brand identity that sticks. So, consider what design and tone you want to represent your business. For example, you may choose pastel colours associated with baby clothes. Then, design a business logo that hints at your business’s purpose. As for tone, you could use exciting, congratulatory, and informal language to reach new parents. 

Website 

Next, you’ll need a website to market your business. If you plan on selling your products online, this may seem obvious. But even a physical shop needs a good website. This website can explain what your business offers, provide photos of your products, and outline your contact information. If you have a physical shop, be sure to include your shop address and hours. 

Social media 

To make your boutique more accessible online, consider creating social media pages. If you use your business logo and post regularly, you can reach people who benefit from your products. For example, you may post updates, baby tips or cute pictures, and photos of your products. 

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest might be most helpful in promoting a baby boutique business and reaching your target market. Be sure to link these accounts to your website as well. 

Popup shops and markets 

You may also want to promote your baby boutique business by holding popup shops or attending local markets. These events are great ways to get your products in front of established crowds and earn new customers. Also, consider designing a banner and business cards to pass out so people can find you after the event. 

Simplify your new business finances with Countingup

As you set up your baby boutique business, you’ll need to organise your finances for success. Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Start your three-month free trial today. Find out more here.