How to Start an Online Dog Boutique – Avoid Getting Ripped Off!

Starting an online dog boutique is a fun, exciting, and promising business venture for any dog lover. Creating a business around one’s passion is the first step towards success. Since most dog owners love their pets (and tend to spend a great deal of money on them) it only stands to reason that at some point, the owner contemplates the thought that perhaps running an online dog boutique would be a way to escape the rat race of their traditional job, replace lost income, or perhaps supplement their retirement. While all of these intentions are fine and well, the reality is that having a profitable online dog boutique requires much more than a love for animals. Often times, this is the first experience at an online business and also the first step into the pet industry, which is ultra competitive. This combination, unfortunately, often spells financial disaster for the individual stepping into uncharted waters.

Before I continue, I must clarify my qualifications in writing this article. While many who write such “advice” type articles have never really done what it is the recommend, I on the other hand, come from a position of experience. I own and operate not only a popular online dog boutique, but also a bricks and mortar storefront selling the same product line. I have seen the good, bad, and ugly. I have helped hundreds of individuals get started and I have witnessed incredible financial loss by people who refused to follow my advice. Regardless of your industry, any successful entrepreneur will tell you that a great deal of their success was due to the fact that they mentored with someone in their industry, followed their advice, and walked a similar path. So, with that in mind coupled with the fact that my company has been around for 6 years, I do offer a level of credibility to the reader.

The biggest pitfall that I see people falling into right now is being charged WAY too much for their website design and many of these design companies are over-promising and under-delivering. With the horrible state of the economy these past few years, literally millions of people are turning to the internet as a way of creating home based income. In response to this influx of internet “newbies”, web designers are flooding the scene trying to grab a piece of the pie. Knowing that they are dealing with an online novice, they can prey on the inexperienced entrepreneur. More often than not, 3-4 months later the boutique owner still does not have a functioning website and they have invested a small fortune, often $10,000 or more! Frustrating to say the least.

The second biggest problem I see with the new online dog boutique owner is that once their site is up and running, they literally have NO knowledge of how to market the site and get traffic. As a result, they again fall victim to marketing companies out there who are also aware of this situation and they end up spending hundreds of dollars each month on marketing methods that are ineffective and do not drive enough traffic to their website. In essence, they go from the frying pan into the fire and find themselves quickly out of business and out of savings!

The dog industry is unique in many ways, and although the web designers and marketing “experts” will claim to know what to do to ensure online success, the reality is that most are just looking to make a sale and have little experience creating successful online dog boutiques. Having a pretty site with nice products is nowhere near enough to be profitable. So, having seen the winners and the losers in this industry, here is my advice…

#1… Find a mentor who has experience in the industry. If you are going to take someone’s advice, make sure that it is someone who has actually “walked the walk”. You may have to pay something to get this kind of advice, but it is usually priceless experience talking.

#2… PLEASE don’t build an online dog boutique unless you know how to promote the site online and you have a budget for marketing education and training. It’s not an easy thing to do and many before you have failed. Online marketing is far different than your standard advertising methods and if people can not find you, you’re dead. But, if you take the time to actually invest in your education and learn effective marketing techniques and strategies, you’ll be ahead of 99% of the other website owners out there. Plus, this education can transfer beyond the dog industry and serve you in any business in the future.

Boutique – Online Business Vs Retail Shopping

Have you tried traditional means of selling with little to no success? Do
you have a product driven, home based business that you would like to grow
nationally or even internationally? Are you unsure how to successfully
advertise your web site on the Internet? Does your web site get limited
traffic? Have you been a vendor at various boutiques but want the
continual yearly income that is generated from your loyal customer base?

Retail shopping has been the general source of selling and purchasing
products for decades. With the expansion of the Internet and other various
creative avenues, business owners have been able to grow their business
substantially in less time. Boutiques that have a physical location have
been popular over the last 15 to 20 years. They are extremely enticing to
the growing number of women who enjoy scrapbooking, home decor, holiday
crafts, gift ideas and much more.

Listed below are 8 reasons why an online boutique could increase sales and
grow your business.

1. Year round income: Not only would you have a physical location for your
customers during various times of the year at boutiques, but they would be
able to easily continue to purchase your items year round.

2. It will bring shoppers to you: Retail stores spend hundreds or thousands
of dollars marketing their business. By advertising your online store when
you are a vendor at a boutique, your customers will have an incentive to
purchase additional products later.

3. Linking web sites: If a vendor from a boutique has a web site, the
online boutique can link to the vendor’s web site. This will generate
traffic to the vend’s web site thereby gaining exposure and sales.

4. Reclaiming old customers: For customers who have not attended a boutique
for years, they could look online to see what is available and either come
back to the boutique or shop on line.

5. Extra income without extra setups and tear downs: Physical boutiques
can be a successful means of establishing and growing a business. It takes
time and effort to set up and take down a booth each show. Once a vendor is
joined into an online boutique, it stays available to the customer night and
day without much added effort.

6. Not enough online boutiques available: A study recently done found that
70% of online shoppers would like to purchase more boutique like items.
There are very few on line boutique sites available.

7. Substantial growth: A person can grow their business without travel
expenses by selling online. National and International growth is possible.

8. Increase sells up to 70%: Some of the most successful business owners
contribute their success to selling online.

9. Eliminating cost of rental space: The average of cost of a rental space
at a virtual boutique is around $125.00. This is usually for a 3 day
exposure time. An online boutique is day and night, everyday, for a minimal
monthly fee.

It is rare today for a business not to have a web site. If done correctly,
web sites can be an invaluable tool for any business owner. The perfect
solution for businesses that do not have a web site themselves, however, is
the ability to tap into the online boutique web site. It is critical to be
educated and informed on the latest marketing and sales tools available.
The competition can be overwhelming without education and progressive
action. Not only will online boutiques become a fun and easy way for people
to shop, they will become a lucrative source of income for many vendors
wanting to expand their business.

Should You Own a Boutique? What You Must Consider

You may be debating the question of should you own a boutique. Through this article, you are presented with the points you need to ponder when it comes to whether or not the question of should you own a boutique is to be answered in the affirmative.

The first factor that you need to take into consideration when considering whether or not you should own a boutique is your experience. You simply do not want to dive into the boutique business without having at least some experience in the arena in which you will be undertaking your boutique enterprise. You must keep in mind that experience really does count in the retail industry… and must be a prime consideration when it comes to whether or not you should own a boutique at this juncture in your life.

Beyond experience, when it comes to your internal debate addressing the query of should you own a boutique, you will want to honestly consider whether or not you will enjoy owning and running a boutique. The fact is that you simply do not want to involve yourself in a business enterprise that you are not going to enjoy on a personal level.

In addition to experience and making sure you are getting into a business that you will enjoy, when it comes to considering should you own a boutique you need to be prepared to work hard. Many people think that owning their own businesses will give them a bunch of free time to kick back and enjoy life. In fact, the exact opposite is the case. When you own your own business, particularly when you are just starting a business like a boutique, you will be spending a huge amount of time at work on your venture. Owning and running your own business really is hard work on many different levels.

Finally, when it comes to should you own a boutique, you need to make sure that your finances are in order. You must understand that there is a certain degree of risk to starting any type of business, including a boutique. Therefore, you must make certain that you have the finances available to protect yourself and your family if your boutique business does not take off like you hope and plan.

By paying attention and considering the information contained in this article you will be in the best position of making sure you make a wise decision when it comes to should you own a boutique. In the end, making an educated decision is fundamental to deciding whether or not you should own a boutique business enterprise at this juncture in your life.