The wedding industry seems to expand daily. Every girl dreams of the perfect wedding and everyone says the most important part is the dress so you will be making dreams come true for lots of women. Here's how to start a bridal shop.
Find the right space. You want a building that has lots of traffic and high visibility. It also needs to be able to accomodate several dressing rooms and have good walls to display several mirrors. If it is near other wedding related businesses that is even better. A site near a cake store, photographer or other wedding specialist is ideal. Brides will be going to one business and spot your store and end up coming in. After you've picked your place take care of all the legal aspects involved with starting a small business (business license, name).
Once you have a place the next thing you'll need is inventory. No bridal salon is complete without a wide variety of dresses in all lots of different styles and sizes. Contact designers and manufacturers to purchase at wholesale prices. You might even be lucky enough to find a store going through a liquidation in need of getting rid of their inventory that you buy.
Once you have an inventory of dresses, catalogues for designers and gown look books you will need all the other bridal essentials. It helps to have jewellery, headpieces, veils, shoes and even undergarments on hand because as brides try on dresses they'll try on the other pieces and may end up buying those as well.
Now you'll have to beautify your shop. Lots of bridal details and decoration. Think over the top girlie but still elegant and professional. Your next step is to hire a bunch of attractive, intelligent women who the brides to be will be comfortable with and able to connect to.
Lastly, it's time to start marketing. Connect with wedding professionals and offer a referral bonus for people they send to you. Advertise in bridal magazines, attend wedding conventions, drop off marketing materials at popular wedding venues. Do whatever you have to in order to make your business known.
Offer your clients special amenities like champagne while looking around or before/after fittings, cookies and such.