If you have an interest in working in the wedding industry and have a passion for fashion, then operating a bridal shop may be a pleasant career for you. Running a bridal shop can help to fulfil your career aspirations and be a lucrative way to earn income. With the proper amount of planning and business knowledge, running a successful bridal shop is within your grasp.
- Skill level:
Choose a speciality or generality. Decide whether you want to carry high-end, mid-range or low-cost wedding gowns and accessories. Consider the demographics of the people surrounding your shop's location. For example, if your store sits in an affluent area of town, then in order to cater to the needs of the market, you may wish to focus on selling high-end wedding gowns and accessories.
Write and follow a business plan. Use this business plan as your guide to running a successful bridal shop. Include weekly, monthly and annual sales goals, the store hours, employee information and sales and inventory tracking.
Attract brides. In order to attract brides to your bridal shop, create various marketing initiatives where you can reach this group. Build a website showcasing all of the dresses and dress lines you carry in the shop. Attend bridal shows as a vendor so that you have the opportunity to meet and talk with brides, grooms and their families that are a part of the wedding-planning process.
Develop relationships with wedding vendors. Join a professional wedding association in your area so that you can meet fellow local wedding vendors, including wedding planners, photographers, venue managers, florists and even other bridal shop owners. Schedule one-on-one meetings to get to know these vendors better and talk about ways you may be able to refer business to each other.
Expand service offerings. Along with selling wedding and bridesmaid dresses and accessories, consider some of the complementary services you may be able to offer your customers. Wedding gown preservation and wedding gown cleaning services are two options that may be appealing to your customers. Assess each service, and determine the profit margin for each new service. Then, decide if this service is something that your business can handle with its existing staff or if you would need to hire additional staff.
Tips and warnings
- In order to stay on the cutting edge of wedding fashion, inquire with your wedding dress designers and suppliers to see if they offer education courses or ways you can learn more about wedding fashion.
- Conduct customer surveys as well as shop visitor surveys to see what types of dresses and which designers brides are looking for when they come into the shop. Surveys can help you determine what brides are looking for that you may not be offering and can help you assess which dress lines and styles you may need to start carrying.
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