A smart casual dress code includes a variety of options for men and women. Smart casual dress is a step up from business casual, but not as dressy as formal work attire. Smart casual implies that employees have kicked their dressing up a notch from business casual in a smart and well-pulled-together look.
The smart casual look allows flexibility for personal taste in fashion and includes jackets, outfit-enhancing jewelry, dress pants, dress shirts, skirts, tailored sweaters, vests, ties, matching leather accessories, and leather pull on shoes and boots. Smart casual dressing is often adopted by employees who want to look ready for their next promotion. Senior managers in a business casual environment may wear smart casual clothing.
Smart casual dress codes are followed in workplaces such as academia; presenters at business conferences, where attendees attend casually dressed, often wear smart casual clothing.
What is it and who is it suited to?
A boutique is a small shopping venue, typically specialising in fashionable items such as clothing and jewellery, which are often handmade or hard to find elsewhere.
Like many retail businesses, you don’t need any formal qualifications to open a clothing boutique but you will need some business expertise.
Unless you plan to outsource someone to handle your finances, you need to be competent with figures in order to determine stock levels, profit margins, prices and tax returns.
Underlying your business savvy should be a passion for fashion, and an enthusiasm for the products you sell and the service you provide.
Gain experience: To enter the retail clothing industry it will be an added benefit for you if you have prior experience in this field. Experience will help you to understand the requirements of the business properly.
Specialization: Don’t try to focus on different market trends. Instead go for a specific market and offer clothes exclusively for those customers. You can go for wedding clothes, sports outfits, baby clothes and so on. No matter what type of clothes you want to offer to your customers try to maintain the quality.
Investment: For any clothing retail business you need to make certain investments which can vary depending on store location, size, types of products, etc. Some entrepreneurs are able to self-finance their business out of savings or with help from family. If you need to apply for loans do it accordingly.
Select a location: A good location can do wonders to the success of any retail business. Look for a location that can ensure good traffic and have scope for future growth. For clothing business, there must be ample floor space to display and store your products and parking space for shoppers.
Inventory: You need to stock your clothing retail store with clothes depending upon the need of your target audience. Choose your suppliers and wholesalers and put your order on time so that you get it delivered to showcase it in your store.
Legal aspect: For starting a clothing retail store business you need to obtain a business license and take care of legal issues such as incorporation and setting up tax account.
Marketing: Create a buzz in the market about your retail store business by adopting proper marketing strategies. Marketing should be done in such a manner that it helps in grabbing the attention of your targeted customers.
Costs and earnings
Your start-up costs obviously depend on the size of your store and the location. Keep in mind the store will need to be fitted out with display rails and shelves, chairs, mirrors and change rooms.
You can buy many of these items secondhand but the image of your shop will reflect on the clothes, so be wary of using cheap equipment.
In addition to a cash register, you’ll need a computer, printer and basic accounting software in order to fulfill your administrative duties.
You may also want to consider investing in a security system, depending on your location and the nature of your stock.
Finally, you need to purchase your stock and this is obviously an ongoing expense. When you’re starting out, you may have to pay suppliers upfront as they could be wary of giving you credit until you prove that you’re reliable.
Your turnover will also vary greatly depending on your stock and how much you sell. There will be a higher profit margin on more expensive items but you would expect to sell these less often.
One way to boost your income is to stock jewellery and accessories, which often have a bigger mark-up than clothes.
Boutique owners can earn up to $100,000 a year, although losses are expected in the first few years due to initial investments and expenditures.