When starting an online clothing company, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the opportunities you have, and how to use them in the best way possible to achieve your business goals. The key in is planning and knowing exactly what your next step is going to be. Without a well-thought-out online store, you won’t have the ability to sell your products effectively to your target audience.

Step 1: Planning

Whether you like it or not, a solid business plan is the first step in succeeding in e-commerce and creating a strong fashion brand. If you do not need to pitch for funding or a loan, you’ll be fine with a lean plan that you’ll be using as a guide to keep you on track.

Don’t worry, if you ever need to present your plan to outsiders to get funding, no sweat. A lean plan can easily be converted into a full-length, formal business plan.

Step 2: Decide on the platform for your boutique

There are tons of options to start an online boutique. You can take advantage of the great organic traffic on one of the established global commerce platforms, such as Etsy. If you would like to have a little more control over your website, layout and the general shopping experience you should use an e-commerce platform to build your website, such as Magento. Magento is a full-featured, robust e-commerce solution that has unmatched scalability and flexibility. To use the full potential of this platform it is a good idea to hire a developer to do all the Magento customization tasks for you.

Step 3: Pick a great name for your store

Make sure you pick a name you’re totally in love with—that part of starting an online boutique should be a no-brainer. But sometimes what seems a good idea at first will become a nightmare. You’ll want to be able to say your business name proudly, and make sure that others are comfortable telling their friends about it. You want it to be, in a word, cool. Now, cool means different things to different people, and that’s okay! Just make sure when you pick it, you can own it.

Step 4: Develop your boutique’s unique brand

A clothing line is identified by its company name and logo, so selecting appropriate ones are essential. Your brand will be a combination of your cohesive product selection, your chosen name, the ideal customer you are targeting, and the overall look and feel of your website and social media platforms. Your brand identity is much more than simply picking a strong style of items to offer. Your image is all that you do, from the hues and text styles you use on your site, to the sorts of substance you post via web-based networking media.

Step 5: Use social media

Today, in the digital age, business reputations live and die by their social media standing. The most successful brands in 2017 will be those able to maximize their reach and effectiveness on paid social media advertising. This year, social media will not only play a big part in ecommerce, but also in all aspects of our social life, just as it has been, arguably, for the last several years. Moreover, several new social network technologies, including powerful advertising tools, chatbots and in-app purchasing, as well as improved design, will make ecommerce easier, and bigger, than ever.