1. The first step is to make sure that you have a passion for fashion. This is not the business to tap into if you are just looking to make a quick dollar. There will be peak seasons where you will make tons of money and slow seasons where you will barely have enough to make ends meet, but if this your true purpose you will stay in it for the long haul.
2. The Legal Stuff- You will need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service. They will provide you with a tax identification number. Keep this number handy because you will need it to secure reliable vendors and you will need it if your are planning to hire employees. You have to pay taxes to them and report your yearly earnings. Your Tax Identification number will be issued in your business name. Before applying for it, ponder a few names. You will also need to know what type of business you plan to open prior to applying. Will your business be a partnership, LLC., or will you be the sole proprietor? Research the differences between each and select the one the best suits you and your business. You will also need to contact your local Department of Revenue to accept state/local tax. You will be responsible for paying them monthly, quarterly, or yearly but they will explain that in detail for you after you apply. You will need a sales permit/business license if you are operating a storefront; however, if you are operating online you may need a zoning permit. Insurance is also a must. This will protect you from theft, fires, and natural disasters.
3. Vendors- surf the web for them. Do test runs prior to buying in bulk to test their processing time, the quality of merchandise, and how fast the merchandise will arrive to you. The also have trade shows several times a year in different states. You can attend those shows to find vendors and possibly build a relationship with them.
4. Funding- How will you fund your business? Will you use an inheritance, savings, home equity, and/or a small business loan. Please factor this in prior to opening. You do not want to open a business with a lot of overhead costs because you will not see a large profit after you pay your bills.
5. Location- will your business be online, will you have an actual storefront, or both? Online businesses can operate successfully at low cost and with basically no overhead. Store fronts are guaranteed to make money if it is in the right location and if you carry quality, fashionable merchandise. I suggest that you take this into consideration prior to opening.
6. Customer service and management training- this is detrimental to the success of any business. I think all entrepreneurs should take a customer service and management course and/or have previous customer service and management experience prior to opening their own business. Poor customer service and little to no management skills will close a business doors fast. Management training will teach you skills you need such as budgeting, projecting future sales, scheduling, and etc. to aid in keeping your business afloat.