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Business plan for Chocolate Boutique
February 13, 2009
9:13 am
Babs2004
United Kingdom
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Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
February 13, 2009
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Hello Everyone! Getting very excited to have found this forum; I am a French woman who has lived in the UK for 19 years and who has been dreaming of having her own boutique since… I love Chocolate and everything that is sweet and have a general interest in the business; am at very initial stage of preparing business plan to open a small boutique dedicated to Chocolates mainly and some other French sweet products; thinking of doing it in a small town near Coventry but not 100% sure yet. Would love to have any insight in how you did outthere to open yours? Any idea where I can find some data for instance on turnover, margins, ratio, etc… never done this before so any advice and help would be tremendously wonderful! Big thanks to all x Can’t wait to hear from you guys. Thanks again. x

Babs

Babs
February 15, 2009
11:30 am
Marcellus
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Forum Posts: 70
Member Since:
January 16, 2006
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Hello Babs,
I can’t help you with turnover, margins etc. but would be interested in which town you’re considering as I’m not a long way from Coventry. From what you describe of your intentions I think that location is going to be all important. Something like a small & pretty market town with lots of visitors/tourists may be fine but I would be VERY wary about putting up a lot of money in today’s financial climate. If you’re renting premises you should demand one or even two break clauses and negotiate hard on the rent as you have the whip hand at the moment. In my home area there are a lot of small shop premises available and more on the way.
Best of luck with your new venture – but be careful!

February 15, 2009
4:15 pm
Babs2004
United Kingdom
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Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
February 13, 2009
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Hi Marcellus,

I do agree; times are very scary right now so caution is necessary; I am not planning to open in the next 6 months… am at real initial stage so loads to do still. Thanks for your advice though. Not sure about town yet but would like something not too big with community feel. If anyone has open their own store (won’t go into producing only retail) I would love to pick up your brains. Thanks in advance to everyone!

Babs

quote:


Originally posted by Marcellus

Hello Babs,
I can’t help you with turnover, margins etc. but would be interested in which town you’re considering as I’m not a long way from Coventry. From what you describe of your intentions I think that location is going to be all important. Something like a small & pretty market town with lots of visitors/tourists may be fine but I would be VERY wary about putting up a lot of money in today’s financial climate. If you’re renting premises you should demand one or even two break clauses and negotiate hard on the rent as you have the whip hand at the moment. In my home area there are a lot of small shop premises available and more on the way.
Best of luck with your new venture – but be careful!


Babs

Babs
February 18, 2009
2:52 pm
Marcellus
Member
Forum Posts: 70
Member Since:
January 16, 2006
Offline

Hello Babs,
There is a distributor of Gourmet French foods in Britain called Transmanche Foods which you may wish to contact. From memory they wholesale Cluizel, Bovetti and one or two other brands. Also, they sell other gourmet foods; pickles, nougat, pastes etc. They don’t appear to have a website but you can ring them & ask for a brochure.

February 20, 2009
9:53 am
Babs2004
United Kingdom
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Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
February 13, 2009
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Thanks Marcellus. This is great.
Do you know anyone who has its own boutique and would be willing to share some info/figures?

quote:


Originally posted by Marcellus

Hello Babs,
There is a distributor of Gourmet French foods in Britain called Transmanche Foods which you may wish to contact. From memory they wholesale Cluizel, Bovetti and one or two other brands. Also, they sell other gourmet foods; pickles, nougat, pastes etc. They don’t appear to have a website but you can ring them & ask for a brochure.


Babs

Babs
February 20, 2009
1:54 pm
Gracie
Chippenham, United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 88
Member Since:
June 23, 2007
Offline

Hi Babs,

I think you’d be unlikely to get anyone to divulge their turnover and margins! That said, I think you need to approach it from the other side…work out your costs first (rent, rates, running costs, staff etc)Even if you’re not ready to sign on the line for premises yet, register with your local commercial agents and get them to send you any details for small retail units. Search “Rightmove” for commercial properties too.This will give you an idea of market rents where you are(although NEVER pay the quoted rent!)

Get some price lists from chocolate suppliers (as you’re not planning on making your own)and don’t forget to research packaging costs if you’re buying loose products.Contact keylink.org for a catalogue of basic packaging.
Get out and about to research the average price of the kinds of products you want to sell.
Once you have your fixed costs worked out, you can calculate what your profit needs to be to break even, and what it needs to be to give you your envisaged income. This can often be quite a shock!
Work back from there to decide how much product you need to sell to generate that profit and play with the margins to see what effect it has (an excel spreadsheet is useful for this).

Obviously, you can’t charge way over what people consider “reasonable” just to generate your ideal margin, but if you create the right ambiance and give good customer service, this adds to the perceived value so you can charge higher prices.

There is so much more to starting any business than one imagines, and the risks are real, but if you negotiate well, it’s a great time to get a smashing deal on premises!

Bonne Chance!

February 20, 2009
2:04 pm
Marcellus
Member
Forum Posts: 70
Member Since:
January 16, 2006
Offline

Hello Babs,
I just make chocolates as a hobby or for very local sale; e.g. local parties, anniversaries etc. There are some shop owners on this site but a lot of them make & sell their own chocolates rather than import/sell. You may do better using the internet to find a similar small shop and visit & make enquiries. That said, I’d be surprised if someone here couldn’t give you some hints. I don’t know where you live but there is a French chocolatier in Birmingham who owns a shop called Chouchoute who may give some advice. I think he makes his own chocolates in France and brings them over here. The shop’s been open about 6 years so he must be doing something right. It might be worth a visit if you’re not too far away.

February 20, 2009
2:07 pm
Babs2004
United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
February 13, 2009
Offline

Thanks so much Gracie! I really appreciate the time you took to give me all the info. Big thanks!!! I already started doing the costs, etc… and will follow your guidance for sure. Big thanks and MERCI. x

quote:


Originally posted by Gracie

Hi Babs,

I think you’d be unlikely to get anyone to divulge their turnover and margins! That said, I think you need to approach it from the other side…work out your costs first (rent, rates, running costs, staff etc)Even if you’re not ready to sign on the line for premises yet, register with your local commercial agents and get them to send you any details for small retail units. Search “Rightmove” for commercial properties too.This will give you an idea of market rents where you are(although NEVER pay the quoted rent!)

Get some price lists from chocolate suppliers (as you’re not planning on making your own)and don’t forget to research packaging costs if you’re buying loose products.Contact keylink.org for a catalogue of basic packaging.
Get out and about to research the average price of the kinds of products you want to sell.
Once you have your fixed costs worked out, you can calculate what your profit needs to be to break even, and what it needs to be to give you your envisaged income. This can often be quite a shock!
Work back from there to decide how much product you need to sell to generate that profit and play with the margins to see what effect it has (an excel spreadsheet is useful for this).

Obviously, you can’t charge way over what people consider “reasonable” just to generate your ideal margin, but if you create the right ambiance and give good customer service, this adds to the perceived value so you can charge higher prices.

There is so much more to starting any business than one imagines, and the risks are real, but if you negotiate well, it’s a great time to get a smashing deal on premises!

Bonne Chance!


Babs

Babs
February 20, 2009
2:11 pm
Gracie
Chippenham, United Kingdom
Member
Forum Posts: 88
Member Since:
June 23, 2007
Offline

I forgot to mention an initiative which has worked in the past…if there is a fair sized delicatessen or specialist food shop in an area which would be good for you, ask them if they would consider renting you part of their shop as a concession. This way their costs are reduced and you don’t have the risk of taking on a lease of your own . It’s a good way to conduct market research before taking the plunge with serious money.

April 9, 2012
4:35 pm
Gregory.A
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
April 9, 2012
Offline
10

Hi Babs,

 

Je suis Francais egalement et j'ai la meme idee que la votre mais a Dublin. Comme votre post date de 2009, je ne sais pas si vous etres toujours sur ce forum.

 

Si vous l'etes, j'aimerai vous poser quelques questions.

 

Tres cordialement.

 

Gregory.