One of the questions I get asked most often by those pondering quitting direct sales and opening their own boutique is “is owning a boutique harder than direct sales?”
When I decided to quit my direct sales clothing company and open my own boutique, one of my main reasons was that I felt I was working too much.
So. Many. Hours. Photographing inventory, sending invoices, hunting people down to pay said invoices, and seeking out hostesses.
The hustle of it all was wearing on me.
I was constantly on a hamster wheel.
I felt I wasn’t seeing a good ROI – return on my investment.
The creativity of fashion was still appealing, however.
Empowering women to look and feel their best was still a passion.
I wonder if owning my own boutique will be harder than direct sales, I wondered.
Many women who are working direct sales clothing companies have this thought.
When coaching, I am often asked “now that you’re on the other side and operating an independent boutique, are you working more or less?”
This is such a hard question for me to answer. It’s kind of like the question from the mama of a newborn, “does parenting get easier?”
It doesn’t get harder or easier, it gets… different.
My work now is focused on things like marketing – nobody has heard of my tiny brand, so it’s just me doing all of the marketing.
I spend some time tweaking prices or uploading new inventory into Shopify, but for the most part, this has become a streamlined system that doesn’t take me very long anymore.
Shopify invoices for me, payment is immediate, shipping labels are even automated now.
My inventory is no longer unique – no need to take photos of everything.
I spend more time looking at what the hottest trends are, what I want to order, keeping my books, forecasting sales.
So, my short answer?
Now that I own my own boutique, I hustle less. Much, much less.
I work smarter now.
Owning my own independent boutique is not without its challenges, but for me personally, the freedom and automation are a good trade off for me.
I feel like my time is my own again.
Is owning a boutique harder than direct sales?
Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, it’s so much easier I could do a happy dance.
In short, the answer depends on where your skill set lies and what your preferences are for where you spend your time.