Big and tall clothing stores cater to men and women whose physical measurements are greater than most industry standard sizing. Big and tall stores specialize in finding fits for customers who need a better shopping experience.
Learn how to start your own Big and Tall Store and whether it is the right fit for you.
Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services.
Start a Big and Tall Store by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Big and Tall Store
- Form your Big and Tall Store into a Legal Entity
- Register your Big and Tall Store for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Big and Tall Store
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Big and Tall Store
- Get Big and Tall Store Insurance
- Define your Big and Tall Store Brand
- Create your Big and Tall Store Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
We have put together this simple guide to starting your Big and Tall Store. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What will you name your business?
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
What are the costs involved in opening a Big and Tall Store?
Opening any form of retail store takes some initial investments to get going. Once established, operating costs will recede. Here are some costs to keep in mind:
- You’ll need to establish your business either as an LLC or other corporate entity. You’ll also need to pay any licensing and operational costs through state and local governments.
- Business insurance, both for you and your employees, is also necessary.
- Factor in the rent or mortgage for your storefront as well. You’ll need to include money for a store build-out, which includes racks and shelving for clothes, displays, a register counter, and business office space in the back.
What are the ongoing expenses for a Big and Tall Store?
Ongoing expenses often include rent, insurance, utilities, phone/internet, and merchandise stocking costs. Employee salaries and advertising will also factor into your monthly bills.
Who is the target market?
Your target market is men and women proportionately larger than standard clothing measurements, often within the 35-65 age range.
How does a Big and Tall Store make money?
Big and tall stores make their money from the sales of clothing to their customers.
How much can you charge customers?
Most retail markup is around 50%. You may have to price some items higher if they’re harder to procure. Most clients are primarily looking for clothes which accentuate their positives. Pricing will sometimes play second fiddle.
How much profit can a Big and Tall Store make?
A big and tall store, with a steady clientele, can earn $50,000 to $75,000 annually, depending on your market.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Consider big and tall young adults. These consumers are often underrepresented.
Also, consider clothing for sports, such as golf or tennis since these niche markets can be underrepresented in your area.
Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your Big and Tall Store is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Open a business bank account
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
How to promote & market a Big and Tall Store
Big and tall stores often partially promote themselves. Your customers are already looking for better fits, and you need to let them know where to look. Local or regional home and style magazines are good sources for print advertising. Local papers and circulars are also good for an initial ad blitz.
You can also focus on internet and web page advertising, as well as social media posts. Search for forums, blogs, or pages dedicated to big and tall clothing, and show off your store with a referral to your business’s website.
You’ll also want to lean on your existing customers’ recommendations. Offer incentives for new customer referrals. This is a win for both of you.
How to keep customers coming back
Your customers have more than likely sought you out. They’re excited to see what you have that’s new or different. This means you need to produce. Strive to have brands and styles not seen in other local stores. Furthermore, work to find out what your customer base likes. What are they looking for? Cater to their needs, and strive to be as loyal to them as you’d want them to be to you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
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Is this Business Right For You?
Individuals with experience in retail, especially with clothing, are good fits for this business. You should also possess general knowledge of running a small business.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a Big and Tall Store?
Since many of your customers come to you for the majority of their clothing, most days revolve around catering to the specific clientele of a big and tall store. Some days you will be focusing on measuring clients, creating special orders, sending items to be tailored, or finding vendors who specialize in big and tall items.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful Big and Tall Store?
Customers shopping in big and tall stores understand that their proportions are not average. Many embrace this, but some may be less than thrilled. One of your biggest jobs is to assist customers by making them feel comfortable, both in the clothes and with the shopping experience. Learn to talk to and listen to what your customers are asking for.
If you are a big and tall person yourself, your own experiences will translate well to what your customers need. Think about how you would want someone to present options to you. Your thoughts on style and flattering fits should translate to your customer service.
It’s also important to understand retail business plans and create a business model. Business management helps startups become successful, long-term businesses.
What is the growth potential for a Big and Tall Store?
Big and tall stores have a niche. There will always be people who need specialty fit clothing, so there will always be a need for the store. Make sure you don’t have too much competition, and create relationships with your customers so that your growth potential is significant.
Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a Big and Tall Store?
Signage is a huge benefit for a big and tall clothing store. Include the words big and tall, or make direct reference to this phrase in your signage. That way, passersby will know exactly what you offer, and you’ll generate more foot traffic.
Partner with other specialty clothing stores to identify potential customers. Industry allies can drive business efficiently and in a targeted form.
How and when to build a team
Any form of retail store will need some staff. A small team of part-time employees may meet your needs, to start, but having a staff on hand helps with addressing customers’ needs, stocking the shelves and racks, and allowing you, the owner, to focus on new merchandise orders and follow ups with vendors.