Regardless of the state of the economy, families will always need their basic small appliances; no one can manage life without a microwave, DVD player or hairdryer. If it is your dream to have your own small-appliance business, now is the time to start taking those first steps toward your goal. With the right planning, a small-business loan, and enough motivation, you will be opening the doors to your small-appliance shop in no time.
Perform a market study. Figure out how small-appliance businesses are doing in your geographic area and whether there is a section of town that could successfully support another store. Perhaps there is a hole in the market for the sale and repair of a certain type of appliance—find out if there is a way you can meet that need with your small-appliance business.
Make a business plan. A business plan should describe your prospective business from A to Z. Show how you will meet your goals practically and financially, and answer all the questions about the details. Will you simply sell small appliances or will you also repair them? You can even consider renting out small appliances such as yard equipment or heavy-duty cleaning tools. You should also decide how you will structure the ownership of the business—will you have partners who also have expertise in small-appliance sales or repair? Visit growthink.com for help in writing a business plan. (See Resources for link)
Obtain financing. Determine whether you can fund the start-up costs yourself, or whether need a loan. Research what kind of loan terms you can obtain from various banks and the Small Business Administration (SBA). NY Job Source also provides a list of lenders that you can use for a small business loan. (See Resources for links)
Find a suitable location. Use your market study to find a suitable and profitable location for your business. Your choice will depend on whether you are selling or repairing appliances, and should be supported by what your market study predicts to be successful. If your business will consist only of repairs, feel free to start off working out of your garage until you make enough money to move to a more professional location.
Contract with suppliers. Decide which types of small appliances you will carry as well as the specific brands. You should carry what will sell well and provide you with a good return. Perhaps there are certain brands or types of small appliances you are familiar with and would be comfortable not only selling but successfully repairing. Sign contracts with the suppliers and order your initial inventory. Think about possibly partnering with certain brands so that they send you all their repair business for your area.
Advertise your small appliance business. Create a marketing and advertising plan. If it is within your budget, hire a marketing firm to create your logo and advise on advertising. Visit agencyfinder.com to search for a nearby marketing or advertising firm. (See Resources for link)
Expand your knowledge. Take a course or workshop on repairing small appliances or find a friend or mentor who can teach you the tools of the trade. Subscribe to trade magazines and read books to learn more about small appliances. The more appliances you are familiar with, the better you will be able to help your customers. Also try to learn more about sales generally, as this will greatly help your business, too.