If you ever thought of starting your own business, you might consider opening a maternity store. Maternity stores serve the needs of expecting mothers, but they can also provide much-needed baby products after the delivery. As with any business, launching a business involves planning and hard work. If you feel you don't know where to start, follow a few guidelines, and you can open a maternity store in your area.
Prepare a business plan which is comprised of a detailed outline of your business, what it will sell, how it will sell it, and how it will survive. A business plan helps you plan your marketing strategy, your product line, and you managerial staff. It also helps you determine how much money you will need to launch your business. You can find no-cost business plan templates at http://www.bplans.com.
Determine if you have enough funding. For instance, you will need adequate startup capitol for purchasing product supplies, office supplies, and display units. Wholesalers require that you buy in bulk, so budget $5,000 to $10,000 for products. Office supplies cost $1,000 to $3,000, but you can get some of your office supplies used. Display units cost $60 to $120 depending on the type. You will also have to establish utilities and have enough left over for marketing. If you will operate your store full time, you will also need money to cover employee salaries and your own salary. The general rule dictates that you have enough revenue to cover 2 to 3 years of business operation. The average startup capital requirments for any business ranges from $30,000 to $100,000 depending o your salary. This startup capital ensures you can survive until your business sales increase and stabilize.
Locate several reliable wholesalers. For instance, you will need to establish accounts with several reliable wholesalers. Some wholesalers such as Nicolematernitywholesale.com specialize on mothers' clothing. Others specialize in baby products such as diapers or bottles or baby books. Others might specialize in vitamins or natural foods targeted specifically for expecting mothers. Setting up purchasing accounts with several wholesalers ensures you have access to products if one company runs low or faces production problems.
Locate retail shelves and displays. For instance, you will need retail shelves to hang things on. Retail shelves come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and appearances. Find some that convey the look you want to convey. For instance, chrome displays might seem modern but cold. For a maternity store, wooden shoves might seem more cozy. Check your area for business closures. You might find reduced-priced shelving units. If you shop online, you can find retail shelves at www.displaywarehouse.com
Choose an attractive name. An attractive business name lures customers in. An unattractive business name repels potential customers just as easily. Make sure it fits your personality or has something to do with maternity. Have friends help you choose a good name, and once you decide on 3 or 5 names, check the online business name and trademark registry to determine if someone already claimed it.
Hire at least one employee. Unless you plan to never leave for lunch or for a break, you will need at least one part-time employee to help you run your business. Make sure you find someone reliable and familiar with your products. Find someone who works well with expecting mothers.
Choose a retail location. Choosing a retail location might seem like the first step, but it isn't. If you do not have enough startup revenue or if you can't locate a quality wholesaler, you should not shop for a retail location. Once you shop for a location, choose a space that fits in with existing customers. For instance, do not choose a retail location for maternity clothes among retailers that specialize in tires or medical supplies. Choose a location that specializes in other types of clothing or bath and beauty supplies. Expecting mothers who already shop at these location will be more likely to find your store.
Negotiate the lease. Your lease will dictate the price per square foot you must pay on a yearly basis. For instance, a 1,000 square foot retail location might charge $20 per square foot. That total annual cost equals $20,000 per year. The monthly rent would equal $1,667 per month. Additionally, you will have to pay an additional square foot feet for maintenance fees that cover such things as trash removal and groundswork. When you negotiate the lease, ask for a slightly cheaper fee per square foot. Also ask for at least 3 months free, so you can move in and setup shop. Finally, if you sign a 2-year or more lease, ask if you can scale your monthly rent to pay less the first year when you can least afford it and more the second year when sales have picked up.
Hire a sign maker. You will require a sign maker to create a sign for you. The sign should reflect the nature of you’re your business while prominently displaying your business name. If your store rests in a retail location or a strip mall, check to see what the landlord places limitations on the type of sign you might need.