Ask anyone you know about their drinking water preferences, and they may tell you that they prefer bottled water over the stuff that comes out of their tap that they are already paying for. The bottled water boom appears to have taken hold of many American shoppers. Take a peek in a stranger’s shopping cart during your next grocery store visit, and what may your eyes behold? A large case of filtered, bottled water. If you are looking for an opportunity to become self-employed but lack a specific passion, consider opening your own filtered water store.
Learn the ins and outs of managing a small business by approaching a local small business owner and ask if you can shadow their daily duties. This will allow you to gain first-hand knowledge of the requirements that must be met in order to successfully operate your own filtered water business.
Create a business plan for your filtered water store that is professional and free of errors. This should contain information such as your expected cash flow and monthly expenses. You should also highlight any plans you may have to expand your filtered water business. For example, state your desire to open an additional location or to carry other products. For help creating an impressive business plan, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration online.
Obtain the financial backing you will need to keep the doors of your filtered water business open. Apply for a small-business loan or complete applications for private and/or federal grants. These both have their drawbacks, but you do have options in the event that you cannot find funding.
Hold meetings with family and friends and inform them of your decision to become self-employed and to sell filtered water. Though you may receive a few queries, it is important to maintain your professionalism and positive attitude. You are not only selling your idea of a filtered water store to potential investors, you are selling your knowledge and belief in this business venture.
Purchase the brands of filtered water that you want to offer to your customers. There are many options that go beyond filtered water, such as flavored, vitamin-enhanced and carbonated water. The more options you offer to your customers, the more likely you are to put money in the bank.
Conduct a taste test of the water you purchase from your suppliers. Allow your employees, family members and friends to visit your filtered water store for a free waster tasting event. Offer them discounts on their purchases and ask them to give you feedback on what they did and didn’t like about your products. You need to be able to confidently tell customers what you like about one brand of water and what you like about another. Avoid making negative statements about any of your products. You are trying to make a sell, and negativity may destroy it.
Feature different brands of filtered water each week or month and offer free samples. This seems to be a good way to encourage customers to fill their shopping carts.
Meka Jones, from Cherokee, Ala., began writing in 2009. She is a faculty member at Shelton State Community College and has written for "Shoals Woman Magazine" and various online publications. Jones is pursuing a Ph.D. in exercise physiology at the University of Alabama and holds Master of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in physical education from the University of North Alabama.