Developing a stuffed animal business can be ideal for someone who is creative and loves to work with her hands. When considering starting your own stuffed animal business, you need to consider the source of your products. You can purchase stuffed animals in bulk and sell at a marked-up price or you can design and make your own stuffed animals. There are also several ways in which you can create a stuffed animal business presence.
Evaluate the competition in the area. This means investigating how many nearby stores exclusively sell stuffed toys, as well as how many major retail chains in the area sell them as a part of their overall business. Since children are the major demographic in the stuffed toy business, determine how many are in the area.
Create a business plan. Determine the type of stuffed animal business you want to develop. You may want to do just teddy bears, or you may want a wider range of products. If a number of local businesses sell stuffed toys, you may be able to create a niche market of higher-quality handmade toys. You should also take into account the funds you will need to rent a store or booth and to hire a web designer if you plan to sell products online.
Apply for a loan if necessary to get your business off the ground. You will need to offer the loan officer compelling evidence based on your research. Include data showing the size of the stuffed toy market, proposed location information and customer demographics. You must also show how the funds will be spent, such as renting a space, buying merchandise and fixtures, advertising and any other operating costs.
Rent a space or create a website. For a low-cost option, you can open an account with an online auction site such as eBay or open a store through a website such as Esty, where numerous artists and creators sell craft items, clothing and hand-made toys.
Promote your business with magazine ads and online banners at sites that specialize in stuffed animals and toys. You might also place televisions ads on local stations during children's programing.
- stuffed bears image by Gale Distler from Fotolia.com