Starting any business will require a standard set of tasks. First you must decide on the business name and type, such as sole proprietor or limited liability company. Then you will need a business license from your local authority, a resale certificate from your state so you don't have to pay sales tax on your supplies, a business plan and a federal tax identification number from the IRS. Once you have these basics in place, you are ready to plan how you will start your window treatment business.
Assess whether you will run your business from home or need an office and attached warehouse to store or make your window treatment material. Also, determine if you want walk-in traffic or if you merely need a space for staff. Search for the right office location, depending on your requirements.
Talk to other window treatment professionals and ask about the best wholesale suppliers to use. Once you have a list, contact each one and request credit for your supplies so you can pay for them after a certain amount of time. Some vendors may want to you to pay for your supplies upfront the first time before they will allow you to apply for terms.
Find your target market. More than likely, you will want to attract homeowners or offices to your business. Decide if you will advertise to other businesses or residential customers. Choose if you will target new homes, existing ones or both. These factors will determine your advertising and marketing strategies.
Develop your website. Use pictures of window treatments that your company has installed. Add customer testimonials. Link to your social networking sites, and update them daily.
Write articles for blogs and other sites related to home improvement, windows, tinting, treatments or any other aspect that will attract customers to you. When your articles are posted, make sure your name, company, background and contact information appear underneath, so you can be contacted by potential customers.
Send postcards that contain a coupon, such as one free window treatment with the purchase of five, to your target market. Be prepared for a slight increase in business. Stock up on supplies and hire more installation staff and a receptionist. If you do not have the infrastructure to support additional customers, then wait to send the mailing until you do.
Call current customers who may be in the market for new or additional window coverings. Schedule an appointment to show them the latest materials and trends in treatments.
Small businesses may lose money or break even during their first years. Ensure that you have ample savings or other liquid assets to support your company and family during this time.
Purchase enough commercial liability insurance to protect your business. Hazards of window treatments include strangulation risks and body parts being trapped in the mechanisms.
- Small businesses may lose money or break even during their first years. Ensure that you have ample savings or other liquid assets to support your company and family during this time.
- Purchase enough commercial liability insurance to protect your business. Hazards of window treatments include strangulation risks and body parts being trapped in the mechanisms.
Carol Deeb has been an editor and writer since 1988. Her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers and online publications, as well as a book on education. Deeb is a real-estate investor and business owner with professional experience in human resources. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Diego State University.