There is nothing that beats making a living out of something you love and enjoy doing. A gift shop can be fulfilling and exciting if you put in place the necessary systems and measures. Gift giving has become a tradition in the American society, and presents a good business platform for gift shops. Also, the U.S. is home to a large Irish population. In 2010, the number of people who claimed an Irish ancestry was 34.7 million, seven times more the population of Ireland itself. To run a successful Irish gift shop, you need artistic and entrepreneurial skills, as well as creativity and persistence.
Write a Business Plan
The first step towards running a successful gift shop is developing a concept. A business plan allows you to design your shop’s goals, vision and a working strategy. Also, identifying a target market and establishing what kind of gifts they enjoy sharing is one of the basic steps toward establishing a successful gift shop. For example, you can have special marketing strategies for every January and February in preparation for March which is the Irish-American Heritage Month. Study the strengths and weaknesses of the gifts industry and use them to outline a clear path for your launch, sales and marketing strategy. Also, have a clear management structure, financial projections, sales strategy and a growth and exit plan.
Register and Obtain Licenses
Finding a name for your gift shop is a significant part of branding. If you chose to use a different name from yours for your shop, register it with your county clerk’s office in a process known as “Doing Business As” name. Depending with the laws of the state where you choose to have your shop, you might need to register with a state agency. Also, as a business owner, the government expects you to obtain relevant business licenses and federal business tax IDs for taxation purposes. Trade marking names, shapes and logos that distinguish your shop with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office allows you to have exclusive rights to them nationwide.
Choose a Location
The location of your gift shop determines the type and number of people that you reach. Look for a place that complements your inventory. For example, if you want to stock gifts for young people, set a shop where they frequent and where young parents shop. Choose a location that has a high Irish population. According to the Washington Post, New York and Boston have the most concentrated Irish populations. A location that has a high amount of foot traffic also increases the number of people that view your products.
Make a list of the types of gifts you want to sell based on your target market and capital. Having an Irish gift shop means that you will work with an Irish supplier or an American distributor. You can find suppliers through websites that sell Irish gifts or through Irish trade shows in your state. Vary the items enough in style and price, and have only appealing items. Don’t clutter your shop with gifts that hold your capital because they take long to sell.
- United States Census Bureau: Profile America Facts for Feature
- U.S. Small Business Administration: Create Your Own Business Plan
- U.S. Small Business Administration: Register Your Business Name
- U.S. Small Business Administration: Filing & Paying Taxes
- The Washington Post: The Irish-American Population Is Seven Times Larger Than Ireland
- RL Productions/Digital Vision/Getty Images