If you love beads and crafting, parlaying that interest into starting your own bead store might be right up your alley. A good bead store -- like any successful enterprise -- is potentially lucrative and professionally rewarding. It's also a way to exercise your creativity and that of your clients. Starting any business is a challenge, but with the right paperwork and research beforehand, you have a fairly high chance at success if you're willing to work long and hard hours.
Write a business plan. You won't be able to get a loan from the Small Business Administration without one, plus it creates a business roadmap for you to follow. You'll need to prove you need the loan, do not have outstanding personal debt and have some equity on your own.
Get your finances in order. Finances include everything from payroll, building and utility overhead and inventory management. Even small beads add up to a lot of money -- and headaches -- if your finances are not kept in order. Think about hiring an outside accountant for help.
Perform market research. You'll need to determine demographics, find out if you have numerous -- or even one popular -- competitor within your planned market. Finding out about the designated area for your store, such as one with a predominantly younger demographic, will help you decide whether your planned location makes sense. Knowing the rent requirements of your desired location is also essential prior to making a final decision.
Seek out your suppliers. Reading trade magazines and perusing bead store websites will help you determine who is the most reliable, offers the best selection and pricing and whether they'll be around long-term. Developing a sound relationship with a few vendors usually results in better purchasing terms for your business, especially as your business takes off and you begin purchasing in greater quantities.
Create a marketing and advertising plan. Some things you can do yourself, such as creating a website and blog. However, advertising in local print, television and radio costs money. Talk with a few local advertising reps -- they'll be happy to discuss your options. Find out which media outlets best serve your target demographic at the price and frequency that fits your business plan and budget.
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