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Any advice on opening a shop


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OK well I spose this is mini related. I have been deliberating now for about 2 years. I have a huge craft room, and I want to turn it into a shop. I have good street frontage etc. And have someone who will come and put all the shelves display boards etc up. And I have mountains of "Stock" things I have got for myself but will never use it all in a pink fit.

I want it to be mostly minis and some jewelley items beads findings etc, a little bit of scrapbooking, and some specialty fabrics. I have most of the stuff I need to be able to put together a nice looking display of things to sell, till I get organised and have more funds to buy more stock.

Though Hubby will proly lend me a couple of $1,000 to buy some stock.

There is just no where near me at all that sells mini items, and now our local beading shop has closed down (she was having baby number 3 ) not because it did not do well.

I thought I could run classes for dollhosue building, jewellery making and quilt and cushion making, all the things I am passionate about.

I also have a freind that runs folk art classes from her home as well, she sells paints and would be willing to put them in my shop as well, and run classes for me too.

I guess my question is, has anyone else done this, and what are the pittfalls and joys of it all.

I thought my hours of business could be say 10 am till 6 pm Tuesday to Sunday, I am always here working on some craft thing anyway, so I may as well have my shop open for business too.

I have had retail shops before and am quite good with customers, and know they can be difficult at times

lol Sounds like I am appling for a job here lol.

Anyway any advice help. Anything would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers Debra.

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Hi Debra,

In NZ we have a goverment run department called Biznz, it is set up to help people open business, they can help with a business plan, budget detailing, the basics of laws (by-laws within a city re running a shop/craft from home thru to tax and grag laws....And may point you in the direction of contacts to help you.

If you already own heaps of stuff, an accountant will tell you that you will need to "sell" it to your business (even if you "lend" your business the moneys to set up to buy it).

That way the purchase of the goods are tax deductable against any monies paid for them when you sell them.

Check with your insurance company re your policy as it changes when you run a business from home, especially one where people are "working doing crafts/training" against just shopping.

Most of all do it to have some fun, it's a learning experance, that I wish I could do (I get paid too much where I work to be allowed to leave). LOL!!

If you know the lady who ran the bed shop, talk to her, she may have stock or contacts that she could give you as if she was the only bead shop around there will be people wanting to purchase those things.

The internet is good if you have someone who can do a web site cheap and you can keep it up to date. Orders thru it is another thing, I'm sure someone here could help you with suggestions.

Good Luck and let us know how you get on.....

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As a business woman with my own sucessful business there is one very important factor that overrides all others - and that is advertising.

You must be able to be found so people can buy your stuff. You might be the best salesperson ever, have the best stock ever, but if people don't know you exist then it is all for nothing.

Most small businesses fail because of lack of advertising. It must be targeted, effective and affordable. Another thing that may be a hindrance are the many internet businesses that sell hobby and dollhouse supplies over the net. They have the advantage of being able to gather customers from anywhere where as a shop-based business has a very small population base from which to gather customers. Any chance of going online with this?

Owning a small business can be fun but it is also a tie. You just can't up and leave it whenever you want some time off. Many people have made successful businesses from what started as a hobby - including myself. Give it a go but beware of the pitfalls and risks.

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I agree that letting people know you are "there" is key. Think about using some of your budget for a small newspaper ad or a valuepak coupon or whatever. Or run a workshop for the girlscouts in your area to generate some interest. Also, Aztec can make you a wholesaler so you can get great prices on items for resale (you will need a tax number for being recognized as a vendor - check with the IRS - but then you have the IRS to think about).

Since you would do this out of your home, you dont have to worry about store rent. I sell a lot of dh items I dont want in my coop antique booth but not enough to pay the rent, that is for sure! Selling dollhouses is very difficult since people dont want to pay for what the kits cost and the time to assemble them. I have yet to sell a kit in the box. I also sell real life stuff and still dont always make rent!

Give it a go! especially if you can make accessories or have other skills to keep your cost of goods low so you can have attractive pricing. I plan on making a bunch of FIMO cakes, breads, vanity accessories from beads etc and see if I can sell them.

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Thankyou for the great advice so far. I never go anywhere and dont have small children so being tied down is not a problem, and yes I can go online with it as well. And as far as advertising, I had full intentions of making it known that I am here and what I will stock and specialise in. We have public liability insurance on our home insurance I have checked on that.

It is something I have been tossing around for about 2 years so its not just a whim thing.

I am in quite a good spot for a home based shop, its a good set up with good street frontage and a public oval across the road, that has people at it all the time.

There is a scrapbooking shop in town that is no where near the main street either, and she started as a home based business.

I just feel the need to be able to help other people in many hobbies that we just can not get items for, it is so frustrating.

Tho I would like to be able to make lots of money lol, it is not an issue to make a fortune. I would just like to be able to sell the things that I myself would like to be able to just go out and buy, and not have to go to a large city or get it from the internet.

Yes I do have lots of "Stock" and an accountant would have to help me to be able to decide how to utilise it and the money hubby would lend me.

When I was doing the markets I had people asking me all the time if I had a shop, I sold dollshouse items and quilting fabrics that you can not buy here in Australia, and I was getting quite a good customer base from that. So that was very encouraging.

I dare say I will go ahead with it, and will let you all know how it goes, I will also take pics of the shop front and shop when I get it up and running, you will all be invited for tea and snacks at the opening lol.

I am also tempted to make a mini of my shop as well lol.

I have these dreams of little dollhouses in the window and all the nice things inside for children of all ages to come and just be kids again lol.

ohhhhh back to reality, at least I wont have anything to loose, nothing ventured is nothing gained....:lol:

Cheers Debra.

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I'm sure you will do well with it Debra, it sounds like you have a great location, and your plans for giving lessons will bring people in and get them excited! I can't wait to see pics of your shop!

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Here's a link to many posts from knowledgeable folks covering some of the topics that may come up in the course of setting up your mini-business, Debra. I hope some of them may be helpful. Good luck.

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