If you’re the type who wants to own their own business instead of punching a clock five days a week from 9-5 and time and a half, you have to remember one adage: If you want to make it big, you have to start small. Starting small prepares you for the bigger challenges that come with running your own business. Also beginning with small business risks and working your way to larger and larger ones helps you develop a sense of business and gives you insight and experience when it comes to running a company.
And as small starts go, you can’t go any smaller than a thrift shop. Thrift shops go by a lot of names: resale shop, consignment shops, second hand stores but they all operate under the same principle of selling used, second hand items.
Resale shops or thrift shops are an ideal startup business because there is little capital to be invested. You will earn quite a small amount but what you earn in experience and insight is far more valuable.
Here are a few tips when starting up your resale shop:
- Develop an eye for bargains. You can build up your stock of merchandise if you have a great nose for bargains. Go through garage sales all over the place so you can stock up on items you may sell in your thrift shop.
- Become good at haggling and negotiations. Since you’re buying up stock of things people don’t want anymore, try to get them at a good price. Develop strategies in haggling for prices so you can get them at reasonable prices and still turn a profit from their sale. The basic capitalist principle is to buy low and sell at a profit.
- Scout your area. Before selecting where to set up shop, find an area where yours will be the only thrift shop / resale shop around. Nothing dilutes the market more than having too much competition in your area.
- Scout the competition. If the area has other thrift shops or second hand stores, see what kind of stock they’re carrying. Take note of what they specialize in and the kind of stock they carry and specialize in something else. If you offer something that the other stores don’t carry, you will corner the market.
- Specialize on certain items. One edge you can have on the competition will be specializing on certain items. Most thrift shops carry something of everything but in limited stocks and choices for the customer. The more specialized you are with specific items, the more choices your customers can have and the better your store’s reputation will become.
- Become helpful to your customers. The more warm, welcoming and helpful you are to your customers the better their shopping experience will be and the more likely they are to refer you to their friends. Some investments go beyond monetary ones.
You won’t be turning Trump profits in a resale store but if you follow the suggestions above you should do well for yourself even with a thrift shop.