Sharpening knives as a business idea is novel. You really need to be a knife aficionado to have the knack for it. Apparently, there are a number of success stories involving those who devoted their entrepreneurial skills to this exciting venture. Here are some options so you can effective manage your own business sharpening knives:
1. Aid yourself with a reliable knife-sharpening machine. The most popular is "Sharp Shop Machine". Invest on purchasing one for your business.
A "Sharp Shop Machine" is easy to handle. Begin by carefully going through the instructions. Ensure that you understand them well. Then, get your "guinea pigs". Go a nearby thrift store. Buy as many knives as you can. But don't overdo this. Allot a budget to be safe. Anyway, just get the cheaper ones. Prefer those that are priced under $1 only.
Enrich your know-how on knife quality. Start with the cheapest ones from the lot of knives that you bought. Strictly following the directions, sharpen one piece. After some time, check if you have properly sharpened it. Get a piece of paper, preferably a receipt. Position the base of your newly sharpened knife on top of the receipt. Then, following a smooth fashion, pull down the knife. If it has been sharpened, it should cut clean.
2. Speed is critical. Aside from "perfectly" sharpening your clients' knives, you should also aim to do the job faster. Most of your clients are going to drop by to ask for your help. And most of the time, they expect you to do it in a dash. So, what's the practice plan? If you have already attempted sharpening between 30 and 50 (cheap) knives and you have successfully avoided damaging them, then, you are up for the next level. Call your friends and co-workers. Ask if they want their knives to be sharpened for free. This gives you the chance to improve on your sharpening speed without spending additional money. And as you practice, you also get the chance to advertise your new business - for free. If you are good, then, the word of mouth should bring in more customers in the future.
3. Get your business license. Policies vary from state to state. Visit your local government office to know what permit you need to seek.
4. Go around and sharpen knives. Don't content yourself waiting for clients to come over your shop. See the on-going events listed in your local classified ads. Find out if there are swap meets or garage sales in the area. You can also target car shows, motorcycle rallies, and gun-and-knife exhibitions. Participate on those events. Inquire if they can allow you to set up your stand. Some may charge, others may not.
5. Target "big time" clients. Contact restaurants and food chains in your local area. Arrange if you can exclusively sharpen their kitchen knives. Schedule them when they don't have on-going events. You may lure them by sharpening a couple of their knives - free-of-charge.
And if you want your knife sharpening business to flourish, be reasonable with your pricing. Clients value quality service at affordable rate.