For moms who would love to have their own business, retail business will be a good one to look into. According to an article on Forbes, “Women are becoming more entrepreneurial. Women own 36% of all businesses, according to the 2012 U.S. Census ‒ a jump of 30% over 2007.”
Women are braver and bolder than ever, turning entrepreneurship as a solution to a problem, rather than capitalizing more on the wants of the consumers. Marija Mikolajczak first broke into the world of wears when she had a problem finding beautiful clothing to get for her baby. Regular baby clothing was scarce around her, which made her start making cloth for him, and discovered that other people have the same issue of getting cute clothes for their baby which encouraged her to start EC Wear.
If a woman like this can start her clothing company, nothing should stop you from starting yours also. This article should provide you with the details on how you too can kick off your retail shop or online business. We will walk you through the product you can sell, right location to be selected, how to fund your new business, and other steps to make your business a success.
What are you going to sell?
Your products determine your business and are the identity of your business, so how to do you go for the right one?
There are things you should be concerned with when deciding on what to sell.
Your Interest. While you won’t know all about what you want to sell, but at least having an interest in it is fine. Retail is competitive on its own, so don’t complicate it by going for what you won’t be passionate about. So knowing more about your product will help you make more practical decisions like the best suppliers and price to peg those products.
Your hobbies should give you a clue. Your current job or challenges you are facing at the moment can give you idea of what to offer. Also the demand for a product can give you an indicator of what to offer for sale. A magazine that is related to your product of interest will surely give you a clue of what is selling or likely products that will sell.
One entrepre-mom, Nicky Laatz, earned 1 million dollars just selling fonts and other designs. She’s a graphic designer from Cape Town in South Africa. Her strength is in graphic design, so she’s continuously working on improving her craft so she can offer more than what she is currently selling.
Look at the market and check the competition
Since you have already decided the line of product to go for, what you will do next is to conduct a market research of the target market and see the likely competitors. All you will see from here is the likely opportunities and risk involved in the business.
- Market data. How big is that your target audience and how is it growing. Those are the basic data you should be looking for. And you can get those answers from magazines that feature those products, research institutes and research hubs.
- Target Market. Who will be your customers? What are they like? Are they really in need of the product you are into? How much will they offer you for your products? The best answers to these questions will help you position your products better in the market.
- Who are the people offering that same product? Knowing these people will enable to allow you to know how to create better offers.
Find a Perfect Location for Retail
Location is critical to your business success, so finding a suitable place to site your business is a big task. Based on your target market, that should give you the best place to site your store.
The best way to decide this is to check where your competitors are.
- Find stores for lease. Once you have decided the city or town that will be suitable for your store. Get in touch with the owner and ask for the pictures of such stores, if it will be ok for your business.
What is your Budget?
To start your online store or retail store you need to project how much will really help you to get started.
- Estimating how much you will need. The first thing you should do is to have a rough estimate of how much will help you start. From staffing, utilities and other materials like furniture, office euipment, computers, POS, Taxes and tools you will be using for the business. It is always better to estimate higher in case of uncertainties.
- How do you get funds? Your fund can be from your personal saving, credit card and angel investors.
- Are you prepared for a physical store? Having a physical store is every businesswoman’s dream. However, if your revenue cannot handle the operating costs of running a physical store, you can always opt for an ecommerce platform or a website. Shopify is a great ecommerce platform for those interested in opening their clothing store. There are more ways to sell online; Amazon and eBay are the best marketplaces to start.
Doing Business in Your Area
You should understand what guides the business in your area. These are Taxes and government rules on your business. You will need graphic designers and other employees to help you run your store effectively.
Facing the Real Challenge of Online Businesses
Just like every business, retailing has its own challenges also.
You will be putting a lot of investment into the business and won’t get a return as fast as you may want. Some stores take a year or more before you can have a return on your investment, so you should be prepared for sacrifice in building a successful online store or retail store.
My questions are:
- Why do you want to start your own business as a mom entrepreneur?
- Are you willing to continue even if it means losing all your investment?
- Are you willing to delay gratification to make the business a success as a mom entrepreneur?
- Are you willing to work 12-hour days including weekends and holidays for the sake your business?
Did these questions baffle you? Are you now having second thoughts? Does this challenge you, instead of putting you off the game? Having a business, whether online or offline has its own unique set of challenges. There’s no fail proof way to manage a business.
Again, let Marija Mikolajczak be our example. She is a mom entrepreneur who saw the opportunity and took it. The same goes to many other female entrepreneurs out there today. If having a business is what you can be truly passionate about, you can be sure you will strike it big if you put your heart into it.
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