Wondering how to start a bead shop? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Bead Shops: Flexible & Versatile Small Business Startups
The arts and crafts industry is big business in the U.S. Each year, craft hobbyists plunk down more than $30 billion on craft supplies, equipment and in-store educational opportunities. Beading is one of the fastest growing segments of the arts and crafts market. According to a Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) survey, more than 40% of all crafters purchase beads annually.
That's good news for bead enthusiasts with a yearning to transform their hobby into an entrepreneurial career. With demand for beads going strong, bead retail is an extremely flexible form of arts and crafts entrepreneurism, allowing emerging small business owners to pick and choose from an assortment of revenue streams and market opportunities.
Why Technology Matters for New Bead Shops
Beading is a relatively simple activity that many hobbyists use to unwind from the complexities of everyday life. But the most sophisticated beading retail establishments are sophisticated operations that rely on advanced technologies to connect with buyers and distribute their products across a wide geographic range.
A good share of your bead shop's business will come from the local store traffic. However, neglecting to create a user-friendly ecommerce website is like leaving money on the table. By building a content-rich website with an online catalog and ordering mechanism, you can dramatically extend your operation's reach.
If you need assistance creating an ecommerce website for your bead shop, you may want to consult with a professional marketing firm that is experienced in ecommerce solutions for small business.
Managing Technology Costs in a Small Retail Bead Operation
Many aspiring bead shop owners are hesitant to fully embrace technology because they have limited startup resources. Let's face it . . . hardware and software solutions can be expensive, and if cash is tight, it's tempting to manage costs by simply reducing your technological footprint.
SaaS (Software as a Service) or web-based business solutions offer a more affordable way for small bead shops to fully embrace technology. Instead of buying solutions outright, you pay a monthly fee to access solutions online, eliminating the need for costly software and hardware upgrades.
Business Plans for Bead Shops
If you're like most startup business owners, there aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that's on your to-do list. Every task on your list is important, but writing a business plan is one of the things your bead shop needs to do ASAP.
Now here's the good news: You can minimize the amount of time it takes to write a business plan by buying business plan software. A reliable software solution will increase the accuracy and consistency of your business plan, dramatically improving its value to your bead shop.
As an additional benefit, most business plan solutions are geared toward providing the information most commonly requested by lenders and investors.
For the most part, bead shops target local customers. Your startup plan should start with gathering intelligence about the local community What types of people live nearby? Is the community ethnically diverse? Great demographic data can be obtained from the Census Bureau, so that is a good place to start any site location research project.
Look Over Competitors
Before you open a bead shop in your area, it's a good idea to find out how strong the competition is. Try our link below to get a list of local competitors in your area. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of bead shops in your town.
Is the local market large enough to support another bead shop? If not, you had better be sure that you are doing things much better than the competition.
Talk to People Who Are Already in the Business
As part of your due diligence on opening a bead shop, you really ought to talk to somebody who is already in the business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
Thankfully, an owner of a a bead shop in a location that is not competitive to you may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, given that you don't compete with them in their area. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How do you find a bead shop manager in another community?
Simple. Let your fingers do the walking by using the link below.
Acquired Bead Shops: Competitive Advantages
By acquiring an existing bead shop, you'll put yourself in a better position with lenders and investors than if you tried to fund a startup.
A business acquisition also delivers an established brand - a big advantage in competitive markets. In fact, many entrepreneurs pursue acquisitions for the primary purpose of buying an established brand.
Since your bead shop's ability to compete is largely indexed to your brand reputation, an acquisition strategy significantly condenses the amount of time it will take for your business to become a competitive threat.
Is Franchising the Right Option?
Your odds of doing well with your venture are higher if you decide to franchise and benefit from the prior work of others and their lessons learned.
Prior to starting a bead shop, you should investigate whether franchising might be worth investigating.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
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