Wondering how to start a lamp shop? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Creating a Lamp Shop Marketing Plan
Marketing is a fundamental startup business skill. Unfortunately, many new entrepreneurs aren't equipped to address the nuances of marketing products -- including lamps and lighting products -- in today's marketplace.
The first step in effective marketing is to create a marketing plan for your retail lamp operation. Your plan should include detailed descriptions of your business, your target audience and the methods you will use to connect with lighting customers.
It's also important to include a marketing budget in your plan. When resources are limited, every dollar you spend on unplanned and uncoordinated marketing investments is a dollar wasted. But by creating targeted marketing goals and investing accordingly, you can stretch your dollars and generate meaningful traffic for your lamp shop.
Lamp Shop Set-Up Tips
Brick-and-mortar lamp retailers are constantly working to strike a balance between product variety and in-store display opportunities. Although it's important to create attractive lamp displays for your customers, the sheer quantity of options customers expect can easily create a cluttered, in-store shopping experience.
As a result, facility selection and store layout are overarching concerns during the startup and setup stage. If you plan to lease retail space, make sure the space is capable of accommodating your display concept -- and can be retrofitted to meet the electrical requirements of dozens of lamps and lighting fixtures.
The American Lighting Association (ALA) is the trade organization of the residential lighting industry in the U.S. If you're new to lamp and lighting retail, it may be useful to contact the ALA for retail lighting showroom ideas and display products.
Inventory Management Advice for Lighting & Lamp Entrepreneurs
Inventory management can often be the determining factor in the profitability of a lamp and lighting retail startup. Although it's important to have adequate supplies of your merchandise on-hand for your customers, excessive overhead can restrict cash flow and spell disaster for your startup.
A "just-in-time" approach to inventory can be tough to pull off for startup lamp shops. However, an inventory management system that features inventory tracking tools, accurate order lead times and turnaround time estimates can dramatically improve your cash flow while ensuring the seamless supply of products to your customers.
How to Create a Winning Lamp Shop Business Plan
If you've done your homework, you already know that writing a business plan is the most critical thing you can do for your company.
Although it might seem like an unnecessary formality, your lamp shop's business plan is a document that will shape your goals and strategies on a go-forward basis.
Here's something else you should know: Business plans help prevent key startup mistakes. If your business plan includes accurate industry metrics and conservative forecasts, your business will be less vulnerable to market fluctuations and catastrophic surprises.
Is a Local Customer Base Enough?
Startup lamp shops rely on local customers for the majority of their business. To diversify beyond local customers, consider locating your business near hotels, tourist attractions, airports or train stations. If this is an option for you, it may allow you to diversify your customer base to include more than just your loyal local customers.
Investigate the Competition
Before you open a lamp shop within your community, it's a good idea to determine what the competition looks like. Use the link below to generate a list of competitors nearby. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of lamp shops near you.
Is the local market large enough to support another lamp 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 lamp shop, be sure to learn from folks who are already in business. If you think owners of nearby lamp shops will give you advice, think again. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
Fortunately, somebody who runs a lamp shop in a location that is not competitive to you can be a great learning resource for you, as long as they don't view you as a competitive threat. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. If you are persistent, you can find a business mentor who is willing to help you out.
How does one go about finding somebody who runs a lamp shop that lives outside of your area?
Simply, try our helpful link below, type in a random city/state or zipcode, and start calling.
Should I Buy or Launch a Lamp Shop?
Unfortunately, many inexperienced lamp shop entrepreneurs approach ownership with the mistaken idea that a startup is their only option when they could also pursue a business acquisition.
Except for scenarios that require extreme innovation or highly unique value propositions, it's usually less risky to buy an existing lamp shop.
An acquired lamp shop is a known quantity; a startup is less certain because its forecasts depend on estimated outcomes. In a best case scenario, you'll be able to locate a turnkey operation with proven profitability and a well oiled business model.
Consider Buying a Franchise
The chances of doing well with your venture go up significantly when you choose to franchise in lieu of doing everything yourself.
If you planning on starting a lamp shop, you should check out whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might make your life much easier.
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.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing lamp shop, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to lamp shops, this isn't the right place for you. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.