This article includes our valuable ideas on starting an art supply store.
Art Supply Store Business Models
Art supply stores offer a wide range of business models for entrepreneurs who are eager to combine their interest in art with their desire to launch a profitable business venture. From online stores to full-service brick-and-mortar establishments, you can tailor your business model around your personal and business goals.
To determine which business model is right for you, we recommend that you get involved with the International Art Materials Trade Association (NAMTA) and other trade organizations to learn the current trends in the art supply world and to identify the models that have been implemented by other art suppliers.
Targeting the Child/Youth Market for Art Supplies
Kids and teens represent a sizeable chunk of the art supply market. By offering products and programs that are tailored to the children and youth market, you can gain a strategic position that will inevitably result in more revenue and a greater share of the total marketplace.
More importantly, the development of classes and special events for younger artists connects young consumers to your supply shop early in life. As their purchasing power increases over time, they will be more likely to exhibit loyalty to your brand.
Beyond the Startup Stage of an Art Supply Shop
If you art supply store is successful, your attention will eventually turn to the possibility of business expansion. Art supply stores typically employ a handful of strategies to increase their market footprint and bottom line profits:
- Multiple Locations. Brick-and-mortar stores often expand by adding locations in new geographic territories. Although the financial risk of adding a new site is high, so are the potential rewards -- if you're successful you could double the size of your company in one move.
- Specialization. Sometimes general supply stores expand by going deeper in a specific product category. In exchange for a minimal financial investment, it's possible to leverage specialization to dominate a segment of the larger art supply market.
- Scaling. The easiest way to expand an art supply store is to scale up your existing operation. This can be accomplished through a variety of cost-effective techniques included increased store hours, a larger product catalog, a professional marketing campaign and additional classes or special events.
Best Art Supply Store Business Plans
As a startup art supply store owner, writing a quality business plan is one of the first tasks you need to address.
If time is scarce, business plan software can be used to streamline the process. A business plan software solution is an effective tool for time-strapped art supply store owners who understand the importance of a great business plan.
As an additional benefit, most business plan solutions are geared toward providing the information most commonly requested by lenders and investors.
Demographics of the Local Community
No art supply store in the area? It could be because the local demographics are not right. The U.S. Census data can tell you the social, economic, rage and age profile of the people in your community. That's a good starting point to learn more about your local demographics.
Prior to launching an art supply store in your area, it's a smart move to see how you will fit in the competitive landscape. We've provided the link below to help you find competitors nearby. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of art supply stores near you.
Is the established competition doing a good job? It's important to understand their strengths and weaknesses and think through how you'll stake up against those established businesses.
Learn from Others Who Are Already In This Space
If you are seriously contemplating launching an art supply store, you really ought to learn from folks who are already in business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
Thankfully, an owner of a an art supply store on the other side of the country may be more than happy to give you a few tips, once they realize that you are not going to directly compete with them in their community. 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.
What's the best way to find an art supply store owner outside of your area who is willing to talk?
It's easy. Here's a link you can use to find a mentor outside of your area.
Acquired Art Supply Stores: Competitive Advantages
New art supply store owners have the potential to realize earlier profits and fewer headaches when they buy a an art supply store instead of starting one from scratch.
A business acquisition also delivers an established brand - a big advantage in competitive markets. Although it may cost a little more to buy an established brand, the payoff will be greater market penetration, customer loyalty and resale value.
In a competitive market, the right acquisition can be leveraged to catapult your business into a market leadership position, even if you personally lack industry credentials.
Consider Buying a Franchise
The probabilities on your doing well with your venture are substantially improved if you buy a franchise and benefit from the prior work of others and their lessons learned.
Before you get too far along in your plan to open an art supply store, you may want to determine whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might increase your chances of success.
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 art supply store, try these useful resources:
If you sell to art supply stores, you're in the wrong place. Try these resources instead:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.