How to Start a School Supply Store
In order to start a brick and mortar school supply store, you would need these basics: a great location, a suitable budget, and a reliable whole supplier. In order to start the same kind of business on an online set-up, you would also need a suitable budget and a supplier. However, launching a business like this needs its own website and its own marketing strategy because the market base is too wide. It also needs the implementation of a payment scheme, plus a reliable delivery and shipping system.
You feel like a kid walking into a candy store.
That is how some people feel like when they go into a well-stocked, attractively decorated school supply store. As a potential school supply store business owner, you would want your customers to feel that way; this will actually ensure you that your customers will return to your store time and time again. So how do you go about it?
A school supply store can be a brick and mortar business and it can be an online business. For the sake of discussion, we will first try to tackle setting up a brick and mortar school supply store.
As a legitimate business venture, you may want to find a suitable place to set up shop. Location is a large variable when it comes to your store’s success, so choose wisely. A store near schools, campuses or training facilities guarantees that you have walk-in customers during store hours. Otherwise, you just may spend too much time and effort trying to beef up the foot traffic to your store – which may cost you a lot in the end. Setting up your store in a location where there is a high amount of foot traffic can also work to your advantage; these places include the malls, permanent fairs, expo / exhibit centers, etc. Only when you have chosen your “desired” spot can you actually apply for business licenses and permits. These should be prominently displayed in your store, preferably on the wall behind the cash out counter is located.
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Secondly, you should check your finances. Budget is important in this kind of business. Overhead expenses should include such basic necessities like supplies, store décor, physical structures for displays, rent, utilities, staff, security, etc. Your budget also dictates what kind and the volume of the supplies you can order in and sell. You should also set aside a specific amount of money for decorating purposes.
The third thing to check off your list is to actually get a wholesale supplier for all the stuff that you want to sell. There are different suppliers for different things of course. One of the things you need to do in order launch a successful school supply store is to watch out for trends. Although a school supply store needs these requirements: pen, paper, pencils, etc. - new trends in their production is usually a hit among young consumers for a certain amount of time. Flashing pens in neon colors may be the “in” thing for one season, and may be “out” in the next, for example.
Some school supply stores eventually branch out to different merchandises like pocket books, school books, school bags, etc. Unless you really have a large budget to back you up, these merchandises can wait until you can actually expand your store. One of the great advantages of having a school supply store is its potential for expansion. So don’t be impatient and try to cram as much merchandise in your store as possible. You will only lose more walk-in customers if they feel as if your space is too crowded.
On one hand, if you are trying to set up an online school supply store, you won’t need to find suitable location for your wares. You do, however, need to build your store’s own site and try to promote it as much as possible. Nothing defeats the purpose of putting up a store than a store that no has heard about. You need extra time and effort to launch a successful online school supply store, and make sure that it ranks high among the search engine results page or SERP. Your online store will also need your own list of wholesale suppliers.
But unlike the brick and mortar business, your online store would need an online payment scheme that works well and a shipping / delivery system that is more than reliable. Without these two, your business will not take off at all.
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