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Retail Business

Antique Furniture Sales

Cut down on costs by selling antique furniture from home.
This Start-up Business Guide was developed in the USA. It is to be used as a guideline only. Aspiring business owners must conduct their own business research based on the local South African market in preparation for starting their own business.

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Business At A Glance

Antique Furniture Sales
Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

Starting a business that buys antique furniture and resells it for a profit is a terrific new venture to set in motion. The following information describes three various methods for starting and operating an antique furniture sales business.

The first option for starting an antique furniture sales business is to establish and operate the business from a home based location. This is an excellent way for entrepreneurs with limited investment capital to get into antique sales, then later expand the business from the profits earned. If this approach is taken, be sure to use any low-cost advertising media available in the local community for marketing the antique furniture, such as free penny-saver classified ads.

Additionally, spend time scouring flea markets and garage sales to locate antique furniture to resell. Providing you have the skills and equipment necessary, you can even offer customers antique furniture restoration service. There are two options for retailing antique furniture online. The first option is to purchase the items listed for sale on the site yourself. And the second option is to operate the website as a posting service for individuals and antique dealers to list their antique items for sale.

If you choose to promote and operate the website as an antique furniture directory, you have two methods for earning income. The first is to charge customers a listing or posting fee to feature their antique furniture for sale on the site. The second option is to retain a percentage of the revenues that are generated through furniture sales.

The third and most capital-intensive option for starting an antique furniture sales business is to open a retail storefront. This type of specialty retailing has the potential to generate very large profits for the owner-operator of the business. However, careful planning and research are required prior to opening the store. Key to the success of the business will be the location selected for the store.

Customer parking, street visibility, size and consumer demographics all must be carefully considered when selecting the location. In the spirit of being unique, consider a joint venture–perhaps with a store that retails new furniture or appliances. Joint ventures in retailing have many benefits, including shared operating overhead costs, joint cost-saving advertising and promotion campaigns, and the ability to draw from each other’s customer base.

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Retail Business

Lingerie Shop

Put a swagger in women’s steps by providing them with attractive lingerie.

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Business At A Glance

Lingerie Shop

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Heading into the new millennium, specialization is the buzzword forretail ‘bricks and mortar’ businesses, and opening a lingerie shop fitsthe bill perfectly. Get started by selecting a highly visible storelocation for your business.

Malls and strip malls are a good choice(though you’ll want to make sure there’s no “big name” competitors) andyou will only require less than 1,000 square feet, so the rent shouldbe reasonable. Next you will want to establish accounts with lingeriemanufacturers and distributors. Harness the power of the Internet tolocate these companies. The rest is pretty straightforward; you stockyour store and sell your products.

In addition to selling lingerie fromthe storefront location, also consider hiring sales consultants to hostin-home lingerie parties as a way to bolster sales and profits. Adirect mail campaign and mail-order catalog can also be used toincrease revenues. You can also specialize by stocking hard-to-findplus sizes, maternity lingerie and specialty items.

The Market

Your customers are women looking for lingerie and men looking to buytheir wives and girlfriends lingerie. (Though don’t leave the menout–you can also stock silk boxers and similar items.)

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Retail Business

Wine Shop

Drink to your health and to your business.

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Business At A Glance

Wine Shop
Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

Retailing wine can be extremely profitable, and this type of business can even be operated from a well-positioned kiosk located in a mall or market. In the right location, walk-in customers will keep you busy selling lots of wine.

But as a method to bolster sales and profits, also be sure to establish alliances with event and wedding planners, catering companies, and business clubs and associations as they can become a great source of repeat business.

Like any retail business, seek a competitive advantage, meaning offer your customers something the competition does not. Perhaps phone-in orders with free delivery or maybe a weekly wine tasting night. The ability to separate your business from the competitions’ often is the difference between business success or business failure.

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Retail Business

Lawn Ornament Sales

Will it be a tortoise or a hare? Why not provide both to decorate homeowners’ lawns?

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Business At A Glance

Lawn Ornament Sales

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Not only are lawn decorations easy to make,they’re also easy products to sell. Combining these two facts creates awonderful opportunity to start a business that manufactures and sellslawn ornaments.

The first step will be to purchase or make the moldsrequired for manufacturing the ornaments. The rest is verystraightforward: Simply practice making and painting lawn ornamentsuntil you’re satisfied with the finished product.

Next, you’ll be readyto start making money. Lawn ornaments are currently retailing in therange of $25 to $100 each, depending on the size and style of the item,and the profit potential is excellent as it only costs about $5 inmaterial to produce the average sized precast lawn ornament. The lawndecorations can be sold on a wholesale basis to retailers, or you cansell them directly to consumers right from your own front yard.

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