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Retail Business

Carts and Kiosks

Don’t have a ton of startup capital? Consider a cart or kiosk business.

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Business At A Glance

Carts and Kiosks

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

Business Overview

Carts and kiosks today are upscale–and highly lucrative–ventures. Thedifference between a cart and a kiosk is that a kiosk is larger,enclosed and has space for you to sit while you work.

You can purchaseyour own cart or kiosk and have it custom-built for your merchandise,or you can rent one from a mall. And you can sell just aboutanything–from sunglasses to sunflowers, hot dogs to dog figurines,perfumes, personalized coffee mugs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, chocolatechip cookies and cooked-to-order health foods.

You can operate yourshop at a wide variety of locations–in a mall, at sporting andentertainment events, at flea markets, on busy downtown streets, attourist promenades, or where workers convene for meals or snacks. Theadvantages to this business are that it’s much less expensive to getinto than a traditional retail location, you can start part time if youlike, the earning potential is excellent, and if business gets slow atone location you can pick up and move to another.

You’ll need thestamina to stick to your post for long hours (especially if you’ll beoutdoors), a good working knowledge of retail operations and a flairfor attention-grabbing displays. You should also have an extrovertedpersonality because a large part of cart and kiosk sales is interactingwith passersby–making eye contact and offering a smile and perhaps aninvitation to examine your wares or sample your treats.

The Market

Who your customers are will depend on your products and location, andthe best way to earn their business is by stocking a clean, trendy,eye-catching cart or kiosk; looking clean, enthusiastic and cheerfulyourself; and doing the market research to place yourself in the bestpossible location. Think about where you’ll find people who’ll wantyour goods, then case the site at different times over a two-weekperiod to get a feel for traffic flow and customer demographics.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a resale license so you can purchase your productswholesale, and if you’ll be serving food, you’ll need a permit fromyour local health department. And if your cart or kiosk will followbehind your vehicle like a trailer, you’ll need a license for it.

Ifyou’ll set up shop in a mall or office building, you’ll need to getpermission from the mall or building manager. On a street corner, parkor event site, you’ll need an OK from city, county or eventauthorities.

Your minishop should be equipped with a cash register andadequate display or preparation space (if you’re making food) for yourproducts, plus any grills, refrigerators, freezers, steamers or ovensyou’ll require. You should also stock a stool to give your feet a rest;sales tickets and tags; and boxes, bags and papers for wrapping upmerchandise.

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Retail Business

Lighting Shop

It’s time to shine some light on your business startup.

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Business At A Glance

Lighting Shop

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

Business Overview

Upgrading or replacing interior lightfixtures has become a very popular home improvement project for manyhomeowners simply due to the fact that this type of improvement isrelatively inexpensive and can have a beneficial impact on theappearance of their homes.

Starting a business that sells interior andexterior lighting products is a wise choice for a new businessenterprise. This sort of retail operation does not require a lot offloor space and as a method to reduce start-up costs you may evenconsider forming a joint venture with an established retailer in yourcommunity.

Good matches for this type of retailing alliance wouldinclude a furniture store or paint and wallpaper store. Also be sure toinitiate a direct-mail marketing campaign aimed at architects,homebuilders, and interior designers, as they can also become customersor refer their customers to your store.

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Retail Business

Collectible Clothing

Bring back the vintage and retro styles of years past with a collectible clothing store.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Collectible Clothing

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

Business Overview

The value and popularity of collectibleclothing has been on a steady increase for the past decade, and thedemand for collectible clothing from the 1940s to the 1970s shows nosigns of diminishing.

Starting a business that sells collectibleclothing from a retail storefront location is a fantastic businessventure to set in motion. The profit potential for a retailer ofcollectible clothing will vary based on factors such as operatingoverheads, volume of sales, etc. However, a markup of at least 100percent should be maintained, and a higher markup on rarer collectibleclothing items is certainly not out of line.

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Retail Business

Newsstand

Outdated, you say? In spite of online media convergence, classic print newspapers will never grow old.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Newsstand

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

Business Overview

In spite of the popularity of Internetnewsgroups and news Web sites, the good old-fashioned corner newsstandis here to stay. In fact, the arrival of the Internet has onlyincreased the public’s desire for information’electronic or print.

Starting a newsstand retail business requires getting in touch with oneof the many distributors that carry just about every kind of magazine,publication, and newspaper you can imagine, and so building allianceswith hundreds of publishers is not required.

Additionally, mostdistributors of publications in every form have a buy-back policy,meaning that once the publication is out of date it is returned andthere is no charge levied for it. The key to a successful andprofitable newsstand business is diversification; the business shouldalso provide customers with product selections such as lottery tickets,cigars, and snack items.

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