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Retail Business

Consignment Clothing Store

The low-cost way to start a clothing store–sell items on consignment.

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Business At A Glance

Consignment Clothing Store

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

The resale field is hot these days, with over 15,000 shops across thecountry and an industry association growth rate of 15 percent per year.So if you’ve got an eye for fashion, design and quality, and great buysmake your heart soar, then a consignment clothing shop or kids’consignment shop could be the business for you.

If you go thechildren’s route, you can specialize in toys or clothing, or both.You’ll take clean, well-cared-for garments or toys and display andmerchandise them for their owners, splitting the profits when you makea sale. Clothing consignors sell mostly women’s garments–along withaccessories like costume jewelry, belts and handbags–but men’sclothing is becoming increasingly popular as a resale item as well.

Because you’re taking the items on consignment, you don’t pay anythingfor your inventory until it’s sold, which makes this business ideal forthe startup entrepreneur. You price garments and other goodies, thenhave the owner pick them up if they don’t sell within a given period oftime. The advantages to this business are that it’s creative, yourstartup costs are small compared to most retail operations, and you getthe satisfaction of helping your customers get great buys for littlemoney.

The key to a successful consignment shop is an atmosphere that’sclean, fresh and fashionable, so you’ll need a flair for display andmerchandising. You should also have a good eye for current fashions andquality and the ability to properly price your merchandise so thatshoppers get the discount they expect and you and your consignees makea profit. To complement all this, you’ll need excellent people skills.

The Market

Your customers will be people interested in the type of merchandiseyou’ve got for sale–basically the same people who shop at regularretail outlets. The trick is to attract their attention and sell themon the benefits of shopping with you.

Besides routine advertisingmethods like local radio and newspaper ads, you can host fashion showsfor local women’s groups and hand out fliers in front of your shop. Ifyou’re located near a business district, you can also deliver yourfliers to offices in the area. And don’t forget ads–perhaps withget-acquainted coupons–in your local Pennysaver-type publication.

Needed Equipment

You’ll need a shop and the display furnishings to put in it–glasscases for jewelry, clothes racks, hangers and tables or shelves. You’llalso need sales tickets and tags, shopping bags and a cash register. Acomputer with an inkjet printer and retail operation software will be abig help but aren’t necessary for starters if you can’t afford them.

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Retail Business

Evening Gown Rentals

Turn women into Cinderellas for a night by renting them evening gowns.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Evening Gown Rentals

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Many designer evening gowns cost $1,000 ormore, placing them far outside the financial reach of many customers.This creates more than ample opportunity for the determinedentrepreneur to start an evening gown rental business, which can beeasily conducted from a home based location.

Marketing the business canbe as simple as creating a full-color catalog that features picturesand descriptions of the evening gowns for rent and distributing thecatalogs throughout the community where they’ll generate the mostinterest in the service.

Once established, an evening gown rentalbusiness should receive a vast amount of referrals from satisfiedcustomers, not to mention a lot of repeat business.

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Retail Business

Patio Furniture Retailer

Attractive, comfortable furniture can turn a patio into another living space.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Patio Furniture Retailer

Startup Costs: $50,000 – $100,000
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

All new decks and patios require one thingto complete them: patio furniture. A retail business that sells patiofurniture is a very easy business to initiate, as there are no specialskill requirements.

Patio furniture will pretty much sell itself,providing of course that the prices are fair and the quality isoutstanding. Worldwide, there are thousands of manufacturers of patiofurniture products, so securing a product line should not be difficult.

Additionally, consider stocking an inventory of locally made cedar orlog patio furniture, as traditionally wood patio chairs and tables havealways been excellent sellers. Marketing the business can beaccomplished by using all local print media, as well as by holding agrand opening sale to let potential customers know where you are andwhat products you stock.

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Retail Business

Safety Clothing Sales

Help employers keep their workers safe with boots, neon vests and other apparel.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Safety Clothing 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

Selling safety clothing and footwear on amobile basis to customers working in factories, at construction sitesand in warehouses is a great business to get rolling. The business canbe operated on a full- or part-time basis and managed right from a homebased location.

In North America, millions of dollars are spent everyyear by workers, companies and organizations to purchase safetyclothing such as vests, coveralls and work boots. Securing a smallportion of this very lucrative market can be as easy as securingwholesale accounts with manufacturers of these items, purchasing adelivery vehicle and creating a catalog featuring the items for saleand distributing it to potential clients.

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