This is a collaborate post by Ellie Jo with business tips.
If you are wanting to go into business, in something like the food or retail sectors, then you might think that you need to have a physical brick and mortar store. While this can be true for many business owners in those industries, there are other options for you. Having a brick and mortar store gives you a physical presence, but it does mean a lot of up-front costs, with rent and utility bills. So what other options are there, and can they be made into a success? Here are some things to think about, to get your mind looking into other ways of doing things that could be more affordable.
If you only want to have a store at certain times of year, perhaps with an online presence the rest of the time, or from your home, then a pop-up store can be a great idea. Using a set location, visitors can visit your store for a limited time, whether it is to buy certain pieces of clothing or collect some cupcakes. It could be that you just rent out a store front for a week, or put up a gazebo and run a pop-up in that way. Either way, it can be a good way to boost sales, clear some stock, or run a seasonal promotion to get new local customers.
If you are in the food industry, or want to be, then opening a restaurant may be a dream. But how about starting off with a food truck, to get a loyal following first, and then going from there? A food truck means that you can move from location to location, and be hired out for specific events too, like festivals, parties, school events, or sports games. It can be a more affordable option for a startup compared to starting a whole new restaurant. Taking payment can be simple too, as long as you get the right payment processing equipment for food trucks, as it would need to be wireless. So it could definitely be something to consider.
Pay close attention to the food you’re serving. You’ll be considered a food handler. In some states you need to go through appropriate training to be able to work with food the right way, following all safety ruled and regulations. Once you complete the training you’ll be provided with a food handler certificate, which can be included in the pile of all the licenses and permits you need to operate your food truck.
From food products to clothing and accessories, you could choose to make your business just by having an online store. There are a number of successful businesses that have had success being online only, even just social media only, so it is definitely something to think about.
You can keep your costs low, and as long as you have an efficient supply and delivery chain, you won’t even need to have that much stock in. Be sure you have a good point-of-sale system.
If you are making things from home, then you can make them as and when requests come in, so it can be affordable and successful.
Business from Home
In a similar way, you could run a store from your home, where people can come to collect items from you, rather than having to collect from a brick and mortar store. Home baked goods businesses often use this model, advertising on social media or with a website, and then arranging for people to collect from their home. This could only be for local people, but with enough of a loyal following, it could be the success that you need it to be.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.