Homewares is a competitive market, but if you target the right customers and adopt a smart marketing strategy, there is no reason why you can’t build a successful business. Here are some tips to help you start a homewares business and turn it into a lucrative venture.
Online vs Offline
Starting an online business offers a number of significant advantages, the most obvious one being cost. At first glance, you might assume that opening a shop on the high street is a sensible move. After all, people love to see homewares in the flesh. They enjoy testing the softness of bedding from Threel or checking the colour of a towel to see whether it is right for their new guest bathroom. It’s difficult to do this online, plus you can’t assess the quality until you actually have a product in your hand.
However, the biggest disadvantage of opening a brick and mortar store is the cost. Renting a shop, fitting it out, not to mention property taxes and utility bills – all of these things add up. The extra cost of starting a brick and mortar retail business is tremendously off-putting to a new entrepreneur when they can start an online business with a minimal capital outlay.
This is your biggest advantage. You can get your business off the ground with very little cash. Online businesses have far lower overheads, so you can keep your prices lower. This will allow you to compete with larger homeware retailers. You might not be able to carry the same level of stock, but at least you can beat them on price for some of your items.
It’s a sensible idea to start small and get a good feel for how the business works. Homewares is a huge niche, so drill down and find an area to invest in and make this your starting point. For example, you could begin by investing in end-of-line bedding sets and selling these on eBay. It’s a great place to start and as long as you don’t pay too much for your stock, you should have no problem making a profit.
Once you have built up a good reputation for providing great products and excellent customer service, branch out and expand your inventory. Search for new stock via portals such as Alibaba. It’s easy to buy in stock from suppliers in China and ship it to your home country for very little.
Build a Brand
Work on building a customer base and expanding brand reach. Send out updates to your existing customers and target them with special offers and discount codes. Use social media to build new relationships. Social media is a powerful tool, so encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews on your Facebook page.
In time, you can branch out from eBay and Amazon and build your own online store. Put effort into creating an attractive online store and fill it with great content. Shopify and Magento are good places to start, or you can ask a web designer to build you a bespoke store.