Gift Shops - With and Without Walls

Written by Darren Hendricks

Continued from page 1

There are a number of factors to consider after you decide you want to open a gift shop of your own. A gift shop is a significant personal and financial commitment--- andrepparttar amount time and energy you put into your shop will be a big determining factor in your success. It is wise to have some marketing and sales experience under your belt before you take this big step.

TIP: Many successful gift shop owners started out by selling at swap meets!

LOCATION The first thing that usually comes to mind when choosing a location is to find one withrepparttar 146703 largest volume of customers and foot traffic. However, you must keep in mind that a high volume of foot traffic does not necessarily mean a high volume of foot traffic "in your store." If you choose a location in a strip mall near a large department store becauserepparttar 146704 parking lot is always full, you'll might find thatrepparttar 146705 majority of people in those cars are coming to that mall to go specifically to that large store, back to their car, and home again. Yes, you want foot traffic, but you don't want that traffic to walk past your shop ... you want it to come inside. After selecting several possible locations for your shop, do your homework by spending some time in each area. Watchrepparttar 146706 shopping patterns ofrepparttar 146707 people. Talk torepparttar 146708 other storeowners. Get a feel for what you might look forward to inrepparttar 146709 future. Malls are also viable spaces for a gift shop but check outrepparttar 146710 location ofrepparttar 146711 shop insiderepparttar 146712 mall. There are certain areas in malls that offer a great deal less traffic. These are usually less expensive, but make sure you weighrepparttar 146713 rent reduction againstrepparttar 146714 traffic flow.

SQUARE FOOTAGE AND DISPLAY ITEMS The square footage you will need depends upon what you intend to sell and what quantities you want to display and keep on hand in your storage area. Determinerepparttar 146715 space you need by visiting other gift shops. Ask their area measurements. Look atrepparttar 146716 display furniture and cases they are using. Calculaterepparttar 146717 amount of stock you would need to fill an area of that size.

BUSINESS LICENSE As with Kiosks, you will need a business license and a resale number. Again, these are issued byrepparttar 146718 city in which you are doing business, a fee is charged, andrepparttar 146719 license is usually valid for one year. Resale permits are required and are free. Check with your City Hall for more information on both these items. If you plan on opening your store in a regular retail area, you'll want to contactrepparttar 146720 storeowner for information about rental rates, utilities, etc. If you plan on opening in a mall, you will be dealing with Mall Management. Generallyrepparttar 146721 information we have given you earlier about Kiosks applies to gift shops, with a few exceptions. The fee structure will be different, and there will be a bit more freedom fromrepparttar 146722 strict rules set up for kiosk dealers.

MERCHANDISE AND VISUAL CONCEPTS You have much greater freedom in choosingrepparttar 146723 merchandise you'll be offering for sale at a gift store than you would a kiosk. Because of display and storage space limitations, kiosks generally mean you'll be dealing in smaller items. A gift shop offers yourepparttar 146724 choice of stocking larger items in greater quantities. Storage space is also a plus forrepparttar 146725 gift shop proprietor.

ADVERTISING Advertising a gift shop will be approached from a different angle than from that ofrepparttar 146726 kiosk proprietor unless you are operating your gift shop inside a mall. Malls have distinct rules about advertising onrepparttar 146727 premises andrepparttar 146728 Mall Management office will explain those. If your gift shop is not in a mall, or if it is and you wish to advertise apart fromrepparttar 146729 mall, you may use everything from flyers to ads in newspapers and on radio (or even television) to mailing lists. Investigate these thoroughly to find outrepparttar 146730 general return (buying customers) you will get forrepparttar 146731 money you spend.

Note: You usually cannot distribute flyers inside or outside a mall. You can, however, distribute flyers inside your mall shop to your customers.

Many forms of advertising can be expensive and some offer little return for your money. This is another case of doing your homework. Find out what other businesspeople near you have been doing and how successful they have been.

RENT AND FEES Gift shop sites can be leased as a temporary tenant (month to month) or leased for a year or more. Length of lease will depend onrepparttar 146732 agreement you andrepparttar 146733 landlord decide upon. If this is your first gift shop experience, a temporary tenant situation might berepparttar 146734 best option. This gives you a little breathing room so that you can get your feet wet inrepparttar 146735 business, see if you like it, see how successfulrepparttar 146736 location is and haverepparttar 146737 option to change anything that is not working for you without being stuck in a long-term lease.

Drawback: Being a temporary tenant meansrepparttar 146738 landlord can ask you to vacate, usually upon 30 days notice. On one occasion a gift shop owner was doing well and making money but was asked to move whenrepparttar 146739 landlord wanted another tenant inrepparttar 146740 space. In generalrepparttar 146741 fees for a stand-alone gift shop (a shop not in a mall) will include:

1. Base lease price

2. Utilities (mayor may not include telephone)

3. Security deposit

If you plan on hiring outside help, you will need to budget inrepparttar 146742 costs of employee wages and any benefits you might wish to offer.

Note: If you are leasing space in a mall, don't assumerepparttar 146743 Mall Management won't negotiate with you. Spaces that have been vacant for a while may be great candidates for negotiation.

INSURANCE Insurance is a necessity in to day's business world, and your local insurance carriers will give you information on both general liability insurance and property damage insurance andrepparttar 146744 rates available for both. If you plan on hiring outside employees, you will need to inquire at your State Offices for Worker's Comp Insurance rules and explanations of how they apply to your business.

CREDIT CARDS It is strongly advised that you haverepparttar 146745 ability to accept credit cards whether your are selling from a kiosk or from your own shop. This will entail contacting a company that suppliesrepparttar 146746 needed electronic equipment and hook-ups. The company will charge you a fee forrepparttar 146747 service and this fee, including deposits on equipment, will need to be added into your budget.

GET READY, GET SET. SELL! All ofrepparttar 146748 previous information may seem like a lot to deal with, but most ofrepparttar 146749 above is a one-time energy expenditure. Afterrepparttar 146750 initial securing ofrepparttar 146751 Kiosk or Gift Shop space,repparttar 146752 details of running your business will revolve around ordering and restocking inventory, keeping records and making weekly work schedules. It is at this point thatrepparttar 146753 fun ... and profit ... of being a shop owner begins

Darren Hendricks has been involved in marketing in one form or another since 1979. He has owned or co-owned 3 successful businesses. He currently owns Far Horizons Gifts & Decor and Far Horizons Home Based Business Program.

How To Find Investment Properties

Written by Steve Gillman

Continued from page 1

6. Talk to bankers. You might get a foreclosed-on investment property cheaper if you buy it before they list it with a real estate agent.

7. Offer someone a finder's fee. There are people that always seem to hear aboutrepparttar good deals. Have such people coming to you.

8. Eviction notices. If your local papers publish eviction notices, or if you can getrepparttar 146702 information atrepparttar 146703 courthouse, it can be useful. A landlord who just went throughrepparttar 146704 procees of evicting tenants is a likely seller.

9. Old FSBO ads. If you call on two-month-old "For sale By Owner" ads, and they haven't sold, they may be ready to deal. Owners often give uprepparttar 146705 effort, but still would love to sell. Help them out!

10. Put an ad inrepparttar 146706 paper. "Looking for investment properties to buy," might be sufficient to generate a few calls.

Steve Gillman has invested real estate for years. To learn more, and to see a photo of a beautiful house he and his wife bought for $17,500, visit

    <Back to Page 1 © 2005
Terms of Use