Have you ever wanted to open your own thrift store? If so, you are not alone. The thing is, many people do not know where to start when it comes to this sort of business management. Although running a thrift store can be a lot of fun, there is significant planning that needs to go into a smooth opening. For example, consider these eight steps.
1. Create a Business Plan
Before you create your inventory and start investing in equipment such as a thrift store POS, the first thing you need to do is create a solid business plan. To start, think about where you want your business to go. Then, consider the steps that it will take to get there. Finally, write it all down. With your thrift store vision in front of you as a concrete business plan, it will be much easier to move forward.
2. Sign Up for an EIN
Next, you need to sign up for an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. To start, choose a business name and consider trademarking it. This will allow you to pursue financial opportunities such as business loans and it will also give your new business a better sense of identity. Having an EIN will also give you the ability to apply for business licenses and file your tax returns.
3. Register for Taxes
Speaking of taxes, the next step on your planning list should be to register for taxes. To do this, you will need to figure out what sort of business structure you want your thrift store to have. For example, it is common for people to create limited liability companies or LLCs, but you also have the choice of going a partnership or sole proprietorship route. If you are unsure how to proceed, talking to a tax professional can be helpful.
4. Fund Your Startup
After establishing the foundation of your thrift store’s legal and financial structure, you will then be able to start applying for business loans or credit cards to fund your startup. If you already have savings, that is often the best place to start, but many people do not have any sort of personal funding. For this reason, loans, grants and credit cards are common alternatives that many entrepreneurs find useful.
5. Get Your Licenses/ Permits
After you secure funds, you can start to that your thrift store will require. Depending on your location and the sort of merchandise you plan on selling, these can vary. In most cases, you will need a general business license and sales permits, but your location and local laws will determine other requirements such as zoning permits.
6. Open a Business Bank Account
Another benefit of having an EIN and all the necessary licenses in place is that doing so will allow you to open a business bank account. Even though you can choose to fund everything through your personal bank account, doing so is generally not best practice. The reason for this is that business finances can be complex, and if there are problems on either side in your personal life or business affairs, it can be wiser to keep them separate.
7. Invest in Technology
With finances and legalities aside, you are then ready to start investing in some of the more fun stuff such as technology. This is where online software and POS systems come into play. If you are unsure where to start, talking to other entrepreneurs in your industry can be helpful. In addition, doing some of your own research and talking to technology manufacturers can also be enlightening.
8. Get Business Insurance
After putting all this work into your new business, you definitely want to make sure you have insurance. Even with excellent planning, you never know when accidents or natural disasters might occur.
Opening a thrift store can be very rewarding, but it takes careful planning. By following these steps, you will be well on your way to successful business management.