Are you interested in running your own business? Do you love chocolate? Perhaps you’d like to open a chocolate shop. Chocolate sells well all year-round, especially around Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries. Here are some tips on how to open a chocolate shop.
Write a business plan. Put your ideas and goals on paper. Include information about your business, such as what your business is, why you do it and how it will benefit others. Include your business name, location, goals, money you foresee making and the financing needed to start your business. Not only will a business plan be an outline for opening your chocolate shop, it will also be needed when you try to obtain financing.
Obtain financing. If you do not have the necessary money to start your business, you’ll need to seek financial help from banks or private investors. Be sure to provide them with your business plan. Banks and investors want to invest in a product that will sell and want to see a person with a plan of action on how to make that business succeed.
Obtain a business license. Once you have your business plan written and financing in order, make your business official. Visit your state’s business licensing office and find out what the requirements are for obtaining a business license. You may have to pay a fee and take a test to get your business license.
Find a location for your shop. You want to pick a location that customers will easily find. Try to avoid locations buried in residential neighbourhoods as exposure to people passing by will be limited. You also want to pick a location that has air conditioning so you can keep your chocolate supplies cool and prevent melting. If you are going to make homemade chocolates, you’ll need a location that has a food preparation area, including a sink and countertops.
Find chocolate suppliers. Figure out what chocolate products you want to sell. Do you want to specifically sell dark chocolate, milk chocolate or foreign chocolate products? Find suppliers and see if they offer a discount for purchasing chocolates in bulk. Determine if you will buy prepackaged chocolates or if you’ll make the chocolates yourself.
Hire employees. Your business will run more smoothly and be more successful if you hire employees. It will be difficult to do it all on your own. With employees, you’ll be able to work “on” the business, not just “in” the business. Get your employees involved with the initial set-up and decorating of the chocolate shop.
Set up the chocolate shop. You’ll need a computer, cash register, telephone and a glass display case for freshly made chocolates. Set up displays around the store with different chocolate products. Create a friendly and inviting atmosphere so customers will want to return in the future. Keep it cool but comfortable. Enjoy your new chocolate shop.