Bridal accessory businesses offer headpieces, necklaces, earnings, evening bags and shoes to brides. When starting this type of business, it's helpful to have a plan. If you decide to have a physical location, you'll need to lease space. If you open an online store, you'll save on costs but miss out on foot traffic. You'll also need to create a promotional strategy that will drive business and generate revenue. Here's a guide to starting a bridal accessories business.
Determine if you'll have a physical location or an online store. Securing a physical location will require funds for leasing a space, building jewellery displays and purchasing inventory for store displays. If you decide to open an online store, you won't have the leasing fees but will need to maintain a website (which can cost up to £65 a month to host). Yahoo Hosting is a good option for those new to building a website because it provides easy templates; you don't need to learn html or special coding (see Resources).
Purchase inventory for your bridal accessory business. You will need to purchase bridal headpieces, necklaces, earrings, evening bags and shoes. You can contact bridal designers directly or use a wholesale company such as Bridal Accessories Wholesaler (see Resources). If you have a physical location, purchase at least one sample of each piece you plan on selling.
Determine a pricing strategy. Once you've selected the bridal accessories you want to sell, determine how you'll price your products. If you plan on selling high volume, take a small profit (around 20-25%), and if you want to charge a higher price (selling lower volume), charge more, about a 50% markup.
Apply for your business license. After you've secured your space, visit your city hall to apply for a business license. This will cost about £32 and takes a few weeks to process.
Market your bridal accessory business. Attend local bridal fairs and rent a booth; this will cost £195-$500, but you'll get access to thousands of brides planning to purchase in the next year. Also, build relationships with local wedding coordinators to drive business to your store. And don't forget to have a grand opening event for your store. Announce the event in community newspapers and hand out flyers to local catering and bridal consultants. Also, consider setting up an eBay store (see Resources) or advertising your products on Amazon. This will assist in driving traffic to your website, resulting in increased sales.
Compare start-up expenses. Starting a bridal accessory business can be expensive because of the inventory you'll need to purchase. But if you host an online store, you have the option of offering limited inventory and ordering on demand (which drives down start-up costs). If you need financing assistance for your business, check out the Small Business Association (see Resources) for financing options.
Don't forget to create a business plan. If you haven't created a business plan before, check out sample plans at Bplans (see Resources). Part of the business plan will be market research. How will you make your business stand out from the competition?