Monday, August 27, 2012

Career Question: Opening a Teachers Store…Where Should I Start

I want to open my own teacher’s store, but I have no clue where to start. What would you suggest?

1st Thing – Determine your niche
This first thing is really important. You have to know what you will offer and who you will offer it to. Ask around. What do teachers need and want to buy? What of those things do you want to sell? Will you be a general store or specialize? Will you offer services as well as products? Know every detail of these answers and try to be as specific as possible. Being sure about this first thing will make your subsequent business decisions much easier. It will also make creating a mission statement and developing a vision much easier as well.

2nd Thing – Do your research and put together a business plan
During this first part of planning your business, you’ll be doing a lot of research. It may be helpful to keep a binder or multi-subject notebook with each section dedicated to notes for each part of your business plan. It will speed things up when you are ready to put your business plan together.

How will you handle:
  • Bookkeeping
  • Marketing
  • HR (if you will have employees)
  • Day-to-day operations
If you’re not sure how to develop a business, put together a business plan, or manage your own business…it’s okay; you can learn. If you don’t want to learn, that’s okay too; you can outsource, but I would still recommend to at least understand the basics of the tasks you’re outsourcing.

You don’t need to know the specifics of this second thing just yet because you’re just starting out, but you do need to know that these are things you will need to build into your business plan. Knowing the parts of a business plan will help you organize your research and your thoughts. Checkout this article for more on the parts of a business plan.

3rd Thing – Start looking for suppliers
Suppliers can have an impact on your day-to-day operations and other aspects of your business depending on their cost and merchandise availability, so technically it could have fit in with the 2nd thing (your business plan), but I felt the need to mention it separately. I wanted to highlight it because you should start thinking about suppliers as early as possible to ensure you find suppliers that you trust and are happy with.

Final Suggestion – Surround yourself with positive, supportive people
Starting a business can be overwhelming, even for people who have started multiple businesses. Surround yourself with positive people who support you and your goals. When you get discouraged or lose motivation, you will want people in your corner that can help get you back in the right mindset and back on track to reaching your goals.

So as a recap, to get started with your teacher’s store, I suggest you should:
  1. Determine your niche
  2. Do your research and put together a business plan
  3. Start looking for suppliers
  4. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people
I hope these suggestions have helped you Shanique. Good luck and stay motivated as you move forward with your ambitions!

#ShesaBoss and #theGB blog

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