Low Cost Brick and Mortar

23 replies
Any advice on how to get a low cost location for my business? I am selling home decor products and currently have a.booth in an antique mall. It is fairly inexpensive and I make a small profit after the booth rent monthly. I am trying to build a.customer base and then move to a brick and mortar. I have been looking at some storage unit places that offer small offices. Any advice.would be greatly appreciated.
#brick #cost #low #mortar
  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Check into a local mall that has a good amount of open spots. Once they tell you rent you counter offer way lower. Their choice keep it empty or rent to you.
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  • What about operating mobile with your cell phone, a tablet or laptop and some samples in your car? Drive to client's house, show them your decor products, make sales.
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    • Profile picture of the author Knowledgepa
      Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

      What about operating mobile with your cell phone, a tablet or laptop and some samples in your car? Drive to client's house, show them your decor products, make sales.
      Thats not a bad idea. I would still like a place they could shop in.
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      • Look around for a place close to your budget. Discover the rent amount then begin negotiating with the landlord for a deal. You may have to make this approach several times but if you persist you will prevail.

        LLS
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        • Profile picture of the author Knowledgepa
          Has anyone been through this stage before? Any changes you would have made?
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            You may want to try to rent space in a store with a lot of traffic. Just make sure it's a store that has customers that are like your customers.

            Usually you pay a small monthly rent. Maybe a percentage of sales, but not both.
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            • Profile picture of the author midasman09
              Banned
              My wife had a retail Antique Shoppe for many years after starting with a Mall Space.

              I did a number of things to make her successful. Maybe some of these can help you.

              Visitors received a "Browser Buck" when they entered. This was $1 Off ANYTHING!

              Buyers were given a "Bee-Back" Card which offered 10% off on their next purchase. (Back of Card also had 10% Off for any Card Holder for "Friends & Relatives")

              A large "Fish-Bowl" with a sign that said; "Drop your Business Card here for monthly drawing"! Gather emails and names & addresses. Build List and send notes of "New Items".

              Send PostCards (with photos of some items and 10% Coupon) to "New Movers" (Melissa Data)
              NOTE:
              This turned into a "Welcome" program I set up where other non-competing business & professional paid to be ON the postcard.

              Joined local Chamber of Comm. Placed Dis-Count Cards beside each plate b4 luncheons.

              These are a few ideas that come to mind. Now that we're in the "Internet-Age" you could take some digital pics of your items and make a video (I use PhotoStory3 by Microsoft) Find a good Keyword (HomeDecorInTown.com) and upload to YT and optimize by Ranking on 1st page of G for the KeyWord.

              Don Alm
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              • Profile picture of the author Knowledgepa
                That is some great information there! Thanks. I like the marketing strategies and will try them. I am just hoping to get a few loyal customers that would follow us if we move.
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      • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
        Originally Posted by Knowledgepa View Post

        Thats not a bad idea. I would still like a place they could shop in.
        Having had a lot of retail businesses if I was given the
        choice I wouldn't have a shop front if I could avoid it.

        Just the overheads of that can kill you.

        You have at minimum:
        # rent
        # staff (even if it's you, you have to factor in your hours
        keeping a retail location open for a significant number of hours)
        # shop fittings, stock etc etc


        If you can avoid that it's going to save you a lot of money and
        remember a healthy business is about net profit...not turnover.

        The housewife who is making an extra $200 a week working in
        her home selling cupcakes can be doing a whole lot better than
        many businesses on main street who are making a loss but
        doing $4,000+ turnover a week.

        When you have a retail location it's easy to make a bad loss
        even doing $4,000+ turnover a week.

        When you're avoiding overheads and putting your income into
        direct response marketing it's very easy to make a profit and
        very difficult to make a significant loss.

        Kindest regards,
        Andrew Cavanagh
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        • Profile picture of the author hometutor
          This won't help your situation but MAY get the creative juices flowing. One thing I mention in my book on Sneaky Advertising and Marketing Tricks is using storage facilities for office space. Very secure and other business do it thus you develop a network.

          The reason I did it was I realized after my second year of being in business how much money I lost from repeat business from those few people that insisted on coming to me instead of me going to them.

          Hmmmm Traveling office? Big ole Uhaul van. Just brain storming

          Rick
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        • Profile picture of the author Knowledgepa
          Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

          Having had a lot of retail businesses if I was given the
          choice I wouldn't have a shop front if I could avoid it.

          Just the overheads of that can kill you.

          You have at minimum:
          # rent
          # staff (even if it's you, you have to factor in your hours
          keeping a retail location open for a significant number of hours)
          # shop fittings, stock etc etc


          If you can avoid that it's going to save you a lot of money and
          remember a healthy business is about net profit...not turnover.

          The housewife who is making an extra $200 a week working in
          her home selling cupcakes can be doing a whole lot better than
          many businesses on main street who are making a loss but
          doing $4,000+ turnover a week.

          When you have a retail location it's easy to make a bad loss
          even doing $4,000+ turnover a week.

          When you're avoiding overheads and putting your income into
          direct response marketing it's very easy to make a profit and
          very difficult to make a significant loss.

          Kindest regards,
          Andrew Cavanagh
          This is exactly what I am afraid of happening. I am realizing that not all big businesses are making big money. I would rather keep it simple for a while. I also have been contemplating on the idea of getting an office in a storage facility as mentioned. I think I will stick to trying to get a customer base. I have been doing a few vendor events and I am kinda liking the mobile office idea
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  • Profile picture of the author rodsav
    Flea markets and festivals in your state.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    Buy a nice sized cube/step van and make it into a mobile sales room. You can then go to festivals, flea markets, retail locations, businesses and do home parties. They are cheap enough and can look nice w/ a vinyl wrap graphics package.
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  • Profile picture of the author pingsters
    Banned
    Get a cheaper but strategically located place.The place should be well accessed by your targeted clients.
    Invest more in marketing than the hardware part of it.
    This way,rest assured,you will make good business
    Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author Knowledgepa
      I am finally turning a profit!!! Yes! After all of the failed ecommerce attempts, things are looking up. The booth is gaining sales and repeat customers and we have been invited to a few events to be vendors. I am also thinking of hosting my own event. I need more marketing strategies to continue to keep a flow of customers. Any suggestions??
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    I would see if you can place your stuff, on consignment, in other stores.

    I don't really know what you offer, but the same people that buy your stuff buy other stuff.
    Think of what people will buy before they buy your stuff, and what they buy afterwards.
    Then, visit those places and work out a consignment and/or referral deal.

    JV with people. For example, realtors.
    Realtors could use your stuff to stage their homes, and your cards could be on a table in the home for the home shoppers.
    You could also rent your stuff, for staging, to realtors.
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    • Profile picture of the author Knowledgepa
      Originally Posted by vndnbrgj View Post

      I would see if you can place your stuff, on consignment, in other stores.

      I don't really know what you offer, but the same people that buy your stuff buy other stuff.
      Think of what people will buy before they buy your stuff, and what they buy afterwards.
      Then, visit those places and work out a consignment and/or referral deal.

      JV with people. For example, realtors.
      Realtors could use your stuff to stage their homes, and your cards could be on a table in the home for the home shoppers.
      You could also rent your stuff, for staging, to realtors.
      Great idea!
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  • Profile picture of the author Digital Traffic
    Are you selling new product or used?

    Flea markets are a great way to build your customer base. Make sure that every customer that buys your product is getting some form of advertisement from you so you can build a following. Put a flyer in every bag.

    I would work the flea market circuit hard and build your customer base from there.
    The cheapest route, but harder work because of loading, unloading and the weather.

    You can usually find flea markets running 7 days a week within an hours drive of most places.

    Consignment shops will allow you to show your products with low overhead, however, there's not many consignment shops that can give you the traffic you will need to make good money. You would have to consign in many shops.

    Strip malls and malls in this economy have tons of open store fronts.

    If you sell used merchandise, you will more often than not have to consider a strip mall, as indoor malls tend to require new merchandise only.

    Some strip malls and few indoor malls can be had for a percentage of sales. Approach them from this angle first. You would be surprised at how low you can get a store front for if you work hard enough. Many of them already set up with shelves and racks.

    If you are dead set on doing retail, tough nut to crack in this economy, I would find a strip mall location, 2000 to 3500 sqft, or more, with high traffic and set up a consignment shop where your products are the most prominent products in the store, and lease out extra space to other vendors to help offset the cost of the location.

    If you have any specific questions about malls or strip malls feel free to post them here, I've leased space in lots of them.

    I'm a flea market man from way back and that's the route I would go to start.

    Whatever route you choose, make sure you post your items on CraigsList and other free classified ads sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author Knowledgepa
      Originally Posted by Digital Traffic View Post

      Are you selling new product or used?

      Flea markets are a great way to build your customer base. Make sure that every customer that buys your product is getting some form of advertisement from you so you can build a following. Put a flyer in every bag.

      I would work the flea market circuit hard and build your customer base from there.
      The cheapest route, but harder work because of loading, unloading and the weather.

      You can usually find flea markets running 7 days a week within an hours drive of most places.


      Consignment shops will allow you to show your products with low overhead, however, there's not many consignment shops that can give you the traffic you will need to make good money. You would have to consign in many shops.

      Strip malls and malls in this economy have tons of open store fronts.

      If you sell used merchandise, you will more often than not have to consider a strip mall, as indoor malls tend to require new merchandise only.

      Some strip malls and few indoor malls can be had for a percentage of sales. Approach them from this angle first. You would be surprised at how low you can get a store front for if you work hard enough. Many of them already set up with shelves and racks.

      If you are dead set on doing retail, tough nut to crack in this economy, I would find a strip mall location, 2000 to 3500 sqft, or more, with high traffic and set up a consignment shop where your products are the most prominent products in the store, and lease out extra space to other vendors to help offset the cost of the location.

      If you have any specific questions about malls or strip malls feel free to post them here, I've leased space in lots of them.

      I'm a flea market man from way back and that's the route I would go to start.

      Whatever route you choose, make sure you post your items on CraigsList and other free classified ads sites.
      I am selling new products
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  • Profile picture of the author adeelhmd
    Why you are asking Low Cost Brick
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Get a kiosk in a store/mall that already has targeted foot traffic, otherwise you'll have to start out with zero traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author lewistrio2
    Try and sublease space from an existing business. Pick a non-competitive biz and if possible something complimentary. For example a home maintenance service like house painting or lawn care.

    You might solve your need for space an end up with a "marketing co-op" partner as a bonus.
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  • Profile picture of the author mert
    i would be considerably inexpensive if you hook up with interior designers in your locality. in this way you don't have to spend on rental and just wait for orders from the interior designers.
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