Virtually every home has small appliances (particularly electrical appliances). This creates a scenario where you have certain buying patterns in this regard that can inform your niching approach. You’ll find that there are always consumers who’ll be looking into buying new appliances. These can be those ones looking to replace old or worn out appliances. Whilst some can be those just starting their families and are kick-starting the journey of furnishing their homes. Then notice I did mention the wearing out aspect – this obviously points to a possibility that some can opt to get such appliances fixed. The other aspect is that of malfunctioning or damages; which both can warrant repairs and maintenances. The reason I’m saying all this is to make plain the immense potential engrained in this business. Here’s how you can start your own:
Premising on my opening remarks you can choose the business approach you want to employ. Broadly there are two angles to start this business from namely, focusing on the retail of new appliances (even refurbished or well-conditioned used ones) or the repairs and maintenance aspects. Retailing will most certainly entail setting up shop in a business area for convenience and visibility. Whilst the repairs and maintenance aspect can also entail setting up shop or can be done from home (or on-call). To broaden your revenue base it’ll be expedient, cost-willing, to blend the two approaches into one business. With respect to the retail approach, you can explore the possibility of representing a reputable brand or brands in the field of home appliances. This is akin to being like a franchise and is quite strategic in that you get to ride on the name of already established brands. Also on the retail front, if you can bundle that with deliveries and even installation services that can mean more revenue.
So you’ll need to have inventory to start off your business venture. The type and size of inventory you’ll start off with will depend largely on your niche, approach and financial standing. Then you’ll, of course, need the basic branding components and your digital images i.e. social media accounts and/or a website. You can even get fliers done to easily spread the word around. If you’re setting up shop in a business area you’ll need to rent space or room(s). If you’re operating from home you can explore ways of transforming a strategic space or room(s) into a professional working area.
Your human resources needs are largely determined by your approaches and scale of operations. Plus, the endeavour to keep costs at bay will also influence your decisions in this regard. However, there will be human resources costs to be incurred come what may because technical expertise is required. This can only be limited or eliminated if you yourself actually have related certified technical expertise. In some cases, depending on what needs to be done, you could opt to outsource rather than hire full-time. Even doing referrals (when you don’t have the required expertise in-house) can also be a good strategy that can earn you commissions – such arrangements can be enacted.
A substantial amount of money is needed despite whichever approach you choose to focus on. I would posit that the repairs and maintenance aspect is the one that can be started with very minimal costs. Which means one could consider focusing on repairs and maintenance first then build up capital to steadily scale up into retail. It’s up to your discretion to see which methodology works best. Never let capital be an excuse for not starting the business you desire – think dynamically.
The market is quite segmented but vast all the same. Your branding, approaches and marketing efforts will go a long way in determining how much market share you’ll acquire. Again, never let the illusion of a saturated market drown your motivation to start this business. Creative and innovative business strategy can always lead to market dominance despite competition or any other factors.
Registration of the business is important for you to be a recognised legal entity. I always advise checking with local authorities just in case – especially when operating from home. Depending on the scale of operations and the nature of services you choose to offer you might want to get insurance. The other crucial issue is to ensure you’re certified in whatever field of appliances you’re majoring in. If that’s not possible then hiring certified personnel is most advisable. Appliances are technical objects that require expertise so guesswork won’t cut it. The repairs or maintenance aspects will require in-depth knowledge of the appliances in question – user manuals must be thoroughly consulted.
Brands of small appliances are plenty so it’s important to conduct thorough market research. It always positions you well to know which brands sell or are commonly used. Cultivate excellent customer relations as this line of business involves regular customer engagement. It’s also important to be well-read and abreast with the latest or emerging trends.