Paint stores are important contributors to the community and are essential to the success of other businesses in the area, such as those involved with construction or home renovation. A consistent demand for the products being sold and limited competition in the market combine to make a paint store is an ideal business for many people. If you are considering this option, simply follow these easy steps to learn open a paint store in your community.
1. Determine if the paint store you open will be part of a national franchise or if it will operate under a private brand. This is an important decision because it will have an impact on other business decisions you make, such as what wholesale supplier you will use. Sherman Williams and other national paint stores offer franchise opportunities. Becoming part of a franchise gives you more credibility, but also gives up control over some business decisions.
2. Write a business plan to guide you through the process of opening and running a paint store. Templates for paint store business plans can be obtained online and then filled out with the specific details that pertain to the business you will start. The plan should identify how your paint store will be managed, what the policies will be, what the advertising plan is, the staffing considerations and anything else required in order to open and operate your paint store.
3. Create a budget for your paint store so that you can accurately identify the capital requirements for your business. Using the information in your business plan, itemize all of the items that will be needed to run your business. Items such as rent, utilities, supplies, salaries and advertising costs should be accounted for in detail. Once the costs have been identified you will know how much money is needed to make your paint store a reality. Many people like to make a three-year budget to show the actual operating costs, since the first year will have added start up expenses that are not needed in subsequent years.
4. Find the starting capital to open your paint store. Once your budget is complete and you know how much money is required to start and operate the paint store, you can form a plan of raise that money. Personal loans and credit cards are the primary source of funding for many new businesses, but may not be enough if you want to have a large paint store. Taking on a financial partner is another popular option. It is difficult to obtain a business loan for a new paint store, so alternative financing methods will need to be available. Look at what resources are realistically available to you and determine the best way to raise the funds you require.
5. Find a location suitable for your paint store. Leasing the right location is an important decision for any business. Although a paint store does not require the most high-end retail location, you do still want it to be in a place that is easy for customers to find. A place that has a decent flow of existing traffic is also preferred, since it will help people notice your business who may not have otherwise been reached by your advertising efforts.
6. Renovate the location that you chose for your paint store. This will include installing appropriate signage outside, making sure there is ample lighting, applying fresh paint to the walls. Give careful planning to the layout of the isles during this phase. The layout of the shelving that stores and displays your products can either maximize or minimize the amount of available space in your store.
7. Establish a supply chain and obtain the starting inventory for your paint store. The supply chain is vital to the success of your business because it is how you will get the products to stock your shelves. If you elected to become part of a national franchise, then the franchise itself will be the supply chain because you will buy everything from them. If you are not part of a supply chain then you will need to locate wholesalers to buy paint and painting supplies from.
8. Hire the staff the will work in the paint store. Cashiers and shelf stockers make up the majority of the staffing requirements. It is beneficial to also hire a manager that has experience working in a paint store, even if you want to handle a lot of the management duties yourself. Most positions in a paint store require no experience, although prior experience operating a cash register may be helpful.
9. Develop an advertising strategy to announce the opening of your paint store. These businesses generally have a localized market, so local advertising in the immediate area of the paint store will yield the best results. Local newspaper and radio advertisements typically generate the best exposure for your advertising dollars. You may also wish to mail something to contractors, decorators and others who may be in a position to make large purchases frequently.