Explore options before going retail


A store usually comes to mind when aspiring entrepreneurs picture their own small business. While retail may be in your future, it’s important to consider all of the options to sell your wares.

Online store. Internet retail masters such as eBay, Amazon and Staples move millions of products each day. Advantages to selling online include lower inventory costs, fewer overheads, a worldwide marketplace and a storefront open 24 hours a day. Research your target market to determine whether or not your preferred customers will buy from you online.

Mall kiosk. Most major shopping malls offer middle-of-the-aisle kiosks for rent. Rather than set up a permanent shop, consider renting one for weekends or during the busy holiday season to move your products.

Distribute wholesale. You will reach a larger number of customers by wholesaling your products to existing retailers.

Consumer shows and bazaars. Compare retail costs to renting temporary booths at consumer shows (such as the popular One Of A Kind Craft Show), established bazaars (such as the Pickering Flea Market or St. Lawrence Market) or area “flea markets.”

Catalogues. Print a large quantity of glossy catalogues or booklets and send to a purchased mailing list. Take orders and ship your products.

Next to restaurants and bars, more retail stores fail than any other type of small business. Do your homework before rushing to open your shop doors.