A window blind retail business can be set up at a relatively low cost. This business involves visiting prospective customers in their homes, measuring their windows and helping them choose fabrics from your range of samples. When you take an order you simply send it in to a blind manufacturer who offers a trade supply service. They will make up the blinds to your specification and send them to you. You then return to your customer to fit the blinds and collect payment. There is no stock to hold as you are supplying bespoke products, custom manufactured to your customer’s requirements so you only purchase stock when you have an order.
You should also expect to collect deposits from customers which means that you should cover your purchase costs before placing your orders, giving you a very good cash-flow situation. To start this business you will need a range of samples to show people. These can be purchased from a trade manufacturer. You could actually ‘beg’ a few free samples, however it’s much better to have professionally produced swatches at least rather than scrappy bits of fabric. A set of samples can cost up to £200 however there are options available where you can get a starter set for around £50 and trade up later as your business gets established.
You will also need a few tools for fitting, a good drill, a hammer, screwdrivers and a small stepladder are essential pieces of equipment. Another thing to consider is how to promote your new business. Local newspaper advertising works well however this will add to your start-up costs. You could also print leaflets and deliver these yourself as a low cost alternative to get you started. Fitting most blinds is a simple task and can be done by anyone with a basic knowledge of DIY, if you choose your trade supplier carefully they should be able to offer you any advice and guidance you need on the fitting. Generally the window blind retail trade operates on a gross profit margin of about 40% – i.e. you double your VAT exclusive trade buying price. With the correct approach and marketing you could expect turnover of £100000 plus a year.