Are you interested in starting a wholesaling business or you are someone who is interested in the window coverings wholesaling industry? Do you want to become your own boss? If you answered yes to these questions, then you should consider starting a window coverings wholesaling business in your city.
Please note that if you intend starting this type of business, it is advisable to first look at the existing laws and zonal regulations in the country or state you reside in to know what is expected of you.
The bottom line is that you need to pay a visit to the regulatory body in your country to get all the information on what you need before you can legally open your window coverings wholesaling business in your city. You can start your window coverings wholesaling business from a small town in the United States and if you are good at what you do, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes nationally recognized.
20 Steps to Starting a Window Coverings Wholesaling Business
Table of Content
- Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Know Your Major Competitors in the Window Coverings Wholesaling Industry
- Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- Write a Marketing Plan Packed With Ideas & Strategies
- Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
- Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
- Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
- Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
Understand the Industry
The window coverings wholesaling industry is made up of businesses that serve as intermediaries between manufacturers and retailers of window coverings and related items. Basically, window coverings wholesalers purchase large volumes of window covering products, including curtains, blinds and draperies, for sale to retailers.
A recent research conducted by IBISWORLD shows that capital intensity for the Window Coverings Wholesaling industry is low. The report shows that for every dollar that industry operators spend on labor, they spend $0.05 on capital.
The industry’s capital intensity has been slightly exaggerated since the recession, as recovery in downstream demand has enabled wholesalers to be able to afford to rehire key personnel they laid off during the recession when profit margins plummeted. As a result, the industry has spent a disproportionate amount on wages in recent years, and the industry’s capital intensity has fallen accordingly. However, IBISWorld does not expect this trend to continue over the next five years.
The demand for industry products tends to move in line with activity in the housing market, since home furnishings in general are often purchased when consumers relocate. Over the five years to 2018, all measures of real estate activity have risen concurrently with consumer incomes, boosting demand for the distribution of window coverings.
On the other hand, the revenue growth will likely remain limited in the near future due to merchandisers negotiating directly with manufacturers. Large home furnishing chains and mass merchandisers fulfill a significant portion of downstream demand, and these giants have increasingly been able to buy in bulk and communicate directly with manufacturers for better prices, cutting out the wholesaler’s traditional role.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, the Window Coverings Wholesaling industry generates over $3 billion annually from more than 554 registered and licensed window coverings wholesaling businesses scattered all around the United States of America. The industry is responsible for the employment of over 4,073 people. Experts project the window coverings wholesaling industry to grow at a 2.9 percent annual rate. Please note that no single window coverings wholesaling business can boast of having a lion share of the available market in this industry; the industry is open for fair competition.
The window coverings wholesaling business will continue to blossom because people will not relent in ensuring that they cover their windows when they move into new apartments or offices. Good enough, there are no major players in the industry and there is still room big enough to accommodate aspiring entrepreneurs who intend opening their own business.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own window coverings wholesaling business could be that the business has low entry level requirement, it is a thriving business and the business is easy to set up and managed with minimal startup capital.
The window coverings wholesaling business is a profitable industry and it is open for any aspiring entrepreneur to come in and establish his or her business; you can choose to start on a small scale in a street corner like the average mom and pop business or you can choose to start on a large scale with several distribution outlets in key cities all across the United States of America.
Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who make use of window coverings cut across owners of houses or offices or any facility with windows. In essence, your target market can’t be restricted to just a group of people, but all those who reside around your window coverings wholesaling location and who have the purchasing power.
So, if you are thinking of opening your own window coverings wholesaling business then you should make target demographics all encompassing. It should include corporate executives, business people, celebrities, military men and women, sports men and women, hospitals, hotels, hostels and every adult in the neighborhood where your window coverings wholesaling business will be located.
Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
It is important to state that there is no known niche area when it comes to window coverings wholesaling business. Every player in this line of business usually engage in window drapery wholesaling, window curtain wholesaling, window blind wholesaling, and window shades wholesaling.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The fact that the entry level for a window coverings wholesaling business is low coupled with the fact that it is a profitable business means that loads of people would want to engage in the business. Besides, there are no major players in the industry which is why the business is highly competitive in the United States of America and of course in most countries of the world. A consistent increase in the share of the population residing in urban areas has likely made window coverings more vital.
As a window coverings wholesaling business owner, it is important to note that gaining a competitive edge requires a detailed analysis of the demographics of the surrounding area and the nature of existing competitors. And even if you are successful at first, new competitors could enter your market at any time to steal your regular customers. Don’t hesitate to adopt successful strategies from your competitors, but understand that directly competing with an entrenched rival is a bad idea for a new window coverings wholesaling business owner; creativity and diversification is the key in this regard.
Know Your Major Competitors in the Window Coverings Wholesaling Industry
Here are some of the most popular window coverings wholesaling companies in the United States of America;
- Houston Wholesale Blinds
- Wholesale Shutter Company
- Wholesale Blind Factory Ltd
- Blind Wholesaler, LLC.
- Wholesale Shutter & Blind Design
- Superior Wholesale Blinds
- American Blind Wholesale Outlet
- Worldwide Wholesale Floor Covering
- Budget Blinds of North & East Phoenix
- Wholesale Verticals
- The Curtain Shop
- Frieda Ross Draperies, Blinds and Fabrics
- McDonald Wholesale Distributor Inc.
- Joe Cornfield’s Wallpaper & Window Treatments
- Legacy Blinds Manufacturing
- Universal Window Coverings
- Wholesale Plantation Shutters
- Factory Direct California Shutters & Blinds Inc.
- Starwood Distributors, LLC
- Unique Wholesale Distribution Inc.
If you are looking towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
Window coverings wholesaling business is not a green business, as a matter of fact, you will come across several such businesses and retail stores when you go shopping for window coverings. So, if you are mapping out your economic and cost analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of what is required to rent a store/warehouse and the amount needed to stock your store with varieties of window coverings from different brands/designers that are in demand in your business location and also the cost to successfully run the business.
If you are considering starting a window coverings wholesaling business, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of renting a store/warehouse and stocking your store/warehouse with varieties of window coverings from different brands/designers, but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base and distribution network. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base and distribution network, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.
Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
If you are looking towards starting a window coverings wholesaling business, you have to start from the very scratch because with a franchise, you will be restricted to selling and distributing the products.
Besides starting a window coverings wholesaling business from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other small scale businesses. With window coverings wholesaling business, you should just try as much as possible to broaden your distribution network and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet to market your window blinds et al.
Please note that most of the successful window coverings wholesaling businesses around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own window coverings wholesaling business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established window coverings wholesaling businesses and even window coverings manufacturers who are also into wholesaling and retailing via their showroom. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn; if the economy is in a bad shape, window coverings wholesaling businesses usually struggle to maintain their old customers or even welcome new ones. So also, unfavorable government policies can hamper the growth of your window coverings wholesaling business especially if you are into the wholesaling of imported window coverings. There is nothing you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.
Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
Generally, you can either choose a general partnership, limited liability company, or a sole proprietorship for your window coverings wholesaling business. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale window coverings wholesaling business especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital in a small neighborhood. But if your intention is to grow the business and distribute your products across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Choose a Catchy Business Name from the Ideas Below
Normally, when it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Typically, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policies that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your business.
Here are some of the basic insurance policies that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own window coverings wholesaling business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Risk Insurance
- Workers compensation
- Building/Property insurance
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own window coverings wholesaling business, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
On the other hand, if you want to leverage on this business opportunities within the industry and also to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even operation concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subjected to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.
Get the Necessary Professional Certification
When it comes to operating a window coverings wholesaling business in the United States, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification. All you need is informal training that will expose you to the in and out of window covering buying and selling.
On the other hand, if you come across any form of certification that can aid you to conduct your window coverings wholesaling business, then by all means try and pursue such certification.
Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hands of the law catch up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own business in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- State Permit
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a window coverings wholesaling business can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale by running a window coverings wholesaling shop in a street corner. Securing a standard and well – positioned store and stocking your store with a wide range of window coverings and blinds from different manufacturing brands are part of what will consume a large chunk of your startup capital, but if you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for fund to finance the business.
No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your window coverings wholesaling business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from, government, donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
When it comes to choosing a location for your window coverings wholesaling business, the rule of thumb is that you should be guided by the demand for such products and easy access to wholesale purchasing of window coverings directly from manufacturers. Of course, if you are able to secure a central location for your window coverings wholesaling outlet, it will give people easy access to locate your store.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to open your window coverings wholesaling business is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people with the require purchasing power and of course retailers of window coverings. If you make the mistake of renting or leasing a facility in a not too visible or hidden location simply because it is cheap, then you must be prepared to spend more in promoting the business and perhaps giving direction to potential customers.
It is important to note that a business facility in good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for a business such as window coverings wholesaling store, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your window coverings wholesaling store, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your window coverings wholesaling store;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for window coverings in the location
- The purchasing power of residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The numbers of window coverings wholesale and retail stores in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security et al
Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
If you want to start a window coverings wholesaling business, please note that there are no special technology or equipment needed to run this type of business except for Point of Sales (POS) Machines and software applications. Also, you will need computers/laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
As regards leasing or outright purchase of a store facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standings, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent/lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property, but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location/facility for such business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard window coverings wholesaling business with more than one outlet, you should make plans to hire a competent Manager (Owner), Merchandize Manager, Store Manager, Sales and Marketing Officers/Sales people, Accounting Clerk, Distribution Van Drivers and Cleaners. On the average, you will need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to run a small – scale but standard window coverings wholesaling business in the United States of America.
The Services Delivery Process of the Business
When it comes to buying and selling stuffs either via wholesaling or retailing, there are no hard and fast rule about it. Basically, it is the duty of the merchandize manager to help the store stock goods (varieties of window coverings from different manufacturers and brand name). They source for good purchasing deals and they also ensure that they do not only purchase at the right prices that will guarantee them good profits, but also purchase window coverings that are trendy and that are in demand in their business location.
Once the window coverings are bought, they are properly arranged in the store for customers to see and purchase. They are also expected to deliver orders made by customers if such services are available in the store.
So also, stocks are taken after the close of business every day and accounts are balanced.
It is important to state that a window coverings wholesaling business may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated process is not cast on stone.
Write a Marketing Plan Packed With Ideas & Strategies
Marketing ideas and business strategies is one key aspect of a business that must not be neglected when drafting your business plan. As a matter of fact, if you are not certain on the marketing ideas and strategies to deploy before starting your business or if you are not sure of how to generate sales for your business, it is advisable to you go back to the drawing board as against going all out to commit your money to the business.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans, make sure that you create a compelling company profile. Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state what you have been able to achieve in time past. This will help boost your chances in the market place when marketing your window coverings and blinds.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your window coverings wholesaling business;
- Introduce your window coverings wholesaling by sending introductory letters alongside your catalogue to hospitals, hotels, hostels, corporate organizations, households, window coverings retailers, schools, interior decors and other key stake holders throughout the city where your window coverings wholesaling store is located.
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across, so that those on the social media or those who read blogs will know where to go when they need to purchase window coverings in wholesale within your location
- Create a basic website for your business, so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your products.
- Join local window coverings wholesaling store associations for industry trends and tips
- Provide discount days for your customers
- Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of word of mouth marketing (referrals)
Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you sell your window coverings at rock bottom prices is to purchase your products directly from the manufacturers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantities of items that you purchase directly from the manufacturers, the cheaper you tend to get them.
Another strategy that will help you distribute your window coverings as a wholesaler at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.
You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives.
So also, if you are able to secure business partnership as it relates to getting referrals, then you will be able to maximize profits from your business.
Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The availability of varieties of window coverings and blinds from different manufacturing brands and designers in your store, your business process and of course your pricing model are part of what you need to stay competitive in the industry.
Another possible competitive strategy for winning your competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust clientele base. Over and above, ensure that your organization is well positioned, key members of your team are highly qualified and your product can favorably compete with the some of the best in the industry.
Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customer retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your products and service delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service providers.
If your services and customer service fluctuate, you are likely going to struggle to get your customers coming back to purchase from you. Ensure that you offer your customers incentives if you want to retain them and of course continue to generate repeated sales from them and also to attract new customers.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers and building a loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).
Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not conscious about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes year in and year out to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand and create a corporate identity for your window coverings wholesaling business;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community – based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your window coverings wholesaling business
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- List your window coverings wholesaling business in local directories / yellow pages
- Advertise your window coverings wholesaling business in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your window coverings wholesaling business is located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles are branded with your company logo.