Do you want to start a mattress company? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a mattress wholesale and retail business with no money and no experience.
Starting a mattress wholesale and retail business is of course one of the many businesses that can be started in any part of the world and the owner of the business can still make good profit if his or her store is stocked with various sizes of mattresses from some of the leading brands in the mattress manufacturing industry.
The truth is that the demand for mattresses is not going to abate soon but rather it will continue rising. If you intend starting a mattress wholesale and retail company, then you must take out time to learn the art of buying and selling alongside other soft business skills like customer service, accounting and bargaining skills, amongst others.
Starting a mattress wholesale and retail business also means that you have a business plan in place on how you intend to compete in the market, how you intend to make your business known to people, as well as other important factors that must not be overlooked.
Before launching this type of business, it will pay you carry out your due diligence as it relates to market research, economic and cost analysis and of course feasibility studies.
If you get things right before launching your mattress wholesale and retailing business, it will not take you long before you breakeven and start smiling to the bank.
You can start your mattress wholesale and retailing business from a small town in the United States and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes a nationally recognized brand especially if you go into franchising.
Steps to Starting a Mattress Wholesale and Retail Business
1. Understand the Industry
Businesses in the bed and mattress industry that mattress wholesale and retail line of business is a part of basically sell sleeping equipment, including mattresses, box springs, cots, bedding, pillows and waterbeds.
The industry excludes wholesale furniture distributors such as department stores or direct non-store retailers. Revenue from sale of sleep sofas, daybeds, futons and other dual-purpose furniture is not included in industry revenue.
Research conducted by IBISWORLD shows that the Bed & Mattress stores industry in the united states has been relatively steady during the past five years. The report shows that store share often falls in line with population and fluctuates slightly based on tourism.
Since individuals account for over 90.0 percent of this industry’s customers, operators rely heavily on households and locate in areas with high population. The regions with the highest portion of industry establishments are the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and West.
Given the industry’s heavy reliance on households as customers, it is understandable that the Southeast region is home to the highest proportion of industry establishments.
The region is home to the highest proportion of the domestic population and a high proportion of 30.5 percent of industry establishments.
The Bed and Mattress Stores industry has expanded strongly over the five years to 2017. The primary downstream market for industry operators is households, and as the residential market experienced a post – recessionary jump, the customer base for the industry expanded dramatically.
Consumers outfitting new homes or moving into existing homes purchased mattresses at an increasing rate during the period.
Additionally, the unemployment rate has declined while per capita disposable income has strengthened. Over the next five years, revenue is expected to continue to grow, albeit at a slower rate
The Bed & Mattress Stores industry is indeed a major sector of the economy of most countries in the world. Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, the Bed & Mattress Stores industry generates a whooping sum of $15 billion annually from more than 15,525 registered and licensed stores scattered all around the United States of America.
The industry is responsible for the employment of over 85,894 people. Experts project the bed and mattress stores industry to grow at a 5.6 percent annual rate.
The mattress wholesale and retail line of business will continue to blossom because people will not relent in ensuring that they sleep on comfortable mattresses.
Despite the fact that the industry seems over – saturated, there is still room big enough to accommodate aspiring entrepreneurs who intend opening their own businesses.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own mattress wholesale and retail business could be that the business is a thriving business and it is easy to set up and manage with minimal capital.
Over and above, the mattress wholesale and retail line of business is a profitable industry and you can choose to start it 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 outlets in key cities all across the United States of America.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who sleep on mattresses cut across all genders and age groups, hence the demographic composition for mattress wholesale and retail business is all encompassing. The truth is that when it comes to selling mattresses, there is indeed a wide range of available customers.
In essence, your target market can’t be restricted to just a group of people, but to all those that reside around your mattress store and who have the purchasing power.
So, if you are thinking of opening your own mattress wholesale and retail business, then you should make your target demographics all encompassing.
It should include corporate executives, hospitals, hotels, hostels and every adult in the neighborhood where your mattress wholesale and retail company will be located.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
It is important to state that there is no known niche area when it comes to the mattress wholesale and retail business. Every player in this line of business usually sells mattresses in different sizes, for different purposes and from different brands to meet the trend in the industry.
On the other hand, it is important to state that some mattress wholesale and retail companies may decide to major on all or some of the following;
- Queen-sized mattresses
- Full-sized mattresses
- King-sized mattresses
- Other mattresses, foundations and bedding
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in the bed and mattress industry goes beyond competition amongst mattress and bed wholesale and retail stores in your location; you will be expected to compete with bed and mattress manufacturers that have showrooms.
The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your products or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry.
Just ensure you stock your store with different sizes of mattresses from different manufacturing brands that are in demand in your business location and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.
But over and above, there are several mattress wholesale and retail stores scattered all around the United States. So, if you choose to start your own mattress wholesale and retail business in the United States, you will definitely meet stiffer competitions.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
In every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by the customers and general public than the others.
Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they treat their customers.
These are some of the leading mattress wholesale and retail companies in the United States of America and in the globe;
- Wholesale Mattress North Charleston
- American Freight Furniture and Mattress
- Mattress Firm Little Falls
- American Mattress Oswego
- American Mattress Merrillville East
- Mattress Direct
- Mattress Warehouse of Garner – Highway 70
- The Original Mattress Company
- MATTRESS MAX
- Value City Furniture
- Conn’s HomePlus
- Sleep Number® Mattress Sale
- The Saatva Company
- Discount Mattress Store
- Gateway Mattress
- Wholesalers Furniture Direct
- Da Kine Mattress and Furniture
- Loom & Leaf Memory Foam
- Solay Hybrid Mattress
If you are looking towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
Mattress wholesale and retail business is not a Green business, as you will come across several wholesale and retail stores when you go shopping for mattresses and beds.
So, if you are mapping out your economic analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of what is required to rent a store and the amount needed to stock your store with varieties of mattresses from different brands and also the cost to successfully run the business.
Over and above, if you are considering starting a mattress wholesale and retail business, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of renting a store and stocking your store with varieties of mattresses from different brands, but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
If you are looking towards starting a mattress wholesale and retail business, you would have to start from the very scratch because with a franchise, you will be restricted to selling the products of the brand in your store.
Besides, starting a mattress wholesale and retail business from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other small scale businesses which usually require detailed groundwork before launching the business.
With a mattress wholesale and retail business, you should just try as much as possible to secure a shop that is close to a major road or inside a residential estate and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet to market your mattresses.
Please note that most of the big and successful mattress wholesale and retail stores around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedications, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own mattress wholesale and retail business today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of established mattress wholesale and retail stores and even mattress manufacturers who are also into 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 bad shape, history has it that businesses such as mattress wholesale and retail business usually struggle to maintain their old customers or even welcome new customers.
So also, unfavorable government policies can also hamper the growth of your mattress wholesale and retail business. There is nothing you can do as regard these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
When considering starting a mattress wholesale and Retail Company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow.
You have the option of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability Company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship for your mattress wholesale and Retail Company.
Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale mattress wholesale and retail store especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital in a small neighborhood and with just one outlet.
As a matter of fact, if your intention is to grow the business and have chains of mattress wholesale and retail stores across the United States of America and other countries of the world via franchising, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships.
Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholder meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your mattress wholesale and retail business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your mattress wholesale and retail business with the ability to sell franchise and open chains of mattress wholesale and retail stores all across the United States of America, you will agree that limited liability company is most suitable.
You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your mattress business so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company; you will enjoy flexibility in ownership and in your management structures.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
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. If you are considering starting your own mattress wholesale and retail business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Dream Land Mattress, Inc.
- L’ Mon Chains of Mattress Stores, LLC
- Exquisite Mattress Wholesale & Retail Store, Inc.
- Rowland Hawkins Mattress Wholesale & Retail Company
- Cloud 9 Mattress Wholesale & Retail Company, Inc.
- Ben Gray & Sons Mattress Wholesale & Retail Company, Inc.
- Corner Piece Mattress Stores, Inc.
- Sweet Dreams Mattress Store, LLC
- Holloway Mattress Wholesale and Retail Stores, Inc.
- Helen Jonson Mattress Wholesale Store, Inc.
9. 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 policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important 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 mattress Company.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own mattress wholesale and retail company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health/Medical insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own mattress wholesale and Retail Company, 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.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production 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.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
When it comes to operating a mattress wholesale and retail company, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification before you can be allowed to open and operate a mattress wholesale and retail company. All you need is informal training that will expose you to the in and out of mattress buying and selling.
On the other hand, if you come across any form of certification that can aid you to conduct your mattress wholesale and retail company, then by all mean try and pursue such certification.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own mattress wholesale and retail company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Tax Payer’s ID / Tax Identification Number
- Business Plan
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Contract Documents
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Building License
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a mattress wholesale and retail business can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale by running a small retail store in a street corner.
Securing a standard and well – positioned store facility and stocking your store with varieties of mattresses from different 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 because it is expensive to start a standard large scale mattress wholesale and retail company.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things and perhaps the major factors that 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 mattress wholesale and retail company;
- 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 donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
When it comes to choosing a location for your mattress wholesale and retail company, the rule of thumb is that you should be guided by the demand for such products and easy access to purchasing of mattresses directly from the manufacturers.
Of course, if you are able to secure a central location for your mattress wholesale and retail company, it will give people easy access to locate your store.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to open your mattress wholesale and retail company 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 required purchasing power and lifestyle.
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 your mattress wholesale and retail store, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has a full grasp of the city and perhaps country you intend starting your business.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your mattress wholesale and retail 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.
This is why it is very important to gather as much facts and figures before choosing a location to set up your own mattress wholesale and retail company. These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your mattress wholesale and retail store;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for mattresses in the location
- The purchasing power of the residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of mattress wholesale and retail stores in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community/state
- Traffic, parking and security
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
On the average, there is no special technology or equipment needed to run this type of business except for Point of Sales (POS) Machines and software applications. But you will definitely need computers, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
As regard leasing or outright purchase of a store facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standing, 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 mattress wholesale and retail company with more than one outlets, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Merchandize Manager, Store Manager, Sales and Marketing Officer / Sales Girls and Boys, 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 mattress wholesale and retail company in the United States of America.
The Services Delivery Process of the Business
When it comes to buying and selling stuffs, there are no hard and fast rules about it. Basically, it is the duty of the merchandise manager to help the organization/store stock goods (varieties of mattresses from different manufacturers and brand name).
They go out there to 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 that they purchase mattresses that are in demand in their business location.
Once the mattresses are bought, they are properly arranged in the store for customers to see and purchase. On the other hand, they are also expected to deliver orders made by clients if such services are available in their store. So also, stocks are taken after the close of business every day and accounts are balanced. This will enable them place demand for more mattresses or bring more mattresses from the warehouse to the store.
It is important to state that a mattress wholesale and retail company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated mattress wholesale and retail business process is not cast on stone.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
Generally, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a mattress wholesale and retail company, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands determining the market direction for the bed and mattress stores industry.
These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your mattress wholesale and retail business;
- Introduce your mattress wholesale and retail company by sending introductory letters alongside your catalogue to hospitals, hotels, hostels, corporate organizations, households, sports organizations, gyms, schools, and other key stakeholders throughout the city where your mattress wholesale and retail 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 mattress within your location
- Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your products
- Engage in road shows in targeted communities from time to time to sell your products
- Join local mattress wholesale and retail 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)
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One key factor that will help you sell your mattresses at rock bottom prices is to purchase your products directly from the manufacturers in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items that you purchase directly from manufacturers, the cheaper you tend to get them.
Another strategy that will help you retail your mattress 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 as it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives.
18. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The availability of varieties of mattresses from different manufacturing brands 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.
19. 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 customers’ retention and perhaps attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always.
If your customers are satisfied with your products and services delivery, they can hardly source for alternative service provider or products. Statistics has it that one of the major reasons why clients source for alternative service providers or products is when there is a drop in quality.
Another reason is poor customer service. If you can continue to make available varieties of mattresses from different manufacturing brands in your store, and your customer service delivery is top notch, then you won’t struggle to maintain loyal 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, 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 survey, 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 emails and above all, you can easily receive complaints and feedback from them).
20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portray your business to be. One of the secret of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them.
If your intentions of starting a mattress wholesale and retail business is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand by opening chains of mattress wholesale and retail stores and franchising, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is a dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your mattress wholesale and retail company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events / programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your store
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness of your mattress wholesale and retail company
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- List your mattress wholesale and retail company in local directories / yellow pages
- Advertise your mattress wholesale and retail store in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your mattress wholesale and retail store is located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and trucks / vans are well branded with your company logo