I love to think of new ideas for small businesses. When brainstorming business ideas, it is so important to look for something that people need, but is not yet available in the area. Thinking of new ideas can often be intimidating, because there is already so much out there. There are often many competing businesses doing almost the same thing. The market often looks complete, what else could people want or need? Believe it or not, there are still holes in the market, and I try to use my own perspective to try to find those holes.
In recent years, many businesses have been trying to accommodate to consumers who are on a budget. The average American family is struggling financially, even though the recession is ‘over’. Many are looking for work. Two of the biggest groups seeking employment are workers who have been laid off, and recent graduates of high school and college. Months of unemployment is not easy on the bank account, either is graduating without a job lined up. In this situation alone, I find a hole in the market. How? read on…
Most of these people are going to find a job in due time, and when they do, they will probably need to buy attire appropriate for that job. For instance, in offices, employees need to wear nice office appropriate clothing, nurses need scrubs, and laborers need special tools and work boots to show up for their first day on the job. Buying these things at retail prices adds up fast, especially if you need to buy several uniforms or outfits. A consignment resale shop or consignment shop would be perfect for new and existing members of a community’s workforce to go an be able to purchase gently used work clothes and supplies at good prices. But before you’re able to put up a business, it is important that you know who your target market is. With the aid of technology such as the creation of platform using a crm to segment the different groups in the market, you can easily identify your market.
There are plenty of these stores for children’s clothing, one model I really like is ‘Once Upon a Child’. At that store, they buy gently used children’s clothing and gear, and sell it for a profit. Since they only accept clothing in good condition, and organize their store very nicely according to size and type, their store has earned a very good reputation. I really think that a store for work apparel would be just as successful. There are so many people getting new jobs, as well as existing workers that need work apparel and supplies.
At a work apparel resale store, I would probably focus on the three groups of employees at first, then adjust my store according to customer demand. There would definitely be a section for nurses and other healthcare workers. In addition to scrubs, which I believe would be a very popular item, I would also offer gently used stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, and footwear. Many workers, especially restaurant workers are required to wear black dickies style pants and non skid black work shoes, khaki pants are required for many jobs, so the store would also have a good supply of all of those. There would also be a nice selection of nice work pants and blouses that would be appropriate for an office setting. Another section of the store would serve laborers, and outdoor workers. Some items I would include would be Steel toe boots, heavy duty jeans, and protective work clothing. I would also sell tools, safety glasses, hard hats, and any other work gear that laborers may need.
With So many Americans on a budget, weather working, or looking for work, I think this type of store could really serve a need. Also, with the rate of employee turnover at some jobs, there would be a steady stream of sellers to always have new merchandise in the store. This type of store would be better than going to goodwill, because It would have exactly what the customer needs, and they could be confident they would find items that are in good condition.