Welcome to the Small Business Ideas Forum! We are a community of over 100,000 small business folks with over 163,000 posts for you to browse. We pride ourselves on being the friendliest forum you will find and we'd love to have you as a member of our community. Please take a moment and register for a free account. If you need any help, please contact Chris Logan.

Small Business Ideas Forum

Small Business Ideas Forum

A friendly place to share small business ideas and knowledge, ask questions, find help and encourage others that are involved in the small business industry. Topics include small business marketing, generating revenue and small business computing.

Go Back   Small Business Ideas Forum > General Issues > General Small Business Issues
Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 30th October 2008, 02:17 PM   #1
WTL0715
Member
 

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3
Default Problem-need Ideas...

Here's my problem...

I am a part-time police officer in Western NC. The local tactical supply shop closed down recently (not because of lack of demand) and I want to fill that gap. There isn't another shop nearby with similar merchandise, so all of my fellow cops are buying online. I've gotten all of my paperwork in order and found some suppliers. The suppliers that I've found seem to keep low inventory (lots of things out of stock) and their prices aren't as good as those of the larger distributors.

The problem I'm having is that I don't have a brick and mortar store and the good distributers won't talk to you until you do. I am a student and have a full-time job (the police thing is only a couple of days a month) and don't have the means to open a store. I have the time to run a small on the side business as I'm young, single, and can devote any amount of time to this project that it requires.

My plan is to take orders and sell equipment to police, fire, and rescue squads in the area as well as individuals (cops buy police stuff CONSTANTLY). I can beat the heck out of online prices because I don't have much overhead and some of the orders will be quite large. I've been promised a chance to bid on equipment orders for three departments already if I can get my suppliers in line.

Assuming that I simply can't (won't) quit my full time job, can anyone help me think of a way to get around this problem? I'm considering speaking with local sporting-goods stores in the area and asking them to let me use their business to order goods and store items for a cut of my profit. Any other ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Taft

WTL0715 is offline   Reply With Quote
Register or log in to remove this ad.
Old 31st October 2008, 07:45 AM   #2
chesa7
Senior Member
 

Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 101
Default

Taft -- can you clarify -- is it your goal to have an online business or brick and mortar?

chesa7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st October 2008, 08:50 AM   #3
WTL0715
Member
 

Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3
Default Clarification...

My goal is to have the ability to order products from a legitimate wholesaler without having a brick and mortar store. I may eventually decide to sell online, but I mainly want to take orders from local officers and hobbyists constantly (maybe make one order per week so that I can order fairly large amounts) and deliver within x number of days. This will allow me to keep little or no inventory and pass tons of savings to my customers while still making a little cash for myself. That way I will match the shipping and handling time of the websites from which my potential customers order and beat their prices.

The other part of my business will be filling quarterly or annual equipment orders for small departments in my area, starting with the ones with whom I have a relationship. I know for a fact that my nearest department orders all of its equipment from an online retailer. Even though the website likely extends a "gov't entity" discount, I am confident that I can beat their prices as I have no overhead. All I need is a true wholesale source, not one of the glorified dealers that sells to businesses but tacks 15% onto true wholesale.
I hope that makes things more clear.

-TL

WTL0715 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st October 2008, 01:40 PM   #4
Mr Bill
Member
 
Mr Bill's Avatar
 

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 23
Default

Taft - You sound very entrepreneurial. You've identified a need and are now looking to fill it. I'd suggest that you get in touch with the person whose business closed. Buy him/her lunch and try to find out why they closed the doors. Most new business owners underestimate the costs, both in time and money, needed to operate their business. They close because there aren't enough revenues to support those costs. Generally, they try to sell the business first closing only when a buyer couldn't be found.

A shortage of revenue can be caused by many things and you may be able to do better than the previous owner. But you might find that those customers you want to serve were buying on line before the store closed contributing to its demise. The large departments may have found it easier to order from the large supplier across the country and pay the freight rather than be limited by the smaller inventory of the local guy. Remember businesses go out of business for many reasons.

Before you spend too much time working the suppliers, develop an inventory list of the items you'd carry, then shop that list to a sample of your potential customers. Get their input.

Keep working your plan until it works. It's far cheaper to fail on paper than it is to fail with real dollars.

Good luck!

Mr Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th May 2013, 06:05 PM   #5
Parttime Jerry
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3
Default

Go mobile get a van like the snap on tool co. and rent a storage building, or store in a shed at your house or in your garage if you have one. Get a web site this makes you look very professional. It could just be one page with contact info. Use a picture of yourself in your police uniform this will let them see you are a real person. Get a square up reader for your phone so you can take credit cards it is free at squareup.com.

I hope this gives you some starting ideas.
Good luck
Jerry

Parttime Jerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th May 2013, 06:13 PM   #6
Parttime Jerry
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3
Default

Taft you can get a Post office Box and the PO lets you use their street address and then you put the # sign and your PO box Number. They will also receive shipments from fed x ups etc and all you need to do is go to the PO and pick them up. I know a lot of business that do this.
Good Luck
Jerry

Parttime Jerry is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply   

Bookmarks




Thread Tools

Get Updates
RSS Feeds:
RSS Feed for General Small Business Issues RSS for this Category Only: General Small Business Issues

RSS Feed for Small Business Ideas Forum RSS for Entire Forum
Forum Rules


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


Small Business Ideas Forum


 
At Your Business - Small Business Directory
Free Business Forms - Prewritten Documents
 
Search Engine Guide
Small business guide to search marketing

 
Small Business Brief
Fetching the Best Small Business Info


Free Links - Free Advertising
Free Guide - Online Directory



Advertise your business here
Contact us for more details!


Semantic Juice
Register now to access free Quick SEO service!


Rocket Lawyer
Sign up for free 7 day trial. Boost your biz!


Buy UPC Codes
Get your products listed online!




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004 - 2018 - Privacy