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To want to start a business?

(6 Posts)
Sparklymommy Tue 18-Mar-14 19:06:32

For eight years I have been a SAHM. My children are all performers and I have a atrong urge to start a business out of renting out costumes for shows (in particular dance costumes).

However I have no idea how to go about this or where to start from!!!

kernowal Tue 18-Mar-14 19:11:35

Market research. Who would your target market be? How large an area can you cover? Would they be remotely interested in your service (especially if they've been having to make do and mend historically)? Crucially, how much would they be willing to pay?

Next, investigate your costs. How big a range of outfits would you need and what spread of sizes? Where would you be able to store them? How much would it cost to alter, clean and repair them? Have you got the necessary needlework skills to do it yourself? How would you transport the costumes?

Hope this helps.

Drquin Tue 18-Mar-14 19:55:00

Is there anyone else already doing this or similar?
Does that suggest there is or isn't a share of the market to be gained?

Would you be looking to serve a local, geographic market - or distance-selling / Internet based?

Is it seasonal e.g. Panto-based, or year-round?

Will you buy in items ready-made, would you make them or employ someone else to make them?

How would you finance the start-up? Savings, personal loan, investment from others, small business loan?

Why would groups rent rather than buy, or even make their own? That's the basic question - why would someone use your business? You need to be confident there's a demand there. From then you can work out specifics of where, how, how much etc.

Have you got a local small business adviser or maybe Prince's Trust you could seek advice from?

Sparklymommy Tue 18-Mar-14 20:09:49

I have contacted the Princes Trust, yes.

In answer to a few of your questions:

* There is a lady who rents costumes to individuals, but it is believed that she is giving up her business to retire. She also has only a smallish selection. I intend to build a catalogue of costumes that could be hired by groups/schools etc.

* I believe there to be a market as I currently work in the office of a dance school and have dealt with renting out costumes to other schools/individuals on a small scale in that work.

* I intend to acquire costumes from a selection of sources, wholesalers/one offs/ second hand etc. I have a lady in mind to employ as a seamstress for running repairs and some bespoke costume making.

* I believe this could be a year round venture, with many dance schools and clubs in the area who put on displays and enter festivals year round.

* I believe schools and clubs would use this service for several reasons. Firstly from experience a lot of schools do not have space or time to deal with multitudes of costumes. Even laundering after shows is a major issue when you have 200+ students in up to 10 dances a piece. I would be taking all that hassle away from dance teachers. Again drama clubs do not tend to have storage facilities for the amount of costumes that they need for shows. Schools may need a particular style of costume for a particular dance and then that may not be used again. If hired from a company then you don't need to pay out the huge costs of buying the outfits and then have them sat in a wardrobe department never to see the light of day again.

Hope that answers some of your questions. Funding is a big issue. Thats my biggest problem at the moment!!!

kernowal Wed 19-Mar-14 21:29:13

It sounds as though you have thought things through, but I would still contact a few groups & schools yourself to find out how much they would be willing to pay. Good luck.

Drquin Wed 19-Mar-14 21:41:53

Sorry, I didn't mean the questions to be ones I needed answers to - more things for you to consider as to whether there's actually a business there ;-)
Can someone help you put together a business plan, so that you can approach banks or enterprise trusts for finance?

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