Running a thrift store sounds like a dream job -- and for many, it is -- but it's important to remember that a dream job is a business like any other. Good business sense is the backbone that makes a small business a success.
Learn the basics about business
Maybe you have a business degree from a university, but many small business owners do not. When considering opening a thrift store, start with learning the basics of how a small business should be run, its daily needs and its legal requirements. In order to do this, you could take some night classes at a local college or even study on your own. The IRS Web site has a comprehensive A-to-Z index for learning about businesses.
Figure out your budget and logistics
Like most small businesses, a thrift store has a startup cost. What that cost is depends on many factors such as size, location and inventory. Do your homework and learn about your business. Set up goals for inventory after figuring out whether your original estimates are even realistic. Do you have investors? If so, figure out how to incorporate investment money into your budget.
Thrift store locations
It's an axiom that business largely has to do with location, and not without reason. For instance, a busy metropolitan area with many thrift stores near each other probably has all of the thrift stores it needs. On the other hand, a smaller area with a strong, well-established Main Street full of shops might be just the right home for your thrift store.
Niches and thrift stores
One of the most common routes to success is to stand out from your competitors. One way to do that is by tapping into a niche market. If your thrift store offers a type of inventory that other local thrift stores don't have, you're likely to have different business results when it's time to count the profits.