Teacher Supply Store

Teacher Supply Store Seeking Help...
My best friend and I are both elementary teachers and although, we love our students, the "rat race" of administration, the state department, and No Child Left Behind have stressed us out and made us reevaluate our current employment. Since both of us hold a degree in Elementary Education

School Supply Business
My wife is very interested in starting a school supply business. She is a stay at home mother, also attending nursing school. A couple days ago she helped a young mother supply her child with school supplies.

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Retired Teacher New To The Business World

How to start a school supply store
Create a business plan

Calculate start up cost

Back in the day teachers and students were supplied all the items they required for a quality education, however, those days are well behind us and now teachers and students spend a lot of their own money on workbooks, antibacterial wipes, scissors, pencils, markers, construction paper, lined paper, crayons, glue sticks and last but not least; tissues. Before opening your teacher store, you will want to consider your business plan and ensure you have adequate financing.

Market Research
You will need to ascertain what support your teachers and students require and if you have enough teachers in your immediate area to supply. Check our office locations, apply a sensible budget and line up a reliable wholesale supplier. Do you need a website for this business and if so how much of your budget is needed for the setup?

Company Name
Try and make sure your business name reflects your goals, what is your target audience, is it elementary school or are you aiming for higher education? If you are aiming at elementary then you can have a more fun company name but if you are targeting higher education then your name should have a more professional edge. Once you have hashed this out have a quick check with your state office to make sure the name isn't already taken and you may also need to check with the US Patent and Trademark Office online.

Business Plan
If you are going to need financing for this new venture you will need a well presented business plan to present to your bank manager, this plan will help them determine if your business if a high or low risk, you should outline your goals, your mission, your potential teacher market, the marketing strategy on how you will reach your potential audience, your competition and your operating plans.

Shop Location and Layout
Nobody likes to walk into a cluttered store and this is your first impression when your customers walk through the door. A well stocked and well laid out shop floor will allow your customers to find what they need and quickly., this applies to a brick and mortar store or an online store. Location, location, location, this is absolutely vital, are you wanting walk in business or will you be mainly online? If you are depending on walk in business then a store at the back and beyond of an industrial estate won't cut it so you need to ensure your location is near schools, campuses and training facilities. Check out your local malls and where the local fairs or expos generally take place. Once you have chosen your desired location you can apply for your license.

Wholesale Warehouses
Check out a few local suppliers and some which are more national and compare prices and deals, usually when you buy in bulk you can apply for a better discount or perhaps you need to set up a trading account where they will ask you for references, now would be a good time to get those in order.

Staff and Business Support
Do you need staff for your store, there are many challenges you will face when hiring staff, it all depends of course on the level of skill you require, retired teachers could be a valuable option for you as they will also come with knowledge which is great for your customers, You could also consider other support resources such as an accountant or book-keeper or an inventory specialist.

Market Your Store
You need to determine how you will reach teachers in your area, could you approach the schools and ask for an inclusion in the teacher association newsletters, network with educators and tutors linked to the schools. Contact your suppliers and ask to be included in any of their mailings or newsletters. Contact as many local business owners as you can find, you will find someone who is willing to share their knowledge.