December 5th, 2008How to Start a Kiosk Business
In a world dominated by big-box retailers, wanting to start an independent retail business probably feels a bit like David battling Goliath. “Why bother?” you think. “I’ll only get crushed.” But these days, your small size could save your business. The big boxes have gotten so bloated. The good news is, retail spending has remained strong through the economic ups and downs (it totaled about $3.58 trillion in 2002, according to the U.S. Census Bureau).
While the costs of establishing a permanent retail location can be steep–you may spend up to $100,000 or more, with leases spanning three to 10 years–carts, kiosks and temporary spaces can be an easier way to get a foot in the door with a lot less risk. The upfront investment for a kiosk or a cart ranges from just $2,000 to $10,000, according to Patricia Norins, publisher of Specialty Retail Report, a quarterly trade publication for specialty retailers. And today, carts and kiosks are a $10 billion industry.
Flexibility is another advantage to staying small. License agreements for carts and kiosks are shorter and are usually renewed every month up to one year depending on the location. This arrangement makes it easy for entrepreneurs to “come in, try it out for a month, and if their product isn’t working, shift to a new product line or close up shop and move to a new location,” Norins says.
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