When people plan to go into retail business they consider essential items as a reliable base. Dramatically, the mattress industry is booming because demand for quality mattresses has escalated. People are getting aware about the significance of good night sleep’s connection with a mattress.
Mattresses last for not more than 7 to 10 years. Eventually, a new mattress needs to be purchased. With the return of the economy, after a long recession people saw the need to buy new mattresses. Between 2008 – 2012 people avoided buying big items, therefore the mattress sector saw an influx as people who delayed in getting a new mattress started to seek one.
If you want to sell the best mattress to buy, then get to know some basic facts on how to enter this business. Obviously, you need to have some experience in the mattress industry either as a salesperson or have worked for some mattress-maker. Having some experience in retail is great for your future business development. Contacts and practical knowledge gained from your past work will be valuable.
Things to determine first before starting a retail mattress business
Online shop or retail showroom
You can run a retail mattress business without a normal physical store but will need space to store the inventory. You can open a store online and administer business from home. Another option is to schedule warehouse operations that function only on appointments. You can offer customers premium mattresses at great prices due to minimal overhead.
Decide what is more profitable foro you. If your locality cannot support physical store overhead then you can consider residing on the internet only. Basically, having a store is great, so as to handle the customer flow directed through that channel. In addition, business looks more sizable and drastically increases customer’s confidence.
If you plan to run an appointment-only business, then partner with a reliable commercial warehouse, which is clean and free from dirt, dust, and pests. It needs to be away from dampness and sunlight. Temperature controlled warehouses work well.
If you opt to open a retail mattress showroom then buy or rent a storefront near businesses like home décor, furniture stores or in high traffic shopping malls.
To create a niche business or not
Determine if you want a general or specialized mattress store. Specific mattress means dealing with beds suitable for kids only or intended for college dorms or just memory foam. In case, your locality does not have multiple mattress stores then it is best to go the generalist route. If it already has many mattress shops then narrow your focus, so as to promote a store that can fulfil consumer’s special bedding needs.
Franchise or personal brand
You can either sign up with a big mattress distributor for a franchise or create your personal brand. Both have their advantages and drawbacks.
- With a franchise, you have a high start-up cost due to franchise charges but low marketing expenses. You can access co-op marketing funds and will not need to invest in creating brand awareness from scratch.
It is a good option, if you have negligible experience in business. Franchises have systems and procedures for everything ranging from showroom design to marketing. They support a partnering company to make it a success. Getting stock is simple and you can take advantage of the name recognition. Drawback is you have to give up your business control as you will need to administer business as per the rules of the franchise. Moreover, you will need to pay money regularly from the profits.
- Starting a personal brand will need a high marketing budget to build brand awareness, but you will not need to pay any start-up franchise charges. You will be free to set your store and interact with your consumers without any limitations. You will not need to share profits but the drawback is you will personally need to organize everything about business ranging from getting permits to finding reliable distributors and training sales associates.
The ultimate decision of all the above factors depends on personal preference but starting your own mattress business in this current scenario, where unemployment rates are dropping and there is a rise in disposable income. Research report says that this 15 billion-dollar industry is predicted to grow significantly in the next 5 years.
Why is entering the mattress business an excellent opportunity?
There are myriads of mattress stores flooding the country, so why enter this business. The first real fact is online huge retailers like Wal-Mart and Amazon have not touched the mattress industry. It is because mattress is regarded as personal experience, even in this online shopping trend scenario.
Buyers need to see, feel and try the mattress before purchasing. They need to ensure that their sleep quality does not get affected, particularly if they have a sleep disorder, and that they can enjoy a good night rest.
Moreover, shipping a mattress to your apartment or home is inconvenient and expensive. Mattress retailers have relatively low start-up cost, high margin as well as low overhead. Mattress profit margins are said to be around 40% to 50% as per consumer reports.
As mattress stores purchase their inventory directly from the mattress makers and their sales person are hired on commission-based salary, the overheads are low.
Mattress showroom location is crucial
If you plan to open a mattress showroom then there will be some need for research in the local area. In this phase you need to be very clear of whom you will like to serve.
Identify your target market, their expectations and needs related to the mattress. It will help you select the kind of inventory to hold in your warehouse. For example, if your target demographic tends to buy on budget then stock economical mattresses.
Stocking your showroom with a top-of-the-line mattress is not wise, if consumers in the area are price sensitive – no one will purchase one. Also find out how far potential consumers are ready to travel for buying new bedding. It will help in marketing campaigns.
Create a business plan
A business plan is critical before opening your mattress showroom door. A detailed business plan outlines your mission, vision, products, start-up cost, organizational structure, financial plan, strategic analysis, marketing plan, sales projection, cash flow analysis, etc. it is necessary to prove that business is profitable prior to opening your showroom doors.
Your business plan needs to be researched well because you will need to support your projections when potential investors ask you about them.
In case you have no sufficient cash on hand, then there will be a need to seek financial support. Traditional route is to get a bank loan, while a non-traditional way is to get financial support via crowdfunding.
Promoting your mattress showroom
Even if people search online for a mattress they still visit local retail showrooms to buy a mattress, whenever needed. You will need to ensure that potential consumers are aware about your presence online. You can market your online business using strategies like –
- Local SEO
- Social networking
- Direct mail
Marketing is an art and science. You fail, if your message or advertisement does not connect with potential audience. You can consider outsourcing your marketing. It saves time from learning, creating, and executing marketing campaigns. This valuable time can be used in running your showroom.
Sales staff training
Without competent people business can neither execute policy nor create value. Therefore, it is crucial to nurture excellent sales staff. Your sales associate needs to receive accurate coaching consistently. Success will depend on not just quality training but also on –
- Every sales person’s eagerness to accept the training
- Their perseverance and passion to view life as a marathon without getting disheartened.
Therefore, with an appropriate associates’ training and tests before hiring will help to sift excellent candidates, who will be more successful on the showroom floor. The exclusive RSAs will then start with advanced training, which will turn them into sales closer experts.
Design, nurture, and deliver customer focused experience
Hiring exceptional sales associate teams can help to offer supreme customer services. Reinforce the significance of premium customer service. Demonstrate your viewpoint of constantly beating average customer service by surpassing customer expectations. You can do this in two ways.
- Mastering communication skills
- Offering something unique not offered elsewhere
You need to create a sales team, which understands design fundamentals, so that they are proficient to actually respond to current design-oriented consumers. All this is necessary to survive in this tough market environment and competitive challenges. Rewards are vast in terms of profitability and create better work experience and environment for your staff, consumers, and yourself.
Amanda Byers is a graduate of Columbia, where she played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors. Now as Zobuz’s entertainment and Lifestyle Editor, she enjoys writing about delicious BBQ, outrageous style trends and all things Buzz worthy.