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Tips for opening a gift, souvenir or memorabilia shop

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Setting up an original gift shop

People who go on trips to different continents, countries, cities, often buy souvenirs, as a reminder of their trip. Whether it’s a shirt, hat, something cultural, souvenirs can be very profitable for the retailers who sell them. If you live in a city that experiences a good amount of tourism throughout the year and want to start a business, opening a gift shop could be the ideal company. You will need love for your hometown, careful planning and preparation to grow your successful business.

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Keywords: original gifts

As a preliminary, try to visit souvenir stores as well, examine the stores that have followed in your area and ask about what they are doing or have done. Try to learn from the mistakes of other stores in your area, to avoid failure. Then start planning design information including: hours of operation, location of the store, souvenirs, items that might be sold, and services that might be offered.

Prepare a business plan that includes the cost of rent, inventory, personnel, insurance and marketing. Consult an accountant to review your plan. He or she may discover additional costs or reduced rates for new businesses, or other interesting ideas for your business. It is imperative that you put a financial plan in place, as it will determine the future success of your business. Now all you have to do is decide whether to finance the project yourself, or contact a bank for a loan or seek out private investors to support. Make sure that all the necessary licenses will be acquired before you start selling.

Find the ideal location for your gift shop. Buy or rent a gift shop space near a tourist attraction. Tourist attractions, shopping malls, amusement centers, theme and water parks, museums, zoos, aquariums, fishing grounds, campgrounds and national parks in general are great areas for gift and souvenir shops.

Setting up an original gift shop

Wholesale trade: buy souvenirs such as postcards, T-shirts, candles, key chains, mugs and other trinkets. Make sure that each item you sell reflects the position being represented. For example, a gift shop in Houston should try to sell items with armadillos, bluebonnets, the Texas flag or the word “Houston” on them.

Buying items featured by local artisans is a great way to connect your business not only to the community, but to sell goods that few stores in the area have. To find local artists look through the stores at Internet craft markets, do online research, visit local craft fairs and check with the fine arts departments at nearby universities.

Give your gift shop an authentic look with local artwork and appropriate decorative elements. Your store should be friendly, cheerful and thoughtful of your city.

Advertise your gift shop. Although much of your business will come from tourists making impulse purchases, you can also build a customer base with locals, who can buy gifts for friends, colleagues and family or items they want for themselves. Try starting a promotional website, and creating your accounts on social networks.

Problems that can arise in your gift business

Gifts and souvenirs have their peak seasons. It can happen that some times they are sold very little and the profits are very small.

Final recommendations for a successful gift shop

Do good planning and organization so that you are prepared to meet the high demand months such as December, February, May, August, when sales increase. Similarly, in the June and July vacation period you also have many customers who compensate in profits for school graduations, which demand both original gifts and classroom decorations. We also recommend that you plan your offers to attract customers, especially during the low sales season.