Small Business Start-Up Idea – Wedding Store

Organising a wedding is a very stressful process that involves a lot of planning and an awful lot of purchasing. The costs can soon add up so people often try to save money by shopping online. Online stores specialising in wedding products can therefore be very lucrative businesses, particularly if they focus mainly on their local area and provide a personalised service. This could include a gift wrapping service and a gift registry section of your website from which friends and relatives can purchase presents for the happy couple.  

Skills needed: You will need to be knowledgeable about all aspects of marriage, including how other cultures and religions celebrate and have different requirements. If you have previous wedding planning experience it would be a big asset. In addition, you must have some grasp of online marketing techniques so that you are able to reach as wide of an audience as possible and also some basic web publishing skills to enable you to keep the website updated by yourself.  

Business environment and set-up cost:  This is very much a regional business as the cost-saving factor of using the Internet would be lost if the products had to be shipped internationally. The set-up costs are low for this business, especially if you already own the equipment (computer, scanner, printer and digital camera). You will need to pay for the website design and hosting as well as an inventory of the products you will be selling. The overall start-up cost will range from £2,500 to £10,000 (3,000 – 12,000 EUR, 5,000-20,000 AUD/USD).  

Marketing Techniques:  

  • Make sure your website is easy to find by using search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Participate in the pay-per-click schemes of the popular search engines
  • Use viral marketing to encourage your clients to recommend your service to their friends
  • Get your website listed in link directories and web-rings related to weddings
  • Pay for strategic banner advertising on non-competing wedding related websites
  • Run an affiliate program to generate referrals from partners
  • Put competitions on in association with your suppliers to give wedding products as prizes
  • Develop (or pay someone to develop) a wedding registry for your website
  • Use OnlineOffice to set up web-site, blog and online shop to promote your business online

Complimentary business ideas: By forming partnerships with local firms (e.g. caterers or DJs) you could earn referral fees. 

Notes: Your business will only be successful if you are able to generate a high volume of traffic. The website will have to be constantly updated in order to show the professionalism of your business.  

Online examples & resources:  

For previous SME start-up ideas, look through the archive here

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