As the saying goes from tiny acorns grow mighty Oaks.
The number of people self employed in the UK has seen a dramatic rise in recent years, especially in the North West of England, where Manchester and the surrounding areas are fast becoming the independent trader capital of the UK.
There are no hard and fast rules to being an independent trading success story. There are plenty of websites out there offering information on how to be a self employed trader; they offer advice on Tax, VAT, start up costs etc.so have a browse and get yourself informed. Maybe start with a few small items and test the water.
With the advent of online commerce, social media and the internet in general it has never been easier to be a self employed trader. If you fancy being your own boss and giving it a go, this article has a few simple tips and tricks to get you on your way to independent success.
Where to Buy Stock
A trade auction is a great place to buy bulk quantities of diverse stock for low prices. Many auction houses will sell over stock, returns, liquidation stock, box damage stock etc on behalf of a number of retailers, distributors and manufacturers. With prices being much lower than retail it means you can buy brand name stock cheaply leaving plenty of room for profit when selling on.
What to Buy
This is going to be very much dependent on what you know and what you think you can sell. There is a lot of money to be made in consumer electronics like computers, cameras, phones etc but if you lack the knowledge to test them or know what it is you are selling then this will put you at a disadvantage. Stick to what you know.
Where to Sell
There are many outlets available to the independent trader. Some traders will favour selling through more traditional avenues like shops or market stalls. A shop or showroom can be great as you have a way of displaying your merchandise for the buying public to see but obviously you have the additional overheads associated with renting or buying premises. Consider renting a storage space as a base for your operations. Many places rent on a month to month basis making them perfect for the small business.
Online selling is the way forward for many traders with eBay obviously being the most popular, allowing your goods to be seen by millions of online users. Why limit yourself to just one platform, recent years have seen a surge of similar online selling platforms. Have a look at Gumtree, Depop, Etsy, Ebid, Folksy as well, many of these sites provide an alternative and sometimes cheaper selling platform for those just starting out.
Remember This is about getting maximum exposure for your items. By listing on multiple platforms you are increasing the number of potential customers. Always use high quality images. People shop with their eyes so poor photos will do you no favours.
Be your own marketing company. Promote your business for free through social media. Set up social media accounts for your business, interact with customers and show them what is on offer. Post high quality pictures of your merchandise. Today potential customers expect businesses small or large to have a social media presence as it adds legitimacy to your business and an easy way to reach new customers.
Give it a go - best of luck!