How to Start a Curtains & Blinds Business (Australia) | finder.com.au

How to start a curtains and blinds business

From training to marketing, here’s what you need to start building your own curtains and blinds business.

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If you're thinking of setting up your own curtains and blinds business, there are several paths you can take. For example, do you want to go custom, franchise or wholesale? We'll take you through how to get started, give you tips on growing your customer base and show you where to find legal advice.

What is a curtains and blinds business?

A curtains and blinds business is typically a retail business that specialises in selling window covers, either from a physical or online store. Other than selling products, some curtains and blinds businesses will also help install the product on a property too.

How to start a curtains and blinds business

If you're not sure how to get started with your business, here is a list of some key steps to take:

  1. Choose your set-up. As a curtains and blinds business, you will need to decide whether to operate from a brick-and-mortar store or conduct all of your business through an online website.
  2. Develop your brand. Choosing the right name and logo will help to set your business apart from the competition. It will also give you a starting point for designing an appropriate website.
  3. Write a business plan. Your business plan should include a breakdown of your costs, an overview of your services and plans for future expansion.
  4. Consider funding. Once you've written your business plan, you should have a better idea of how much money you'll need to get started. If you can't cover this with personal savings, you could apply for a small business loan.
  5. Price your services. To ensure your business makes money, you need to think about your profit margins. How much money do you need to make on each sale to make a profit? If you're offering installation services, will you charge by the hour or will this be included in the price of the curtains?
  6. Think about the legal stuff. To protect your business, staff and customers, you'll need to implement several documents and procedures. Firstly, you'll need to register your business as a legal entity. Then you can take a look at the types of legal documents you'll need for your business.
  7. Market your business. Getting the word out about your new business is paramount to finding your first customers. Your marketing strategy could include social media, email campaigns, flyering and registering with online directories.

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Learn key industry skills

You don't need a degree to start a curtains and blinds company, just a little business savvy and an interest in window treatments. Possessing the know-how to size up a job and choose suitable curtains or blinds for a property will prove an advantage and give you an edge against competitors.

Before you do anything, it's a good idea to do some market research online to see if it's the right fit for you. Checking out the competition will give you lots of ideas for forming your business plan. For example, it will help narrow down your search for types of blinds and curtains to sell, and give you an idea of how much to charge.

Enrol in a university or online course

Running your own business requires two fundamental skill sets: The technical skills necessary for the blinds or curtains business, and a working knowledge of managing your own company. You can find online courses in business management on sites like Udemy.

If you want to learn more about the blinds and curtains trade, Certificate III in Blinds, Awnings, Security Screens and Grilles (MSF30919) is a great option. This four-year apprenticeship course teaches you the necessary skills to estimate, fabricate, assemble and install blinds, awnings, shade sails, shutters, and screens and grilles. You will also gain knowledge on a wide range of materials, fixtures and fittings. This course costs around $12,000. The Certificate is for people who are currently working in the building and construction industry.

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    Brainstorm your business name

    Choosing your business name doesn't have to be difficult, but it shouldn't be a decision you take lightly either. Your name should reflect the services you offer while also being memorable and unique. Here are five quick steps to help you find the best name for your business:

    • Research local competitors. Ensure you don't have the same name, or a similar sounding name, to any local or national competitors.
    • Brainstorm ideas. Write down a list of potential business names, taking into account your customers. Is your name easy to pronounce, remember and spell?
    • Shortlist your names. Whittle down the list to your top five names.
    • Market research. Approach your friends, family and industry experts to find out what they think about your potential business name.
    • Double-check that your name is unique. To avoid confusion and legal disputes, make sure no other company uses your chosen name. This will also heighten your chances of finding a relevant domain name for your website.

    Pick a business structure that works for you

    Business structures form the basis of your working operations and are necessary for taxation purposes. There are three business structures to consider:

    • Sole Trader. If you're going into business on your own, a structure to consider is Sole Trader. In this cheap and simple structure, you take complete control and ownership of the business and are legally responsible for all aspects of the business, including its finances.
    • Partnership. If you're going into business with one or more partners, a Partnership is an option to consider. In a Partnership, the profits and losses are shared. Partnership Agreements can be written up beforehand to help clarify how income and losses will be distributed, and how partners can exit if necessary.
    • Company. A Company is a separate legal entity from the directors running it. It comes with different set-up fees and pays tax at the Company tax rate.

    Write up your business plan

    A well-written and carefully considered business plan can make or break a company. In saying this, you don't have to spend hours putting together a lengthy document. Instead, just make sure to cover the following:

    • Business description. A quick overview of how your business intends to make money.
    • Product description. A deeper look at your business's products and services.
    • Target demographic. Choose your target demographic and explain why you've chosen it.
    • Sales. Detail your marketing plan, including how you'll find new customers and how much you'll invest in advertising your business.
    • Finances. Provide details about initial investment, your pricing and predicted sales.
    • Future. Think about where you want your business to be in the future and what steps you need to take to get there.

    Equip yourself with the right tools and software

    When you start a curtains and blinds business, you will need some essential tools to install and repair blinds and curtains. This includes:

    • Curtain rods and brackets
    • Ladder
    • Screws
    • Tape measure
    • Screwdriver
    • Pencil
    • Wall anchors
    • Spirit level

    For the business side of the venture, some office equipment like a computer and smartphone with a reliable Internet connection will come in handy. In addition, it's worth investing in office software to help you manage and grow your business:

    • CRM. This stands for customer relationship management and is a program designed to manage your client contacts and sales leads all in one place.
    • Website, web hosting, domain name. Being visible online is a great advantage. You can use your website to showcase your products and post customer testimonials to build your reputation.
    • Invoicing and bookkeeping software. This allows you to keep track of all your financial client records, which will be necessary for tax purposes.

    It's important to establish your business with a solid legal footing from the outset. While it can all seem a little overwhelming when starting off as a small business, there are plenty of online legal services to help you get through this initial process.

    Here are a few legal documents you'll need to start your curtains and blinds business:

    • A Service Agreement lays out the terms and conditions of sales of goods and services between a contractor and client. You can customise this form to suit your business, but it's always a good idea to include a Cancellation Policy.
    • A Partnership Agreement protects your personal investment and your partner's, and lays out the terms and conditions of your working relationship.
    • Employment Agreements are crucial if you plan to hire any staff, and can be customised for part-time, casual or full-time employees.

    When you're first starting out and as your business develops, it might also be useful to consult with a lawyer about your legal obligations. There are now many online legal services that provide affordable legal advice, which you can compare below.

    Data updated regularly
    Name Product What's offered? Starting price to become a member Annual Fee from Free legal documents available?
    Lawpath
    Legal documents and templates, Access to lawyers, Legal guides, Legal advice
    $79 per month
    Essentials: $288, legal advice: $828
    You can view samples for free and you can create your first document for free.
    Choose an annual plan from just $288 and get unlimited revisions to your legal or business documents. Plus, unlock exclusive partner offers.
    LawDepot
    Legal documents and templates, Legal guides
    $4.99 per month
    $59.88
    Free one week trial available which gives access to hundreds of documents.
    Customise and download legal documents in as little as five minutes. Plus, LawDepot offers peace of mind with two service guarantees.
    Legal123
    Legal documents and templates, Legal guides
    Varies per template
    N/A
    No
    Legal123 offers a range of individual templates or document packages for consultants, app developers, personal trainers and more.
    LegalVision
    Legal documents and templates, Legal guides, Legal advice
    $49 + GST per week
    $2,548 + GST
    No
    Your business can take advantage of unlimited lawyer consultations, fast turnaround times and free legal templates with LegalVision.
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    Set your business rates

    Coming up with a pricing plan involves weighing your expenses against your profits. Before you can do that, you need to decide on what kind of blinds and curtains business you're going to run:

    • Are you thinking of buying a franchise where pricing is built-in?
    • Do you plan to go wholesale and sell to other contractors?
    • Are you interested in custom-made blinds and curtains?

    Other factors will be the size of the job, the kind of blinds and curtains you will sell, and the materials used. Here are some average price ranges from Service.com.au for installing curtains and blinds to an average-sized window:

    • Blinds: $80- $250
    • Curtains: $70-$200
    • Roller shutters: $150-$400

    For installation, an average hourly fee ranges from $20-$45 per hour.

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    Get your business moving with payment terminals, QR code ordering, invoices and more.

    Find your first customers

    From trade shows to social media campaigns and Google Ads, there are multiple ways you can boost your customer base.

    One way to start is by searching for online marketplaces where you can set up a profile to advertise your services, browse other contractors in your area and research customer reviews. Some marketplaces include:

    • hipages. Find new customers who are looking for blinds and curtains in your local area.
    • Airtasker. Set up a profile and advertise your curtains and blinds online where people can easily find you.
    • Oneflare. Matching potential clients with experts, this site is a great way to find people looking for a specific service.

    Signing up to business directories such as White Pages and True Local is another great way to advertise your services.

    You can also set up your own website and then use search engine optimisation (SEO) best practices and advertising to attract potential customers.

    Frequently asked questions

    Do I need a retail outlet for my curtains and blinds business?

    Unless you're opening up a franchise, you can easily set up your operation at home. You will need minimal storage space, as most blinds and curtains are made to order. Use your website to showcase your inventory.

    How can I gain a competitive edge for my curtains and blinds business?

    Consider specialising in interior and exterior wooden window shutters and blinds. There's a large market for these kinds of blinds, and competition is relatively low. You can manufacture your own, or order wholesale and sell directly to homeowners and national home improvement stores.

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