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If you like collecting watches, have you considered making it a business? Watches remain a popular fashion accessory and with the growth of online shopping sites, you could find a global market for your designs. Read on to see what you need to start a watch business.
A watch business sources timepieces and resells them online. In essence, you are creating a brand around a fashion accessory.
As watches are more than about telling the time, an eye for watch designs and trends is essential. You will want to identify your niche market, the types of watches you intend to sell and where to source the watches. Watch types include mechanical, quartz and digital watches. You need to know the language of watches and describe these details to potential customers. Important technical terms are bezel, crown, crystal, dial, lugs, movement and signature.
If you intend to take vintage watches and fix them to upsell at a higher cost, you will also need watch repairing skills.
Aside from knowledge about watch designs, you will also need entrepreneurial skills to run the business, including marketing, budgeting, administration, sales and management skills.
There are no specific qualifications needed to start a watch business from home. However, there are plenty of online resources to perfect your small business skills and avoid costly errors down the track.
Using social media and photography skills are essential for most online watch businesses. Online photography courses can help you improve your skills and create a watch brand that targets a niche market.
If you do not have experience in running a business, you can study a business course online to learn the fundamentals.
Online watch sellers can depend heavily on social media to display a lifestyle associated with their watches. You may choose to take your own photos with a professional camera and photo editing software. An easier route is to hire a photographer and model through freelancer sites such as Airtasker.
To run your business, you will need a computer and software that will allow you to keep track of inventory, invoices, expenses and marketing. If you decide to set up a website to promote your business, you will need a domain name and web hosting package, or you may choose to hire a web designer to handle it for you.
To repair vintage watches to sell on, you will need a repair kit that contains specialist tools like a magnifying loupe, movement holder and watch components.
To register your business, you need to choose the most appropriate legal structure for your business model. For a watch business, you are likely to operate as either a Sole Trader or Partnership.
If you will be the only person in the business, you can register as a Sole Trader. You will be entirely responsible for taxes, debt and losses. It's one of the simplest business models to set up and manage.
If you will be running the business with another person, you might consider registering as a Partnership. This divides the responsibilities, assets and liabilities of the business between you.
Once you have decided on the business structure, you need to:
A Company is its own legal entity and is owned by up to 50 non-employee shareholders. Being set up as a Company offers some protection from personal liability. The Company is liable for its obligations and will be taxed at corporate rates.
While starting a new business is exciting, before you get stuck in you should make sure you have the necessary legal documents in place. These will protect the business in case there are problems in the future.
Some of the documents you may want to organise include:
You can find a range of legal document templates online for free or a small charge that you can download and customise to your needs.
Some useful techniques to attract new customers to your watch business include:
The pricing for your watches will depend on your target market, as well as the cost and quality of the components you use. Prices for watches can range from $50 into the thousands of dollars.
Start by researching your target customer and what they are likely to pay for your products. Look at the prices your potential competitors charge for similar watches.
Some pricing strategies include:
Can I start a watch business with limited capital?
Yes, you can start with limited inventory at the beginning and scale up as you make more sales. Setting up your website yourself and starting with free marketing methods, such as social media rather than paid advertisements, will allow you to open the business with a small budget.
What consumer law do I need to be aware of?
As you will be selling goods to consumers, you need to be aware of your responsibilities as a seller under consumer protection law. For example, Australian Consumer Law (ACL) includes:
Products must be:
What insurance do I need for a watch business?
It is important to obtain insurance to protect your business from unexpected events. You will want to have in place:
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