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A carpet store sells, repairs and sometimes cleans carpets. They may sell rugs and designer carpets as well. Carpets are either sold for a flat fee and installed by the business, or are priced by square foot / square yard.
Who is this business right for?
Those who have experience with flooring, home maintenance, and carpet installations are great carpet store owners. A carpet store owner should have a keen eye for quality carpets, and they should be good at gathering resources, talking to customers, and managing resources
Additionally, a carpet store owner should understand which carpets pair well with area rugs, hardwood, cork surfaces, bamboo surfaces, and wall solutions. A good owner will have a solid marketing strategy, be good at locating vendors and prioritize differentiation.
What happens during a typical day at a carpet store?
A carpet store, day in and day out, sees retail traffic. Customers enter, browse carpets, and decide on products they would like to purchase. A carpet store may have separate cutting sections for carpets. It may also feature carpet demos on display. A carpet store may cut carpet inside, or it may simply sign up customers for later services. In the latter case, the store’s technicians will travel to the customer’s home or business. Then, they install the carpet
Other daily operations include stocking the store’s inventory, helping customers, matching good carpets with different floor materials, and processing transactions. In addition, store owners will need to handle the business' finances, marketing, and sales strategies.
What is the target market?
Both homeowners and businesses make excellent customers. Focus on selling high-quality carpets and on promoting carpet installation. Because businesses often have full-floor carpeting needs, they’re more likely to pay for installation jobs. They’ll also need to regularly update their carpets to keep an area managed, attractive and effective. Your showroom should promote both individual carpets and full-floor-length carpets.
How does a carpet store make money?
A carpet store makes money by selling and installing carpets, either as individual products or in custom lengths. A carpet store can also make money by installing these carpets. If this is the case, a carpet installation can be charged as either a flat fee or on a per-hour basis.
Some carpet stores may clean or repair carpets. If they’re knowledgeable about high-quality carpets, they can even restore valuable carpets. Some carpet stores may expand into the flooring business. If so, they may make money by selling, installing and repairing customer floors.
What is the growth potential for a carpet store?
A carpet store can expand quite a bit. Becoming a member of the World Floor Covering Association helps, as does becoming a member of the American Floorcovering Alliance. While many carpet stores begin as local providers, many have the opportunity to become national chains.
To grow successfully, however, a carpet store needs to offer a lot of variety. It should also expand to offer luxury-style carpets and flooring. Additionally, a carpet store should assemble a team of experts. Check phone book ads, connect with other businesses on the Internet and offer a finder’s fee to any local carpet cleaning companies.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful carpet store?
Mostly, you'll need to be well-versed in carpet installation, removal, protection, repair, and restoration. You should also be knowledgeable in carpet fashion, flooring, and interior design. Management, marketing, and financing skills are also useful to a carpet store owner.
What are the costs involved in opening a carpet store?
Your startup costs will be between $2,000 and $10,000, depending on your location. You can start from home, or you can use a small workshop with a monthly rent of about $1,000. Expect to pay additional money for high-grade insurance.
What are the steps to start a carpet store?
Once you're ready to start your carpet store, follow these steps to ensure that your business is legally compliant and avoid wasting time and money as your business grows:
- Plan your business. A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. A few important topics to consider are your initial costs, your target market, and how long it will take you to break even.
- Form a legal entity. Establishing a legal business entity prevents you from being personally liable if your carpet store is sued.
- Register for taxes. You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
- Open a business bank account. A dedicated checking account for your carpet store keeps your finances organized and makes your business appear more professional to your customers.
- Set up business accounting. Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
- Obtain necessary permits and licenses. Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
- Get business insurance. Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.
- Define your brand. Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
- Establish a web presence. A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a carpet store?
At the start, try to reduce your overhead costs as much as possible. Then, focus on building a stock while hiring showroom workers. These showroom workers should be very knowledgeable, so as to help you compete against established carpet shops. If you can’t find employees with decent experience, you’ll need to train them.
How to promote & market a carpet store
Promote your carpet store through local carpet cleaners. You should use a referral system to gain new clients, and you should cater to businesses with in-depth carpeting needs. Any long-term projects should be business-centric, as they’re simply more profitable.
Recommended: A website is essential for promoting your business and attracting customers. Weebly is a great tool.
How to keep customers coming back
Mostly, you’ll attract customers by your location and grand opening event. A carpet store needs to be in a highly visible area, and it should be able to build rapport with carpet cleaning crews, home improvement stores, hardware stores, and interior design centers.
As for customer retention, make sure your services include repair and restoration. Particularly, sell high-quality carpets and sell additional restoration services. A lot of carpet owners will return to the location which sold them their carpet—so as to ensure high-quality upkeep and restorations.
How and when to build a team
You should build a team as soon as possible. Aim to hire at least two to three showroom operators, as you’ll need to present your carpets and talk to customers about their quality. Your team can expand quite large, over time, if you’re servicing a large area.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a carpet store. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, check out our informative guide, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Certificate of Occupancy
A carpet store is generally run out of a storefront. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.
- If you plan to lease a location:
- It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
- Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a carpet store .
- After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
- If you plan to purchase or build a location:
- You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
- Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your carpet store will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
How much can you charge customers?
Expect to charge between $2 and $10 per square foot for average carpets. Installations can cost between $30 and $40 per square yard, if it’s a full-floor-length carpet. On average, you’ll make roughly $995 for a full-floor-length carpet purchase and installation.
What are the ongoing expenses for a carpet store?
Expect to pay between $4 and $5 per square foot of carpet. Your monthly utilities will be approximately $300. A carpet shop’s rent can be as much as $2,000 per month, depending on its size. Expect to pay employees between $8 and $15 per hour, depending on their expertise.
How much profit can a carpet store make?
A beginning carpet store can make about $55,000 in its first year. It will, however, need to consistently sell carpets to remain profitable. A highly successful carpet store which caters to large audiences can make hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of dollars per year.
How can you make your business more profitable?
Expand to carpet installations as soon as possible. To be competitive, you’ll need to keep overhead costs low while maintaining inexpensive installation costs. Once you’ve established your client base, use a referral network to get more customers. By focusing on installation quickly, you’ll become a well-known, qualified installer. Otherwise, you’ll lose customers to pre-established carpet stores with years of experience.