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madmumof2
02-12-2009, 11:15 AM
Myself and 2 friends have decided we want to start a business from scratch. Our goal is to eventually get a shop (not right now with the climate as it is) and sell clothes with the added extra of having a request service. If someone is looking for a size 12 black dress with a specific design for example, they tell us and we'll get it for them within a week.

There is a serious lack of affordable clothes shops in our area and people here have to travel quite a distance if they want clothes so there is a huge gap in the market here. There is only one clothes shop here and it has a very limited stock, and two charity shops. There are a lot of youngsters here who wouldn't be seen dead in one so they have to spend what little money they have on buses and trains to get the clothes they want. There are also a lot of young children here who have to waste money on travel to get their children clothes/shoes/hats etc. These are the main targets.

We think we'll get a lot of business because of the request service, no one will ever have to travel anywhere if they know they can ask for what they want and it will be there asap.

We also plan to have a kids corner for parents shopping with young children, plus a 'comfy corner' with a settee and tea/coffee maker where people are welcome to just come in from the cold for a cuppa, hoping that a few of them will buy from us. It'll be like nothing around here and we hope the little extras will make a huge difference.

Obviously we're right at the beginning so nowhere near that yet. We're going to start with carboots for a few months to get used to trading and selling, seeing what sells the most, what doesn't sell at all etc. That way we're not risking anything if it doesn't work.

We're all new to this so don't want to jump in, we want to get a feel for it all to start with and find out what each of us is best at (bookeeping, technical stuff, a sellers charm etc lol).

We want to get an account just for this purpose but don't know if a bank will accept three people onto one account? If not, any idea how to get around this? I know paypal will let the three of us open an account so will do that if needs be but it would be easier to have a bank/building society account.

Also, when we do eventually get a shop, what do we need to know, ie business rates, taxes, legal stuff? Can we sell things bought on ebay for example?

And anything else you think we should know lol. Any tips on how to make this a sucess will be great! Between the three of us we all have talents and expertise that could make this a reality in a couple of years.

Thanks in advance!

higgy66
02-12-2009, 12:00 PM
Good luck with everything - I hope it all goes well.

I used to work in a bank many many years ago and you can certainly open a bank account with more than one name and you can either have it where any one of you signs the cheques etc or a combination of 2 out of the three etc.

I'm not sure now but if they twig it's a "business" account they may charge.

I'm sure somebody else will be in to answer all your others queries

Good luck!

wideeyes
02-12-2009, 12:05 PM
To open a business account I think you will need a business plan and will have to meet the banks business manager.

mandymouse
02-12-2009, 12:05 PM
Sorry I haven't got any advice, but I'd like to wish you lots of luck with your venture :wizard:

Beth__WDW23/6/02
02-12-2009, 04:58 PM
Good luck Gem & Co :thumbsup2

madmumof2
02-13-2009, 07:03 AM
Thanks everyone. We've managed to get info on setting up an account with the three of us named on it so that's a start lol.

We're going to a boot sale near here with anything we can find lying around the house to get the money flowing. We'll do this as often as possible for now. Thent talk to the council about getting us a market stall plot rented.

I'm starting on a website/name/logo/flyers which will be active/sent out when we've got a hang of things.

Our goal is to have a sucessful market stall in 6 months time, make ourselves known to the locals who will then hopefully follow us when we get a shop, which we want in a year to 18 months.

We're all very excited at the mo! The hard work hasn't started yet lol.

Cyrano
02-13-2009, 07:13 AM
Might be worthwhile contacting Business Link as they can give you free advice and let you know about legislation and tax office etc that will be helpful to know :)

irisheyes123
02-13-2009, 07:39 AM
Just wanted to wish you luck its a great idea

wicket2005
02-13-2009, 08:43 AM
Good luck. I know a lot of the young girls in my area go to Primark in town because of the price of the clothes.

What about doing a swap service like what they have done on the tv but charge a fee for the swapping section.

Boss Hogg
02-13-2009, 09:40 AM
As I think you've found there is no issue with having an account with three of you on it. A lot of banks will charge for a business account, albeit you would normally get a period of free banking to start. However some of them, Abbey and Alliance and Leicester if I remember correctly, offer lifetime free banking.

One thing to take into account when it comes to banking is what your taking will be predominantly and what your needs will be for a local branch.

As Cyrano said, may well be worth speaking with Business Link and also see what support you can get from the local FSB. There may well be government incentives available, so have a look around the various govt websites.

You'll also want to consider what format you are going to use - partnership or limited company as it is better to start as you mean to go on. You'll also want to think about share agreement or a partnership agreement which clearly defines the criteria you'll be operating on and what should happen if one of you wants to leave the arrangement. You'd need to think about this sooner rather than later as I am assuming you'll have leases to enter into etc etc etc

Have any of you got friends that are lawyers? If so, would be worth trying to get some free advice on the legal aspects.

Also, setting the business up correctly from the start means that it is all separate from your personal life and tax, which is the way you want it.

Finally, to pick up on the eBay question there's no reason why not. Plenty of established "traditional" businesses have started using eBay as an additional outlet.

Hope that helps a little, bit no doubt asks more questions than it answers, which is pretty usual sadly!!