Beginner’s Guide on Starting a DIY Shop Business in the United Kingdom
Many businesses sell products that will never be out of demand, for example, groceries and clothing retailers. However, most of these sectors are already congested. So if you are looking for a sector that will always have customers and comparatively isn’t very competitive, then starting a DIY shop business is an amazing idea.
What Is a DIY Shop Business?
A DIY Shop business is another name for a hardware store. It sells various household items for home improvement and maintenance that may include building materials, fasteners, keys, chains, housewares, utensils, etc. The good thing about a DIY Shop business is that it can be operated both as a small business and a larger company.
A DIY shop can sell products based on the niche and the demands of a location. Their inventory can contain fishing supplies, home paints, farm and ranch supplies, pet items, animal feeds, etc. Thus, it is one of the sectors where you can diversify your products, even if you operate on a specific niche.
DIY Shop Business Trends in the United Kingdom
DIY shop businesses sell items based on the needs of the locality they operate in. However, for a broader view, here are the DIY business trends and options for you to take:
Electrical and Electronics Items
Many hardware stores sell electronic items like wires, bulbs, switches, etc. Additionally, some stores can offer electrical devices like emergency lights, phone chargers, etc., and electrical repair services.
Energy producing products like generators, inverters, and solar panels provide great business opportunities for those looking to start a DIY shop business. You can also sell smaller items like batteries, motors, etc.
Many DIY shop businesses primarily sell building materials for construction and home maintenance, and improvements. Some examples include shovel and blades, pipes and fittings, screwdrivers, white cement, etc.
Pet and Animal Store
This can range from dog food and playhouses in city areas to ranch items and animal feeds in farmlands. Many DIY stores operate under the name of a pet store, while others also sell items for other purposes.
Houseware and Utensils
The idea of a DIY hardware store is to sell items that people will always require in their lives. Thus, housewares and utensils like plates, glasses, pressure cookers, and accessories like pressure cooker rubber are also some of the things you can consider after starting a DIY shop business.
Bathroom Items and Miscellaneous
Some hardware stores sell bathroom items like commodes, basins, taps, tiles, and floorings. Others go a step further by helping with the installation of the items they sell. These days, offers are getting popular- you combine various services and products into one offering and provide a discount for that.
The Process for Starting a DIY Shop Business
Here is how you can start a DIY Shop Business in the United Kingdom:
Choose a Niche
You can choose a niche from the trends we mentioned above or do more research. Choose one that has a lot of customers but fewer competitors. Of course, you can decide to sell everything under the sun; but it will help if you focus on a specific niche. You can keep products of other niches as well but have more products in your core business field.
Decide Where to Sell
You can either open a physical store or an online store. Of course, you can do both.
When selling online, you need to decide between an online marketplace and your own eCommerce store. Marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay have a lot of customers but can be competitive. On the other hand, opening your own website will give you better branding, but it takes some investment and knowledge to grow a website.
Settle on a Company Name and Type
The next step is deciding between a sole proprietorship, partnership, and a private limited company. The first two companies operate as your (and your partner’s) ownership, while a private limited company stands as a legal entity on its own.
If you want to open a small business, a sole proprietorship or partnership can do the job. But remember, there will be less security, as your personal funds aren’t separated from your company’s fund. Furthermore, it may be more difficult to settle disputes in a partnership than in a private limited company.
A private limited company offers a proper organizational structure. Furthermore, it isn’t ownership. Rather, the parts of the company are allocated to various shares which the beneficiaries own. However, it has its own requirements, such as a director, shareholder, and a registered address.
It is always beneficial to consult a UK company incorporation services provider to get professional help to weigh in your options and to register your business.
Choose a Company Name
After the company type, you have to settle on a company name. Choose a name that isn’t clear and not too long. Offensive or sensitive words are out of bounds, and your name can’t be the same or too similar to existing companies. You should have alternatives in case your proposed name isn’t available.
Register Your Company
The final step is registering your company. It can be confusing and a hassle if you don’t have prior experience. Furthermore, you can come across various hurdles in other steps of the process as well. Thus, you should hire a professional team. There are many services that offer company registration in the UK.
After the registration of the company, don’t forget to register for the corporation taxes. You may also want to open a corporate bank account and buy insurance.
Licenses for Starting a DIY Hardware Shop in the United Kingdom
Licenses are strictly monitored in the United Kingdom, and DIY hardware shops may also require special licenses based on their operations. Below is a list of the most common business licenses required by DIY hardware shops. For detailed information, you can consult a lawyer or your corporate service provider.
- License to play background music if you want to play background music in your store premise.
- You have to notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to process customers’ personal data in an automated form.
- Public space surveillance (CCTV) license to conduct guarding with CCTV cameras.
- Apply for Financial Services Authority (FSA) authorization to offer consumer credit. You also need a Consumer Credit Licence (All UK).
- Goods Vehicle Operator Licence to drive and offer services from a goods vehicle.
- Market Stall Licence to run a market stall as a trader. There are two types of Market Stall Licence; permanent and casual.
- Permission to place tables and chairs on the pavement.
- License to place furniture on the pavement.
- Pavement or Street Display Licence if you want to put advertising signs on the road or pavement.
- TV dealer notifications if you want to sell new or used televisions.
- Auction premises registration to sell certain goods by auction.
Starting a DIY shop business opens up possibilities for you to sell a wide range of essential items. However, registering the business can be confusing, so you may require some professional help.
You can contact 3E Accounting if you are looking for company registration and consultancy services in the United Kingdom. We are a team of competent business and legal experts who can help you to get your business up and running in no time.