Coffee Mug Business Idea
Interested in learning how to start a mug business? A mug business is a combination service/retail operation that sells either directly to consumers or to other businesses.
The mug business is essentially a novelty business, offering custom and stock mugs for sale directly to customers and for resale to other businesses or organizations.
Learning how to start a mug business can be easily done in small steps, which makes this ideal for someone who wants to grow a business while working at home in the beginning.
Many things that need to be done to start this business can be accomplished online, including ordering mailing boxes and mugs, designing, postage, research, accounting, writing and creating mailing lists.
Those who wish to enter the mug business arena on a larger scale will also be able to get it going quickly by using online resources.
How To Start A Mug Business – Getting Started
Although starting a mug business is fairly straightforward, you will want to start on a solid business foundation. This foundation is built with the following steps…
- Start with a business plan. This is an overall view of the business and the “who-what-where-when-why-how” of it all. Write down who will run the business, what products you will sell, where you will sell them, when you will do all this, why this business should succeed, and finally, how will you finance it?
- Learn the basics of accounting or hire an accountant to keep your books.
- Obtain some legal counsel. A lawyer can help you set up your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, S-Corporation or Corporation, according to your needs. Your attorney can also review any rental agreements, equipment purchase documents, and contracts.
- Research to find quality, reliable suppliers. Do this on the Internet. Search under “promotional mugs” first. Compare products and prices to locate the best deals.
Supplies And Equipment Needed
Depending upon your location and the scope of the business, you may need the following:
- A place to operate from, either home or rental space, a shed or other location. When learning how to start a mug business, getting started from home is a good idea.
- If you are doing the mug imprinting yourself, that equipment would be required. This may involve an imprinter, inks, storage racks and boxes. If you are ordering mugs pre-made, all you need to do is ship them out to customers.
- Shipping boxes if you are mailing products out to clients/customers. Include bubble wrap or other protective materials, and labels for shipping.
- A computer is quite essential for tracking, ordering, word processing, internet access and database creation.
Ways To Find Customers
Mugs are a staple, favorite item with everyone, it seems. People cannot get enough mugs around the home and office. Mugs are ideal for imprinting logos and photos. They are attractive to individuals who want a customized or personalized mug. Mugs also serve as a helpful promotional item for businesses who want to advertise.
To find customers for your mugs, you can do several things. Advertise cheaply online at Craigslist or eBay, contact local potential customers in person and show your mugs, or place some inexpensive ads around town using flyers or a small print advertisement.
Expanding Your Mug Business
When it is time to expand, find some help. Hire a part time salesperson to make cold calls on potential new customers. Become known around town as the “mug man” or “mug lady” by becoming active in local events and always showcasing your custom mugs.
Have a booth at a festival or show. Always keep an eye out for new customers. If a new business opens their doors, be there with a gift mug and your price list. Selling mugs is fun and can be profitable, even on a small scale operation.
However, this business has few barriers to entry and therefore is extremely competitive. You’ll need to find a niche for your mugs when learning how to start a mug business. This niche could be low prices, product quality, unique design – anything that helps you stand out from the crowd.