Launching the charity shop business is a very complicated process, and you shouldn’t take it lightly if you’re working on it. It comprises raising funds for charity, spreading awareness, and various other details. Today, we’ll discuss how to open a charity shop and offer you step-by-step guidelines.
While launching the business, you’ll be facing issues and challenges like trading law, health and safety, and security issues. The specific challenges relevant to the specific industry and sector are like volunteer workforce and sourcing stock.
How to Open a Charity Shop
Let’s discuss how to open a charity shop; some of the main steps are as follows;
- If you haven’t registered your business with the charity commission, then first of all you should register it there. It’s important to mention here that only registered charities could start their shop.
- You should familiarize yourself with the statutory obligations that you would start your business as the occupier of the property, employer, charity, and being a retailer.
- Be aware of the tax side of the charity business, and it could have the benefit of tax exemption from the relief of 80% mandatory non-domestic business rates, Zero rates on the sale of donated goods, and corporate tax. It’s better if you visit the local office, and check out the relief rates.
- You should calculate an estimated budget with likely sales, income, expenses, insurance cost, bills, repair, wages, and rental. It’s important to mention it here that 60% to 80% income of the business would comprise operational and running expenses like wages, salaries, and rent.
- In order to start your business, you should raise funds, and the minimum deposit should be around 7000-10,000 dollars to cover your initial expenses like staff recruitment, building repairs, and shop fit.
Setting up Charity Shop
- Now, it’s time to select the area and location of your business shop. It should in a mixed business and commercial area with car parking spaces nearby and good foot traffic nearby.
- After selecting the property, make sure that it has sufficient backroom space to carry out operations like stock preparation and storage along with a good public area. You should study the DDA (disability discrimination act) in order to comply with the health and safety regulations. Make sure that it’s accessible for the disabled and handicapped, and its setting should be safe.
- The setting of the public area of the shop would comprise the counter, railing, and shelves and you would need a sorting facility and storage in the backroom area. You should compromise on the security system and security equipment.
- It’s time to hire a manager for your business that has the experience and background in retail. His/her responsibilities would comprise developing sales reports, cash handling, volunteers, stock, etc.
- You’re going to need approximately 2 people in the shop all the time for stock processing, security, safety, and performing various other operations. It is better if you look for volunteers, and the average shop has approximately 20 or more volunteers.
- You should provide professional training to your staff so that they could perform operations like recognizing and identifying the valuable goods, stock preparation, the safety of the product, retail law, aims of the charity, and issues relevant to health, safety, and security.
Running the Charity Shop
- It’s time to raise funds and increase donations, and you collect funds and donations either by motivating people in the public events or by visiting door to door. You should keep in mind the legal concerns relevant to the collection of donations from door to door, and you should provide proper guidelines to your team members
- You should add price tags, clean, and sort out your stock, and you can export and recycle the damaged, too old, or unsold textile stock.
- Make sure that the workplace environment of your business should be secure and safe. It’s better that you should complete all the paperwork and risk assessments. You should install the posters and banner by including information like emergency aid notices, emergency instructions, health and safety policy statements, health and safety law posters, and liability insurance certificates of the employer.
- Make sure that your shop has a welcoming sign for volunteers and disabled persons, and they should follow the DDA regulations. They should comprise of practical things training of staff, how best they could do, and ramps over steps.
- Your shop should follow satisfactory quality regulations, the safety of goods, and consumer laws.
- If you’re playing instrumental music in your establishment, then you should get its license.
Conclusion: How to Open a Charity Shop
After an in-depth study of how to open a charity shop; we have realized that launching the charity business requires a lot of work. If you’re working on the development of your business, then you should follow the abovementioned guidelines and steps.
Ahsan Ali Shaw is an accomplished Business Writer, Analyst, and Public Speaker. Other than that, he’s a fun loving person.