Almost every household in the country will visit a hardware store at least one a year. This potential for business is one of the reasons that a hardware store has always been one of the more popular businesses that an owner can start or buy.The generic hardware store exists in the mind’s eye as a retail store that a person can go to and buy just the right nut and bolt or the odd sized screw. This mythical store is run by knowledgeable people who can answer almost anything that has to do with home repair. This is what the public has come to expect when visiting a hardware store. Some chain store outlets have gotten away from the help side of hardware stores and just sale products off the shelf. Getting answers to questions in these stores is not what the hardware store visit is about. The great help of the old type hardware store is missing. Except in those stores that are run the old fashion way and continue to prosper as their customers are repeat customers and would not think about going somewhere else to shop. Two franchises that carry on this tradition are True Value and Ace Hardware associated stores.True Value storesTrue Value is the third largest co-op in the hardware business. True Value is a cooperative that allows the store owner who is a member to buy merchandise at reduced prices since this group can make large wholesale purchases. The store owners can also enjoy the advantage of group advertising buys. Being able to buy at the large volume prices makes the advantage a significant profit maker. Group advertising can also reduce the cost of getting customers into the store.The average True Value store investmentThe average investment in a True Value store works out to about $35 a square foot for inventory. The fixtures or equipment will come in at about $8 a square foot. The start up cost can vary by area of the country, but the average is about $4 a square foot. The additional cost to become a True Value store can be found by contacting True Value corporate.Ace Hardware storesAce Hardware is the largest hardware co-op Like True Value it offers members the capability to buy merchandise through the co-op at reduced prices and thereby make more profit from sales. They also offer the advantage of group advertising which reduces the cost of getting customers through the doors.Group buying of the co-op saves all of the member’s money as the co-op gets better pricing due to large volume buying. This savings is then passed on to the members and allows them to make more money.Ace Hardware Investment StructureThe Ace membership application is about $5000 Initial stock ownership is another $5000. Liquid capital needed to start a store is $250,000 with a loan from Ace of an additional amount of $390,000 to $740,000, which depends on the store size. The total investment is between $650,000 and one million dollars.Land and building cost are not included in this pricing.The Ace investment numbers are based on a 12,000 square foot store. Dollar amounts are for fixtures, inventory, office equipment, computer system and operating costs.Other factors that will help the ownerBoth of these hardware operations offer the owner training and seminars, which are designed to help the store grow. Suggestions for operating the store more efficiently can be taken in and used to good effect. Special purchases that include a targeted advertising campaign will attract customers into the store. The staff’s helpful attitude will impress the customers and insure they will come again.Buying a local hardware storeLocal stores that are affiliated or not do come to market every now and then for purchase. The owner may be willing to deal very favorably in order to make the sale. Contact a business broker or look up businesses that are for sale listed on the Internet. A good business broker may be wise to contact, as these pros are very good sources of current information. If an existing business is for sale, the price may be excellent due to the store being established. A store with cash flow is always a business to be considered. Customer habits are in the favor of the new owner as long as the service stays the same or gets better. If you are going to make some significant changes, make sure they are well thought out before putting them into practice. If there is a strong benefit to the customers, they will probably be met with enthusiasm.An old owner may be willing to help with the financing of the business. In most cases the price of the business will increase some and will have to be negotiated as part of the sales contract. The other way to get the needed money is to see if a business lender would be willing to give you the needed loan. Many of these money lenders are easily found on the Internet.ConclusionsThe hardware business is one business that has a variety to customers that need what the store is offering. Every person of age is a possible customer. This large potential customer base is what will make a new hardware store quickly grow and in the right location become profitable. . As with all retail stores location is important. Name recognition is also very helpful which is why the two co-ops have so many members. Customers will come to a store with a familiar name.Friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff is critical if you want to stand out from the box stores. Their pricing will be competitive to yours, so you have to beat them by having better help. If you try to compete on price alone, you will be fighting a losing battle. Store hours are also important in this business. Early openings are almost a necessity of the business. People like to get up and get started on projects.
Hardware is an aspect of your computer that doesn’t require the need to be changed that often, unlike software. So if your hardware shouldn’t need to be changed that often you want to make sure that when you purchase it you are buying a piece of hardware that will last.A lot of people overlook the need and responsibility of PC hardware and instead concentrate primarily on software. Without the correct hardware your PC will fail to function correctly.The term hardware can be fixed to many aspects of your computer, with the main aspect being your motherboard. The motherboard is classed as the heart of your computer; its main purpose is to provide electrical and logical connections. Without a motherboard your computer will not be able to function. Components such as external storage, controllers for video display and sound are attached to the motherboard via edge connectors and cables.The central processing unit (CPU) is also found on the motherboard and acts as another important piece of computer hardware. The CPU performs most of the calculations which enables a computer to function. The CPU and the motherboard are found within the tower of your computer as is the computer fan, needed to keep your computer at a safe temperature and your power supply, which is obviously needed to ensure your computer has power to function. Along with all of these you will also find your computers sound card and graphics card within your computer tower. Your graphics card, also known as a video display controller, is important to your computer as it is what enables you to get a good resolution and without one you would not be able to watch videos, play games or even clearly see flash images on websites.One last hardware feature of importance that is kept within your computer tower is the computers hard drive. The hard drive is the storage area of your computer system. All your programmes and applications as well as images, music, video and all forms of media that is on your computer are stored within your computers hard drive.All of the previously mentioned hardware is stored in the tower of your computer but there are aspects of computer hardware that are visible on your computer such as removable media in the form of a CD drive, DVD drive, floppy disc and USB ports.When it comes to buying these pieces of computer hardware most people head straight to the biggest brand store and pay over expensive prices for hardware that you could have got a lot cheaper from another avenue. If you are looking to buy computer hardware there are a number of options open to you rather than just buying new. For example there are computer fairs that are held, which sell all forms of computer hardware at very reasonable prices; if you know what you are looking for you will be able to find a great deal at a computer fair. However if you would prefer buying from a retailer have you considered buying used hardware? Please don’t be put off by the term used what is meant by this is you would be buying new hardware that has been returned by customers and restored by the retailer. Dell is a prime example of a store that frequently sells hardware that has been returned and has been repaired to new standards.All of the equipment is new and only has minor issues such as a slight dent. Retailers such as Dell sell restored equipment within their store and also do so over the Internet on sites such as eBay. All of this equipment comes at a discounted price with around 10-40% being taken off the original price depending on the level of interest. So next time you require to purchase computer equipment, shop around instead of just settling for a high price.