Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses. In addition, certain local licensing or regulatory requirements may apply. For more information about local licenses and permits:.
Estate sale businesses should consider requiring clients to sign a service agreement before starting a new project. This agreement should clarify client expectations and minimize risk of legal disputes by setting out payment terms and conditions, service level expectations, and intellectual property ownership.
Here is an example service agreement. Recommended: Rocket Lawyer makes it easy to create a professional service agreement for your estate sale business when you sign up for their premium membership. An estate sale company sells items on behalf of their clients, and as such, should write an agreement to specify the details of the arrangement between the company and the clients.
A sample consignment agreement for an estate sale can be found here. Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state. Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors. Make sure that your website looks professional, clearly states what you do and where you do it, and encourages response.
Here is an example of a well-executed estate sale company website. You must also have an active social media presence, including a business page on Facebook and a presence on LinkedIn, at a minimum.
Repeat customers are a great indication of our continued success.
In addition to trying to draw customers directly through your website and social media, pick up the phone and introduce yourself to probate attorneys and real estate agents who handle estates. You can find this information online. A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers. Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state. You should be able to ascertain the true value of furniture, art, antiques, collectibles, electronics, books, household appliances, office equipment and other paraphernalia of an estate in transition.
Sometimes this will mean taking time to research sale items for hidden value or proper pricing. You should also be able to sell yourself and your company to three separate market segments:. These are three very different audiences, and all must be approached in very different ways. You might find buyers by placing ads in local media and in connecting with individuals who regularly buy estate items, whereas you could meet your referrers while networking in more professional settings. And finally, you must have the organizational and crowd control skills to create and manage the sale, lead a team, and work well under pressure.
Since families are generally smaller and spread farther apart than they used to be, it is more difficult for people to pick up, transport, and claim ownership of their parents' belongings after their parents pass. Therefore, while there are more estates in search of companies like yours than ever before, you must be aggressive about getting the business.
Make sure you website stands out and attracts clients and that you maintain excellent relationships with referrers. Subscibe to our YouTube channel.
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need. Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. The best way of jump-starting your business might be by buying a franchise of a successful company. After all, they can serve as your mentor, coach and partner, seeing that you avoid the mistakes they probably made at first.
Unless your skill set includes the ability to network with business referrers, appraise consignments, contact estates, attract buyers through marketing and social media, price items, stage sales, lug heavy furniture and stuffed boxes from one place to another and cleanup after the sale, you need help. That need is multiplied if you have two or more estate sales in progress on the same day.
Tips For a Successful Estate Sale Interview
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Though we prefer not to think about them, we do have to work with difficult and demanding people occasionally, and sometimes personalities and behaviors can shift unexpectedly and without much warning. Here are some suggestions that will make life a little easier for you, and maybe also for some of these clients:.
Before committing to the estate sale, make sure you understand that a demanding person will rarely be satisfied. Sometimes it seems like they came into the world this way, and you are not going to change them. Perhaps they are going through a very difficult time in their lives. Think long and hard before you accept the sale. The income might be tempting, but will the difficulty you encounter really be worth it? Be honest with yourself. Realize that no matter how good you are, they will think you could have and should have done it better.
You've done everything to near perfection, including working many more hours of your own time to make things as wonderful as possible. The client, however, may find fault with anything or everything from your pricing, to your set up, to how you actually run the sale. Look for these potential red flags. It is not uncommon that a demanding or difficult client might attempt to push you into compliance with a certain situation they want to occur their way.
Anger and accusations can be directed toward you because you are there and you are dealing with very personal possessions. Many find this threatening. They can also attempt to manipulate to get what they want. Be as understanding and as compassionate as you can be.
If you have already done this and you know it is a relationship that will not work, respectfully decline the sale and offer a referral. When established in , our initial goal was getting the best knowledge for the business and to become the Estate Sale experts we are today.
Our plan has been to advance and be able to grow into a national estate liquidation service that understands and empathizes with the needs of clients all over the country. Request Your Free Consultation.
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