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Small Business Ideas Forum

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Old 3rd September 2010, 03:35 PM   #1

Join Date: Sep 2010
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Lightbulb My Idea

I have a business idea that I think could work and could do with other peoples opinions.

Where I got my idea:

The idea sprang from a lack of cash and thinking of ways to make money, and I went to a local fair where a friend of mine was running a 'beer tent' on behalf of the pub grounds the fair was on, selling regular 440ml cans of beer for 1.
The local supermarket sells the cans for 44p each ( 3 x 15 cans for 20 ) so 66p profit per can, and they sold over 200 cans so minimum 132 in profit for just a few hours work.

I realise this was a one off occasion, and that it would be ridiculous to base a business on this alone.

I got the idea of a delivery service for alcohol. Me and my friends have wondered if there is a service like this many times at certain times ( too drunk to drive to the shop, shops closed) but never thought more of it until I realised the cheap prices of beer in the supermarkets, compared to what people are prepared to pay for them.

This is only considered a small-scale part-time business (weekends 7pm - early hours) but I think there is quite a profit to be made!

I have researched the idea and there are no services like this around my area, but it must be legal because they do exist in other cities (such as manchester and stoke). The prices they are charging are fair (1 a can, 15 minimum order) but this minimum order even has a profit margin of 6.60 (obviously less after petrol wages etc. but still this is the 'minimum' order). Obviously spirits would be on the menu and snacks and soft drinks, so I think this idea could be a very successful part-time business.

Please feel free to tear this idea apart if you feel it is ridiculous I just want to know if it does sound like it could make money or it is just a silly idea?


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Old 4th September 2010, 02:57 AM   #2
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Hi mcguire2010!
I like the idea and yes, I think it will work. That is, I am assuming that you market it properly.

Now, it appears you have done some research as you claim that the service (or that type of service) is legal. In several jurisdictions I am thinking it would be illegal and would be referred to as 'bootlegging'. Just to be sure, I would double check to be assured.

Then I think you have to limit the delivery area. As you detail the profit on the min order, you can still eat thru that pretty quick if the wages (or time to deliver) and operating costs get too high too quick.

The only other 'concerns' I would have are:

1- delivering to under age clients - I don't know your local laws but you better.

2- Delivering to people who have already consumed too much... and they can be 'ugly' customers.

You also have to have a 'sure fire' method of controlling your inventory because (and I don't have to tell you) a missing bottle here and there will kill all of your margins.

Besides that... I think it will work. People will pay a premium for convenience. That's really what you're selling. The convenience. You can probably start without any huge investment and base it on a real small area as a test.

I guarantee you one thing. Once you've made 10 deliveries, you will start to see where all the 'hidden' problems are.... and there's no shame in pulling the plug and walking away. Nothing ventured... (you know the rest!)

Good luck! I am really curious how this turns out or where you go from here.

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Old 12th September 2010, 03:47 PM   #3

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If you are setting up as a retailer will you need a license to sell alcohol? They can be expensive and time consuming to manage.

If you are going to just do deliveries for an existing retailer you might not need a license but you will have to work out if people will pay the extra cost on top of retail prices for the delivery.

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