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How to Start a Successful Kiosk Business

kiosk, store front
Starting a kiosk or cart business can be an affordable alternative to opening a traditional retail store. / Credit: Kiosk image via Shutterstock

Carts and kiosks, most commonly found in middle of shopping malls, have gotten a bit of a bad rap over the years. They're often thought of as the homes of inexperienced small business owners and pushy salespeople hawking lowbrow products. However, this business model has become increasingly popular among entrepreneurs who want an inexpensive alternative to a retail storefront.

There are plenty of benefits of opening a kiosk business. In addition to significantly lower startup costs and lower monthly rent than a traditional store, the small, contained space means that only one or two employees are needed per shift, which can greatly reduce labor costs. Since all the merchandise in a kiosk is always on display, you can also draw potential customers in with a 360-degree shopping experience.

Taki Skouras, CEO of wireless accessories franchise Cellairis, started off as a small startup operating out of a kiosk. Today, Cellairis has more than 700 locations, all following the original kiosk model.

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"Most people view carts and kiosks as a temporary solution," Skouras told BusinessNewsDaily. "My partners and I have worked very hard to change that perspective. We are still growing and thriving from the same business model we started with nearly 14 years ago."

Skouras noted that starting a kiosk or cart business may not be the right fit for everyone. Here are a few things to consider before settling on this model:

Know how much space you need. What type of product does your business offer and how much inventory do you expect to carry? Is your merchandise small enough to fit in the space of a typical mall kiosk? If you sell small products, such as Cellairis' mobile device accessories, this model could work for your startup.

Think about future plans. Are you planning to expand your business? If so, determine whether your long-term goals are to open another kiosk location with the same types of merchandise, or to add more products to your line that won't necessarily fit into a kiosk space? Based on the amount of capital you have, determine whether it would be best to start out in a kiosk and move up, or save your money for a full retail storefront.

Are you ready to commit? Just because a kiosk is a smaller, less expensive space doesn't mean you can back out, no more than you could back out of a rental agreement for a traditional retail location. There are many variables that go into opening a kiosk, but once you commit, you have to stick with it, Skouras said.

"Be patient and believe in your business," Skouras said. "If you continue to put in hard work and have the desire and determination to succeed, you will."

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.

Nicole Fallon

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. Nicole served as the site's managing editor until January 2018, and briefly ran Business.com's copy and production team. Follow her on Twitter.