When it comes to starting your own business there is a lot you have to think about. You’ll probably be starting as a solo outfit meaning every aspect of the business will be your decision. This is no bad thing. You can direct the business in any way you want and set some foundations for growth. But what if you’re unsure of the beginning stages of setting up your own company? Here we take a look at some tips for starting your own retail business. (Image Credit: Free-Photos/Pixabay)
Create A Plan
Every business starts with a plan. There are very few exceptions to the rule as businesses that plan for every eventuality tend to be more successful than those that don’t. When it comes to your business plan there are plenty of questions you need to answer. What will your business sell? Who is your target market? How are you going to sell to them? What is your pricing structure? Do you have an expansion plan? Who are your competitors? These all need answering in a brief, well structured manner.
The more that is written into your business plan, the better you will deal with any situation that arises. It’s better to be prepared before opening your shop rather than discovering a problem 3 months into business that could shut you down.
Find The Right Location
Location is key when it comes to opening a retail space. You’ll need to find somewhere that has enough footfall walking past, this is called passing trade, and somewhere that’s the right size for your venture. This is why doing your research when looking for retail space is essential. Settling on the first place you view is never a good idea as you don’t know what else is out there. It’s a good idea to take photos and notes of every place you visit so you can look at them when you’re back at home. If everything is on the table in front of you it’s much easier to write out the pros and cons of each place before making an offer.
Getting somewhere nice will be key to your success. If the shop looks dirty, in a bad location, or hasn’t been looked after then people aren’t going to want to come in.
Understand The Market
Knowing your marketplace is important when starting up a retail business. Understanding your customer’s expectations and different trends in your sector is essential to understanding what you’re going to sell and if your customer base wants anything else. It’s wise to investigate and research heavily in this before opening as it will allow you to hit the ground running. Knowing what to sell, where to sell and how much will be the turning point in your popularity. No one wants to buy the same things from 40 years ago. Stay fresh and stay prepared.
Use The Right Suppliers
There are thousands of suppliers out there. As a start-up, you may think you’re limited to who you can use but you can order from as many as you like, as long as you aren’t tied in or committed to one. As there are so many, they will often compete for your custom. Use this to your advantage. Many companies will offer deals on certain products which will allow your markup to be much larger than if you went for the first supplier you came across. Be wise with them, the more you save on buying the more you make when selling.
Marketing & Advertising
It’s always been wise to advertise your business, whether that’s in the local newspaper, on the radio or even on the television. The introduction of social media brought a whole new way of advertising to potential customers and allows you to pinpoint your target market with little fuss.
Casting your advertising net wide might be just what you’re after. If that’s the case then a traditional form of media is perfect for you. Many people watch TV or listen to the radio which means a wide variety of potential customers will hear or see your advert. When it comes to social media, people choose what they want to see and ignore anything else.
If you’re a shop specialising in bicycles then there’s a whole world of bicycle addicts that post pictures and videos all day online. If you can talk with an influencer that posts exclusively about bikes and pay them to advertise your shop, you’ll have more people visiting your social media pages and visiting your shop. It’s best to find a local influencer when talking retail.
Starting your own retail business is a journey and one that requires time and effort. But it’s going to be worth it in the end. As long as you plan your journey and take the right steps along the way then you will be well on your way to starting a successful retail shop. Don’t forget to sell things online though, the world we live in is developing fast and you don’t want to miss out on important sales!