There are thousands of different options when it comes to what kind of business you’re going to run, let alone what products and services you’re going to sell, so it can take a while to come up with the ideal solution to your problem – the nice problem of working out how to start a business.
One idea that can be very lucrative and highly successful is to open a retail store. Although most of the world is online these days, that doesn’t mean that a physical store isn’t a good idea. In fact, the truth is that because of the plethora of online shops, a new physical one is sure to stand out and be noticed – it could even be your USP.
Of course, if you do decide to go down this route, you’ll want to get things right so that you stand out for positive reasons rather than negative ones. With that in mind, here are some things to consider and some useful tips for opening a retail store.
Make A Business Plan
No matter what kind of business you want to open, a business plan is going to be invaluable, so it’s crucial if you want to make your retail store successful. Your business plan is something for you to follow that will take you from your initial ideas right through to your ultimate goals, whatever they might be, but it’s also something for other people to look at, especially if you want to ask for any funding for the business. Therefore it needs to be clear and concise, and it needs to be accurate, especially when it comes to the money going in and out of the business.
In order for your business plan to be something useful that you can follow and that will help you make the right decisions for your business, as well as being a persuasive tool when it comes to obtaining loans or finding investors, you’ll need to do plenty of research about your exact business, as well as how to run a retail store in general. You’ll need to know all kinds of things, from highly specific ones like regulations for starting a pawn shop, to more general ones, like how much tax you’re likely to pay. Once you have all the information you’ll need, you can complete your business plan and that’s your map to success.
Choose A Good Name
If there’s one thing you absolutely have to get right when you open a retail store, it’s your name. That’s what’s going to be front and center at all times – it’s the thing that’s going to be big and bold right at the front of the shop, and it’s how people will get to know you, so make sure it’s right before you start putting up signage, registering the business, creating a website (even if you have a retail store, a website is still a vital way to market it, and perhaps even make some additional sales), and so on.
The name you choose should have some meaning behind it, as it’s your way of letting people know what it is you do. Choosing your own name isn’t always an ideal solution because it doesn’t tell a story – choosing your own name and adding a word or two to describe what you sell or what services you offer, however, does tell a story, so that’s a better route to take. You’ll need to look as objectively as you can at the name (or, even better, a shortlist of names) you choose and think about how it would sound and what it might mean to someone who’s never seen it before. It’s often wise to do some market research with friends, family, and strangers to find out what the main opinion is – listen to that opinion and amend your name accordingly.
Other tips for coming up with a name include that it should be as simple as possible, and it should be unique. You don’t want people forgetting the name, and neither do you want them getting you confused with another business.
Find The Right Location
If you run a retail store, location is always going to be hugely important. Unlike an online store where you can be based anywhere, the location of your physical store will dictate who your customers are, how they get to you, how much money they have to spend, and so on.
The location you pick needs to be somewhere easy to reach, with plenty of parking, otherwise people might decide not to come to you and go somewhere else instead. You’ll also ideally want to be somewhere with a lot of footfall – people just wandering in to see what you sell can really boost your profits.