There was a time when it seemed like the world might have moved beyond small stores, but thankfully, those fears were proven to be unfounded. Today, more and more people are rejecting the control of the big corporations and opting to give their business to small, independent shops. Which makes it a great time to open up your own! Below, we take a look at nine things you’ll want to keep in mind before doing so, however.
Why You’re Doing It
It’s not going to be easy to be a store owner, not at all, in fact! There’ll be times when you’re putting in twelve hour days just to keep things in shape. As such, you need to have a good reason why you’re doing this. The lure of making money will not be enough! Why do you want to be a store owner? Is it because you want to make a difference in the world, or because you want to give back to your community? Whatever it is, make the reason is robust enough to get you through the difficult times when they arrive.
Who You’re Targeting
It would be oh so nice if everyone in your community would be interested in your store. Success would be guaranteed! Alas, that’s not going to be the case. You’re only going to win over a small percentage of the market. So when it comes to designing and planning your business, make sure that you’re targeting those people. If you conduct your market research well, you’ll have an understanding of the types of products your target demographic like to buy, how much they’re willing to spend, and so on. It’ll all be highly useful information when it comes to developing your business.
Money to Spend
All going well, your store will be a money-maker, but it’s going to take time before it gets to that level. And before you can even think about counting the money that’ll be coming in, you’ll have to part with a significant amount of cash to get things up and running. The sums can sometimes seem eye-watering, but they’re necessary; cutting corners and trying to save too many pennies will result in a store that isn’t able to generate money. You have to spend money to make money!
The Right Space
By far the biggest decision you’ll have when it comes to your store is deciding on the retail space. Since foot traffic will be hugely important to your success, it’s imperative that you’re well-located, in an area frequented by people who may be interested in your business. You’ll also need to ensure that the store is well-designed and all-around fit for purpose. If you don’t know how to go about that, learn more here. You can opt for a traditional design, or choose something more contemporary. Whatever you’re after, make sure you’re working with professionals to get the right look.
Ready for the Boring Bits
Having your own store can be fun, and is generally exciting, but there’s no getting around the fact that sometimes it can be a little boring, too. There can be a lot of paperwork and small tasks to take care of, and you might find that a few hours of your day is taken up by doing things that really don’t make your heart sing. This is a fundamental part of running a store, however, so you’ll need to take care of it. Don’t go into becoming a shop owner without understanding that you’ll need to endure some boring tasks, too.
Finding the Right Staff
It’s impossible to be a one-person operation when you’re running a shop. You’ll have a lot of tasks to take care of, and someone has to be out there serving customers when you’re working in the back. So that means hiring staff. This can be tricky, especially if you’ve never hired someone before. Generally, though, you’ll want to hire people who are friendly, helping, and who have a keen sense of customer service. There’s nothing worse than bringing someone on board then realizing that not only are they failing to help your business, they’re actively hurting it by delivering a poor customer experience.
Working With Product Suppliers
You do not hand make all the goods that you sell. As such, it’s imperative that you’re working with the right suppliers. They’re not all created equally! Some make poor-quality goods, and if a customer discovers this fact, it won’t be the supplier they’re annoyed with; it’ll be your shop! A store that finds the best suppliers for their products will always be in safe hands.
Marketing the Store
If your store is well-stocked and an overall pleasant experience, then people will come. Word of mouth will take care of that. But you’ll also want to put some time into marketing your store, too. You can do this in any number of ways. When you first launch, you can have an opening party. You’ll also want to ensure that you have an online presence, such as a website and social media channels. You can use these outlets to advertise your opening hours, special offers, community events, and so on.
Finally, make sure that you’re operating on the right side of the law. There can be quite of lot of local, state, and federal laws that you need to comply with. If you don’t know what you’re doing, then consider working with a professional. They’ll help you to find the right setup for your business, make sure you’ve got the right health and safety certificates, and so on.
From the moment you first envision your store to your opening day, and beyond, you’ll have to be prepared to put in many hours of hard work. So make sure those working hours take you in the right direction. By incorporating the tips we’ve outlined above, you’ll be on the right path towards owning a store that delivers an income for you, and gives something back to the community.