“Do not wait to strike until the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” – William B. Sprague, Historic American Clergyman
Many people have dreamed of opening their own retail store, usually in response to a passion or hobby that they want to pursue as a business. With today’s uncertain job market, more and more people are taking the plunge into starting their own business or retail outlet. Whether you love quirky antiques, rare books or pet accessories, there are a few things you need to consider before opening any retail location.
First, review your inventory. Are you selling things that appeal to a particular niche market? Or are you carrying items designed for a broad and diverse clientele? Make sure you know who your target customer is and where they are likely to shop.
Visit other retail stores that are similar to what you have in mind. Ask questions about what’s selling, what they wish they had more or less of. Ask about the location. Are they successful where they are or would they move if they had it to do over?
Be sure to notice the price points of items similar to yours. Try to determine reasonable prices that people will spend. If a store has an abundance of a certain item, chances are that means it’s not selling. If they are out of stock, that could be a hot item.
The size of your products will determine what size store you need. Are you selling furniture or jewelry? Obviously, the space requirements vary depending on the inventory. Do you want to be in a mall or on a local street? Is it possible for you to share a space with a complimentary vendor? Combine resources and share the costs? Will you be near other similar stores or will yours be a “destination” source for your product? No matter what you decide, the old adage is true… “Location, location, location.”Spend a good deal of time researching your options and negotiating a good deal.Many landlords are open to bargaining with you in order to lease space, so be sure to get the best deal you can.
The best location may be in your own living room! Depending on your product or service, the best avenue for you may be web sales. You can design and promote your own shopping cart website or you can list items on EBay or other auction sites that share your specialty.
Lastly, consider your financial position before you open your doors to the public. Do you have enough in reserves to run your business for six months? You want to have the luxury of building momentum for your business without worrying about being able to cover the rent.
Opening a retail store can be a challenging, yet very fulfilling endeavor. Is it time for you to start your dream business? If you need more coaching on how to launch a successful retail store, give us a call. We’d be happy to share some winning formulas for getting your business off the ground.
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