While it may not be the fastest way to make your fortune, there’s certainly a lot of promise in opening up a small retail outlet as your first business venture. Retail may not be the most complex niche you can go into, but it’s definitely not easy to make a success out of a small store. Here are a few general tips for success in retail.
Location, Location, Location
This is not only a golden rule in real estate, but also applies heavily when you’re looking to open a physical retail outlet. If you fail to source a good location for your shop, you could end up in the frustrating situation of having great staff and products, but no customers coming in and experiencing these. Ideally, you want your store to be sandwiched between two non-competitors who get a lot of foot traffic. The overflow of traffic from these stores can easily give you your first handful of loyal customers. If you’re unfamiliar with the area or you’re looking to open in a new shopping mall, do a little research and make sure you’re not opening a high-end business in a low-end place. A good retail store all starts with the location!
Find Good Kids
I only have space to say one thing about your hiring and management, so I’ll make it this: make sure you have some good kids working for you! Teenagers who are rude to customers, clumsy with the credit card processing equipment, or simply apathetic and lazy, are poison to small retail businesses. You’ll need to hire at least some young people, and ideally you’ll want people who demonstrate some interest in your business niche. If you’re selling car parts and accessories, and you hire someone who’s a fashion student, they may find it a little hard to take an interest in the day-to-day running of the business. Make sure that interests and hobbies make up a decent section of the interview. They probably don’t have that much else on their resumes anyway! You should also try to ask them about what they think their best attribute would be working there. This is a great way to gauge a young person’s attitude to business in general.
Picking out the merchandise for your store is going to be one of the most expensive and time-consuming parts of opening your retail business, and it certainly shouldn’t be taken lightly! As soon as you know you’re definitely going to pursue this plan, you should be checking out wholesalers online to get an idea of the kind of merchandise on offer, and how you’ll have to price it to turn a profit and keep the business growing. If it seems that you’re going to have to price things a lot higher than other, similar stores in your area, you may need to start thinking about promotional gimmicks you can use to keep those customers coming in. Early on, you should also go out of your way to gauge people’s opinions on your products.
As you move ahead with your retail business, be sure to keep these tips in mind!