Tips on How to Start a Retail Business
It may take a lot of initial work as you start your own retail business, but with the right planning anyone can achieve their goals.
The following steps to starting a retail business should be used as a guide before you open your own store.
Choose a Legal Structure for Your Retail Business
Choosing the proper legal organizational structure for your business is one of the most important decisions you will make.
While it is possible to change your structure at a later date, it can be a difficult and expensive process. Therefore it’s better to make the right decision before you start your own business.
Choose a Name
Coming up with a business name may come easy for some, but others struggle with the task. Considering the truncated nature of social media and online searches, you want to be careful to select a name that can communicate who you are quickly.
Too often, retailers select a name that is clever to them or just a word or their name, but these become difficult for organic search traffic and SEO.
The more it takes to explain your name, the more it will cost you to win business online.
Your business name should clearly communicate what you sell.
Determine Your Products or Services
Picking the right merchandise to sell in your store is the perfect balance of art and science. And all products need services to support them whether its repairs or simply gift wrapping, consider what “extras” your store needs to be successful.
Most likely, the products you are selling are based on the ones you have a passion for and why you are considering retail in the first place. But remember, buying products is 10 percent “eye” and right fit and 90 percent math. Getting it in your store is easy. Getting it out profitably is the hard part.
Determine Your Channels
Each way a customer can do business with you is known as a channel. Will you have an online store as well as your brick and mortar store? Will you do catalogue or phone orders? Will you have a mobile app? Retail is an omnichannel world today.
Customers expect to be able to engage and buy from a retailer in multiple ways. You must determine in advance what channels you will have for the customer to engage you and weave a consistent brand and culture and experience through all of the channels.
Research and Know the Laws
Understand what business licenses and permits you need to obtain by contacting your city, county and state government offices. Before you start your own business, find out what laws govern your type of retail store.
Consider consulting with both a lawyer and an accountant, as each will help you properly organize your business.
Write a Business Plan
Oftentimes, plans fail if they are not in writing. Period. But the importance of writing a business plan is in the way it forces you to consider all angles and all areas of your business. It requires that you do extensive research and planning.
This is one step you cannot skip. It will take you the longest time to complete, but there is a definite correlation between the success of the store and a well-written business plan.