5 Tips for Opening a Retail Store

E-commerce Marketing

Opening and running a retail store can be a great source of revenue depending on the choices you make before you open those doors for the first time. If you’re thinking of opening a shop, keep these tips in mind.

1. Prepare a Business Plan First

A business plan is your roadmap for the first few years of your operation. Think about the type of customers you can attract. In what part of town would your business work best? How will you advertise your business? What kinds of merchandise will you carry?

Not only do you need to decide on the type of goods you’re going to sell, but you also need to come up with a plan on how you’ll price and label your inventory. An RFID inventory system is a great way to label your merchandise and keep track of everything you sell.

2. Obtain a Loan

Without the necessary funds to purchase inventory and rent space, your store won’t get off the ground. Obtaining a loan is a priority for most businesses. Lending institutions want you to put down at least 10 percent of your own money toward the start-up costs. Start saving money now and work on getting out of debt before you look for a loan. Your business probably won’t be operating at a profit for at least a year, so you’ll also need to save enough money to live on for a few months.

You can apply for a loan from your local bank as well as different lendng institutions online. Also, apply for funding from the Small Business Administration. While the SBA won’t actually loan you the money, this government entity does guarantee your loan, making banks more willing to provide you with the funds you need.

3. Find the Right Location

The location you choose for your business will either make or break your retail store, so choose your location carefully. Find a building that potential customers can easily locate. Rental space near a larger establishment, such as a popular restaurant or a grocery store, can also lure in customers.

Make sure there’s plenty of parking in front of your store and that the parking lot is well-lit. You also want easy access for your customers and good signage out front.

4. Come Up With a Brand

You want a name for your store that catches the attention of potential customers and also lets them know about the type of product you’re selling. Hire a graphic artist to create an attractive logo. Think about ways you can arrange your storefront to attract more business, and don’t forget the smell. An attractive aroma can lure your customers inside.

5. Create an Online Presence

Even if you’re planning on opening a brick-and-mortar business, building an online presence is still crucial. These days, customers prefer shopping online, especially when it comes to repeat purchases.  If you sell unique or locally-made items, sell them both from your store and online to attract more sales. You can list things on online markets such as Amazon and through your own website.

Either build your own website or hire someone to do it for you. Also, make sure you have a presence on the major social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram. If social media bewilders you, hire a virtual assistant who specializes in social media placement.  You can find a good virtual assistant at an affordable price through an online marketplace.

Don’t forget customer service. Welcome each person who comes into your store, Be sure and offer free samples. Treat your customers right, and they’ll return to your establishment regularly, providing you with repeat business.

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