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How to start a retail business | biz + blog tips

How to start a retail business

Have you seen the new Netflix series ‘Girl Boss’ yet? Are you thinking about starting a business in retail? The dream can become a reality with a little planning and challenging work. However, people often choose retail to start their first business because they believe it to be the easy option. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Retail is a tough business and many people just aren’t cut out to last. There are so many retail businesses, that standing out from the crowd becomes more difficult every day. Have you got what it takes to make a retail business survive? Find out here.

Choosing a Name

Choosing a name for a business can sound easier than it is. It must be something relevant to your product and business niche. It must be catchy enough to make people take a second look. Does your name explain who you are? You may also want to do some searches once you’ve come up with a few contenders. You don’t want to name your business something similar to another business, especially if you’re selling something similar too. The best thing to do is get opinions. When it comes to business, you aren’t a one-man army. You need input from all kinds of different people, so start right at the beginning.

Write a Business Plan

You need to have clear direction before you start any business. What do you want to sell and who do you want to sell it to? Do you have products in mind? How much money do you need? When it comes to starting a business, you have a lot of people to impress. Business managers, accountants, bankers and potential customers will all want to know your vision. This is the time to get excited because the more enthusiastic you are about what you can do, the more infectious your business ideas will become.

Register Your Business

Filing for EIN or Federal Tax Identification Number will ensure you’re starting on the right foot. It’s a must have for any business, especially if you intend on hiring employees. It’s the first milestone to any business and you should celebrate it. However, keep the celebrations short because you have work to do, and lots of it.

Choose Your Products

Before you start buying boxes full of products, think carefully. Do you really know what your customers want? What kind of budget are you working with? It’s easy to get carried away with excitement, but you need to think sensibly. The first thing you need to do is work out what you have to spend on the business in total. This includes products, rent, utilities, advertisement etc. The second thing you need to do is find out what your customers are likely to buy from you. If you’ve set up a social media account, you can ask some of your followers to complete a survey or a vote. It’s easy to get one started.

Know Your Budget

As mentioned above, you need to know what your budget is before spending. What does your business cost to run? How much will you have to invest? You may find that you need some outside investment, as most businesses start with 10k. You may also want to find a good accountant who can offer you expert advice when you need it.

 

How Will You Sell?

Starting off as a bricks and mortar kind of retail business can be a lot riskier than selling online. The wisest thing to do is to start your business online and work your way up. It doesn’t cost much to start a business via social media and accept orders via private message and PayPal. If you want to move onwards and upwards slowly, you can then open an e-commerce website where your customers can buy online. It’s an easy way of working from home and making money. Once your business is established and you know you have a solid clientele, it’s safer to open a bricks and mortar store. You can still sell online but your customers have the option of coming to the store as well. This way, you know you won’t lose a vast amount of money on opening a shop within the community.

What Do You Need?

When you open a bricks and mortar store, you’ll need the appropriate licenses and permits. You can contact your local county or state government offices to find what you’ll need and how to apply. You can even take the opportunity to go and talk to someone face to face and advertise your business. Never miss out on an opportunity.

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Quality Over Quantity

Why should your customers drive to your store when they can sit in the comfort of their own homes and shop instead? It should be because the experience is first class. When they walk through your doors, they should be welcomed. If they need help, your staff should come running. The quality of the service they get should outclass what they get online. Make sure your staff are highly trained in customer service and product knowledge, so you’re giving every customer what they can’t get online.

Where?

You need to find a good location before you open any bricks and mortar business. You need to think about how easily your customers can reach you and whether the building is worth investing in. Are there other successful businesses in the area? This will tell you whether or not people are spending money in that location. If there are businesses nearby, go an introduce yourself and start to establish relationships. Business owners tend to look after their own, so if you’re in with the crowd, you have a good chance of survival.

Vendors

Try to start your business off with reputable vendors who aren’t going anywhere. The last thing you need to be doing is changing a popular product one month in because your vendor went broke.

Starting a business is no easy task, but if you feel you have what it takes to get through these steps, then nothing is stopping you.

 

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