Starting a retail shop from scratch takes a lot of work and a lot of planning. Unless you’re the type of person that can happily throw money out of the window, you’re going to have to put in a lot of thought and effort to get your shop open and make it successful.
Ask yourself some serious questions
The first thing anyone should do before opening a shop is give some serious thought to the project. Think about all of the risks – especially the financial risks – that might happen during or after the build of your shop. What do you plan to do if things go wrong or not quite as you expected. Being the owner of a shop is different from simply working in one. You’re going to have to put in some serious hours to get your business going. If you can say with absolute certainty that you are prepared to take on all of the challenges, you would proceed to the next step.
Decide on your product
A shop isn’t a shop without a product, and any shop owner has probably thought long and hard about what it is that they want to sell. But, you can’t decide this on a whim. You also have to consider who is going to be buying your products. You also have to think realistically about how you’re going to get it made and how much it will cost. If you don’t know the first thing about hats then you probably shouldn’t open a hat shop. Your product should interest you and interest other people.
Plan your point of attack
At this point you should be doing your research. Research your target demographic, the market for your products and all of the competition. You need to decide on why customers should want to come to you instead of anyone else. The success of your shop depends your business plan and your research.
Pick a place
Location is very important. You need to put your shop somewhere that’s easily accessible and gets foot traffic from your target demographic. If you’re opening a children’s clothing shop then you probably shouldn’t set it up in an office. Take care picking your location and think carefully on the size and style of building.
Get the money together
Some shop owners choose to take out a start-up loan while others might pay for it out of their own pocket. Whichever way you choose, it’s vital that you work out how much everything is going to cost before you start putting the money together. Make estimates of all of the normal shop expenses as well as any expenses that might come up while you’re still building it.
Get the paperwork out of the way
This is the boring part, but still incredibly important. Licenses, permits, federal tax ID and other contracts all need to be filled, sent and filed before you get too attached to your shop. Without these things you may end up having your shop shut down before you manage to sell anything.
Now, you can let your imagination run wild. You might need builders and contractors to get the shop fixed up, but you’ll definitely need to call in a retail design agency for store design and branding. Your building needs to look the part and the outside of it should be the first thing to draw in customers walking by.