A retail business is one of the many businesses that most people set their eyes on when they want to open a store. Understandably so, because the whole premise of a retail business is buying from a manufacturer and selling those supplies and products in the market. While this makes for a simple and easy-to-understand business model, when you start a retail business, you have to also consider that the products you can offer are virtually limitless. You can sell anything, but not everything. So you have to weigh in all of the factors and really decide what kind of retail business you want to start.
Things To Consider When Starting A Retail Business
No matter how amazing and/or innovative your business idea is, and no matter how enthusiastic and determined you are, the reality remains that money is the only thing that can make your dreams a reality. To put this into perspective, your funding doesn’t stop when you finally open a store. You have to manage it all when you actually own a store. As they say, you have to plant something to harvest and reap something. And in the world of business, if you want to earn a profit, you have to put out enough resources first. Be well aware that you might not even get back your capital, much less earn a profit margin immediately, so patience and enough surplus are some things you have to have when you start a retail business.
2. Target Market
Another major thing you have to think about is your target market. Because while you already have an idea about what kinds of products or services you will be selling, you still need to really think about the kind of audience you will be facing and whether it will be feasible. Given the accessibility of the virtual marketplace to almost everyone, your location is not much of a concern as it was before the internet came to be what it is today. However, studying and analyzing your target market is still a must because this will help establish a proper plan as you start a retail business of your own.
3. Suppliers Around You
Besides knowing what kind of audience you would like to target and focus on, making sure that you have suppliers around your area is something that you have to look into. Coming up with a plan and investing money would be a waste of time and resources if you did not check whether or not you had viable suppliers that could partner with you as you open a store of your own. Now, actually having suppliers around your area does not only come to involve knowing them. It also must involve establishing relationships with them and finding the ones that would be right for you and your retail business. As you start a retail business, you must also keep in mind the long-term effects of the decisions early in your journey.
Image taken from Strikingly
The last thing we want to talk to you about is finding the shipping company for your retail business. When you own a store, especially in this day and age, your shipping and/or moving company is essentially your friend and partner. They are essential in ensuring that your products get to where you want them to. And so, as you start a retail business of your own, one of the things that you must first look for is the right shipping company to partner with.
How to Start a Retail Business
These steps are not exclusively everything you have to do to start a retail business of your own. But these are the steps that are the most basic and essential:
This is the first step in starting a retail business - or any business because, before anything else, an idea is what sparks it all. However, keep in mind that deciding on what you would be selling doesn’t start and stop with just the idea. This involves much research about your idea in the first place. You would have to research the background of your idea, suppliers around your area, how you would go about shipping it, and who your target market will be. When you start a retail business, you have to establish all the categories that would encompass the products you want to sell. You would have to also look into the storage and packaging. And how much it might all cost you.
After you decide on your niche, you now have a baseline for everything. Much like any good business owner, you have to go about this whole process by formulating a plan. Make it as detailed as you can. Do your research, talk to potential suppliers and shipping companies, look for possible store locations (if you also want to open a store with a brick and mortar location), and find people that can be your staff or partners in the business. There are many templates of business plans that you can find online if you prefer to work with a formal guide on how to do this. Nevertheless, what matters most is that you set out and lay out all the next steps necessary for your retail business to become a reality. Be prepared for anything because what you do in the first weeks when you start a retail business of your own is crucial to its success.
3. Prepare Your Funding
Now, as we talked about before, money is a vital part of your retail business and the process of starting a retail business of your own. Now, while it is a knee-jerk response and a perfectly normal response to want to fund your retail business on your own, it is never too late to try and find potential investors that can help you start a retail business. This will help lessen your burden as you will have someone to share the expenses with. In addition to finding the funds, this would also involve starting to allocate the funds you have for the startup costs of your retail business. Your plans should not just include logistics but should also include financial plans.
4. Register Your Business
Image taken from Strikingly
The next thing that you need to do is to register your business. This will help legitimize your retail business. It will also help establish a good reputation of credibility and accountability as you start a retail business of your own. We cannot specify the requirements and exact process for registering your business as it varies from different states and locations. But rest assured that you can normally find that information online. This is a vital step, so regardless of how stressful it can get - and it can get stressful, you must find the patience to register your retail business as it will give you benefits and help you as you manage your retail business in the long run.
5. Look for the Perfect Location
While there is a whole range of opportunities that having an online retail business provides, one cannot ignore that having a physical store can still help increase sales for your retail business. The right location for the said physical store has to be a good one - that reaches your target market while meeting other requirements (distance from your home, your suppliers, your shipping company, and the fee you have to pay for rent). However, the perfect location does not necessarily mean the right location for a brick-and-mortar store that you want to put up as you start a retail business of your own. It could also mean the perfect location for just your headquarters or your storage facility - if you would not have it at your own home.
6. Get Your Contact Books and Start Calling
Before the actual culmination of starting a retail business, if you did your research, then you would have contacts listed somewhere. Now that you have officially begun the start of a real business process, you can now have much more lengthy and meaningful conversations with them. This is the step where you might negotiate for better deals and sign the best deals. This might take a long time since you would be dealing with different people who also have their own businesses to think about. So make sure that you approach them with kindness and understanding to establish good relationships throughout the community. This also applies to potential staff and/or partners you might get in the business.
7. Make Your Own Business Website
Image taken from Strikingly
While we have talked about the importance of a location of a physical store, one also has to keep in mind that in today’s time, having a virtual presence is of the utmost importance. Whether you decide on taking your retail business online or not, having your own business website or online store really makes a difference as you start a retail business because it allows you to reach more people and broaden your opportunities. Luckily for you, there are a lot of website builders out there that can help you accomplish this. One of which is Strikingly. Strikingly is a website builder that is easy to use and has many great features. You can easily set up your online store with our Simple Store, where you can set up how your products would look, the prices of each of them, the shipping, and the payment methods your customers can choose from. Aside from that, you can also add galleries of photos and/or videos for promotions of your products.
As you start a retail business of your own, you will face many challenges. But given your determination and perseverance, it comes with no doubt that you will be able to overcome them all - especially given the right knowledge and tools at your disposal. So start your research, start the conversations, and start signing up with Strikingly. All of which will greatly help you on your journey towards starting a retail business of your own.