Have you ever walked past your favourite shop in the mall thinking “Someday, I’ll have a shop like this of my own?” If you’re close to making that dream come true, here are 4 things you ought to be aware of before you set up shop for a smooth-sailing retail experience.
Cash is king
You may have a fantastic product and you can’t wait to showcase it to the world, but you need to make sure your shop stays open long enough to let the world find out about you. The top items in your books that will burn your cash are typically rental and manpower costs, so make sure you set aside ample capital to burn through during your first few months.
Always plan as though you are not going ZERO income for the first 3 months. Many may not agree with me on this, but from our experience, being prudent never hurts. That being said, hope for the best but plan for the worst. Reality is you would probably get some sales, but the first 3 months are hardly going to be a true reflection of how the business is going to turn out.
Save on the non-essentials
The primary objective of your shop is to make a profit. So unless you are looking to win design awards, focus on the essentials that you will need to turn customers into sales. That could mean, instead of buying a brand new laptop to run that new POS, use the same old one that has been serving you well the past number of years. Little things like that can cut down the set-up costs that you require.
The excitement of opening a new retail outlet can get rather overwhelming. Thoughts of how your friends and relatives are going to come by your new outlet, check out your spanking new shop, and your cash register is going to ring off the hook. But the reality is far from that, so unless money is not an issue, save on the non-essentials till you turn a profit.
You need to market your business
This may sound ridiculous, but many first time entrepreneurs seem to have the “if you build it, they will come” mentality. In today’s market, we are bombarded by constant marketing from different brands across every single channel that you can think of the moment we open our eyes in the morning. Put yourselves in the shoes of your customer, where do they live, study, eat, etc.
Whichever way you choose to market, the whole point is to get consumers to know your brand and hopefully buy your product as well. You may have the best product on earth, but like they say, if you are not where your customers are looking, you do not exist. So start marketing your business to the world, they don’t know you exist yet!
Location is the Key
The location of your store is the key to your success. Unless you have an existing base of extremely loyal fans who will hunt you down wherever you are located, chances are you will need to get yourself in a location where your prospective customers can help you. Obviously the rent is going to be a major concern, so you have to be realistic. Paying cheap rent would definitely not give a good location, you should consider scaling down on the space needed in order to secure a good location with the same budget for your store.
Every business (and business owner) has unique or specific needs or considerations. Get advice for starting yours tailored just to you—get in touch with us at U Ventures.