The English are a nation of shopkeepers, or so it was said once. However, high street shops are under more pressure than at any time in our glorious history. Just a couple of decades ago you were able to visit your nearest corner shop for all of those last minute items. Huge retail parks and faceless corporations are now forcing the demise of the local shop. People flock to the outskirts of town to buy products that have been bullied out of factories for a pittance, and sold on to us for huge profits.
Now, if that hasn’t put you off, you must be serious about opening your own shop. Don’t let the tales of doom and gloom dishearten you. If you can create the right atmosphere, and sell what people want, there is no reason why you can’t make it.
I hope you will find here, a little good advice that will start you down the path to retail fame and fortune.
Location is everything with retail. You will have done your business plan and have a good idea what you can afford. If you can acquire a unit on the same retail park as your giant neighbour you will do very well. The rent and business rates are likely to be through the roof there though, and that prohibits many new businesses from locating there.
The next best thing is a shop on the local high street. Passing trade is a significant factor in retail. You will develop you own customer base as time goes by, but this will happen much quicker where there is a high footfall.
Sometimes you will have no option other than to move back from the high street. It will be a little tougher to become established, and you may not make as much money to begin. Rent and business rates will be lower there though, so it does have it’s positive points.
Do you have your stock control system figured out yet? It may be as simple as entries in a book or card based system. These days though, computers make the job so much easier. Software for stock control is very cheap, or even free, on the internet, and doesn’t take much getting used to.
Find a good accountant such as RJP or another of the highly regarded companies out there. Advice on keeping records and tax affairs is essential. It can make or break your business.
Do you already have your suppliers in place? It is far easier to find wholesalers and manufacturers when sourcing stock these days, thanks to the power of the internet. Once you show an interest though, be prepared for some fairly rigorous sales pitches from their representatives. Saying NO! is a skill that will soon be acquired.
Marketing is a huge industry. With a little wisdom, however, you can run an effective advertising campaign for free. Social networking is the big thing these days. It will not take you long to learn how to use the main providers, and soon you can have hundreds or thousands of contacts on your business page. Have livery applied to your vehicle, and you are advertising, for free, wherever you park.
These are my top things to consider, and I hope you find a use for them. Setting out in business on your own can be a frightening prospect but it is ultimately rewarding. I wish you all success.