Street shops are here stop stay. The growth of online shopping does not necessarily mean physical shops are dying. Most consumers still enjoy the pleasure of shopping in-store.
Physical space for shopping creates a long-term, lasting impression with customers. They have the potential to create an immersive shopping experience. If you can find the right product to sell, in the right location, you can be in business for a very long time.
Setting up and operating a shop can make all the difference between success and failure. It’s important to take note of the details of opening and running a store. These are a few of the most essential things you need to successfully set up and operate a shop.
1. Location cannot be overemphasised.
Location can make or break your business. It’s one of the most important things entrepreneurs consider when setting up a business in any town or city. Ideally, your shop should be somewhere with a high footfall, so you can make the most of passing trade. Do your market research before setting up. Have a physical walk around the area and speak to local people about what you intend to sell or provide.
Sometimes your product or service determines where you have to be positioned geographically. But no matter what you sell or offer, traffic will always be important when choosing the best location. Rents vary, of course, depending on the location you choose and how valuable a particular location is.
2. Set up and operating costs.
You don’t have to spend a fortune fitting out your new premises. But you should have a clear and detailed budget for setting up. How much you can afford for rent? How much you can spend on designing the interior of your store? Current retail trends are minimalist and industrial: focus on themes that work to your advantage if you’re on a tight budget.
Items you should factor in when creating your budget.
Rent, Landlord’s rent deposit, company incorporation fees, construction costs to customize the space, utilities, liability insurance, Accountant’s fees, tax requirements, internet, POS, credit card fees, merchandising fixtures, furniture, checkout counter, lighting (whatever is there already will probably be unsuitable), painting, your first inventory, security tagging devices for your products.
Window display props, security (alarm, CCTV), roller shutters, fire extinguishers, annual servicing, fire safety policy, marketing (to get your target market informed of the opening) and general cleaning expenses. That sounds like a lot to know and take care of. It’s better to know every detail so you can cut down on the cost of surprises once you start.
3. Initial marketing
You have to invest in multiple marketing efforts to help build the brand of your new shop. Have people handing out flyers on the day of the opening. Get in touch with local magazines and newspapers to advertise your opening day.
Put in your best foot forward by ensuring your merchandise displays, layout, signage, and window display are all top notch. First impression is everything.
4. Grand opening costs
You may not have a huge budget for a launch or grand opening but it’s really important to have something that tells people your business is officially open and that they should come check you out. Send invites to the press, bloggers and influencers interested in having the first look at what you have to offer. Introduce yourself to businesses in the local area and invite them to the exclusive launch event.
On the day of opening, all it takes is good music, snacks, and drinks, and you got yourself an event where people get to explore your products. Allow people to get to know your brand and they will share what’s happening at the party to their audience and amplifying your reach.
Think through the number of people you have to employ to successful run the shop. Do you need them full-time or part-time. How about employment protection insurance for your employees? What kind of standards of dress and behaviour do you expect?
Do you always have to be there? If not, can you trust them to look after your business as well as you do? Hire only people you can trust. You won’t always be in store to take care of everything.
6. It pays to have an online presence.
Get a website. Make the most of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Post plenty of photos about your new shop and products before and after launch. Effective outreach is a skill you’ll need to master. Make sure that you have a way of keeping in touch with new customers and devotees.