7 Steps To Opening a Retail Store

A retail store is owned and operated by a retailer and sometimes owned and operated by a manufacturer.

7 Steps To Opening a Retail Store
Photo /Courtesy

A retail store is owned and operated by a retailer and sometimes owned and operated by a manufacturer.

Additionally, the retailer sells merchandise to ultimate consumers. It is interesting to note that a retailer purchases goods in large quantities from manufacturers, directly or through a wholesaler.

Thereafter, the retailer sells them in smaller quantities to consumers for a profit. The profits and sales sustain the business and ensure the store “meets” its goals and objectives. A retail store is opened in the following ways:

1. Generate an idea and a business plan

The first step is to understand what the retail store’s operations will entail. The business plan or the business proposal outlines the following questions that need to be answered correctly:

What will your business sell? Who will be the target customer or consumer? What will be the price range of goods and services being offered? Who are the competitors in the market or your location? How will you have an edge over your competitors? Who will be on your team? In the same vein, understand how to communicate clearly with the clients and customers in meeting their “buying needs” and developing a wonderful rapport for future business engagements.

2. Choose the Retail store’s name

In addition to the business plan mentioned above, the retailer should desire to have a “catchy business name” that strikes attention at first glance. More so, some customers retain a “good business name” even if they forget what the store operations entail. The elephant in the room is obviously what’s in a name. An appropriate business name should consider the following factors:

Meaning: The “perfect” business name will ensure customer perspective does shift from just buying goods and services to associating with the brand at all times. This is very important, especially to customers referring the store’s good reputation to new customers or clients.

Simplicity: The biggest brands such as Google, Facebook or even Twitter have easy pronunciations that are retained in the customer’s memory in the long term. Simplicity in a business name cuts across very well to people of all academic backgrounds.

Uniqueness: A unique business name that is original and authentic sells the business firsthand even if your competitors are in the same business line as you are. The unique business name should literally carry inspiration that moves clients from their homes to your retail store whether online or in-person purchase.

3. Cover your legal basics

Any business should comply with the laws and regulations of the land. Licenses and business permits shouldn’t be obtained through backdoor dealings riddled with corruption malpractices. The business should have a County Government permit.

Furthermore, all tax regulations should be adhered to. The license should regularly be updated in line with the city council or County Government records. The business legal structure should essentially cover corporate law and insurance mechanisms. Insurance as the “safety net” against the store’s liability and unforeseen risks should be taken into account.

The owner of the store should seek valid legal advice and this will at all times ensure the store is in operation and in compliance with all required “legal basics”.

4. Find the right location

Without the right location, a business is as good as dead. A prime retail space will be the focal point of the business's day-to-day operations. For example, a retail store that is adjacent to the main highway is likely to attract more clients than one in a location far off the main road.

A busy town attracts the target customers easily and aids in the store’s marketing operations. In instances where the location is ripe with events happening, the store’s sales might increase and boosts overall sales even if at one time the store recorded losses and low-profit input.

It is important for the retailer to ensure the retail location is adjacent to where the clients spend most of their time. If you appreciate where the target market resides, the retailer will go an extra mile in meeting the target consumers’ needs whether online or offline.

In the operation of a wholesale retail store, have the shop in a different location so as to meet new clients and maximize profits.  

5. Create a personalized experience

The customers or clients should find value in what they purchase even when the products and services do not cost them an arm and a leg. Promotional services of goods and services should be prioritized.

After-sales services of goods and services should be of top-notch quality. In addition, free samples should be offered to the clients. For the online clients, ensure the communication is free flowing and the customer’s feedback is valued and acted upon timely.

The business website should be consumer friendly, easy to navigate, and void of unnecessary adverts. Personalization guarantees you consistently have consumers flocking your retail store in droves.

6. Explore Marketing Opportunities

Marketing of the retail store should be taken with the seriousness it deserves. Social media marketing is great as one is able to meet new customers and even retain the existing ones.

For example, for the clients on social platforms, the retailer is best placed to conduct huge sell-outs with massive discounts and this will attract them to future sales and business engagements.

Additionally, during holidays, discounts for certain products and services are the best way of being in a “holiday mood” with the existing customers and potential new clients who are “meeting” your shop either online or offline for the first time. 

Marketing avenues such as roadshows and exhibitions are an awesome way to tap into the new client base and maximize new profit levels and establish rapport with the new customers.

7. Plan for a grand opening

The events management and planning committee come in handy in ensuring this event is a success. The media coverage will get the word out effectively that there is a new business in town.

The dates and times of the events for the retail store opening should be well elaborated. In the same vein, the business owner should share a pitch with the journalists as to why their business matters in the locality and also why their new business is the perfect solution to all their “purchase problems”. The event should be held on a weekend when most people are free from their busy working schedules.

I do believe the next time you open a retail store it will be a successful venture.

If you have a real estate press release or any other information that you would like featured on African Real Estate Blog Post do reach out to us via email at [email protected]