Retail is a broad term that encompasses a huge industry, an industry that employs millions of people globally and generates trillions of dollars per year. Retail is the sale of goods to consumers, for the consumer to use or consume — retail spans across multiple mediums, including in-store, online or catalogue.
While, today, it is essential for businesses to have an online presence, having a physical shopping experience for your customers is invaluable as it cannot be replicated online. Successful retail businesses have both an online and in-store presence that co-exist
The dream of starting your own retail business can quickly become a reality. While it may take some initial work to set it up, with the right planning, you’ll have a business up and running within no time. Here is everything you need to know in order to launch your own retail business.
Write A Business Plan
Many plans fail if they are not in writing. The first step is to write your business plan; this is to help you come up with a developed concept and brand for your business. This will require you to do research and planning as you look at all angles of the market, work out your financials and compare your concept to your competition. While this will take the longest time of your set up to complete, this will ensure that the rest of your launch runs smoothly.
Choose A Name
Once you have developed your concept, you need to come up with a name. It is important to choose a name that clearly communicates who you are and what you sell; while standing out. It is also important to factor in social media and online searching when choosing a name, while you want your name to be unique and quirky, ensure that it will still work with organic search traffic and SEO. You should never have to explain what your name means; it should be a representation of your business.
Choose A Location
Where you choose to locate your retail business can be the difference between success and failure. The location you choose will determine your clientele, your image and your brand. However, it is important to select the location for your budget, don’t overspend and put yourself out of pocket in the early stages. You can always move when your business gains more traction.
Set Up Your Store
When setting up your store, you need to consider what you’re merchandising, how will you display your product. Some products will require hangers or mannequins, others may require shelving or display cases. How you display your work will be essential in catching your customers attention.
Along with the cosmetic appearance of your store, you need to factor in how it will run, in particular how you will take payments. What does EPOS system do, it accepts payments which is a core function of your business. Along with handling money, you will want to have a POS system that records sales as well as keeps a record of stock.
The success of a retail store often comes from the customer experience; good customer experience will give you an edge over your competitors. While this will come with your systems running smoothly to add an additional touch, you could provide some sort of personalisation. This often comes with the ability for the customers getting to try the products.
Establish Vendor Relationships
A retail business is no business without a product; a product also depends on being the right product at the right price at the right time. This is why your ability to source the product will have a large impact on your business. This will come down to the vendor relationships that you establish with your vendors. Vendors will attribute to more than just your wholesalers who you will get the products from; they will include your marketing support, returns, defective items, credit and payment terms.
Craft Your Marketing
Before your grand opening, you need to start spreading the word. Create a marketing strategy that will launch your brand into the world. Firstly you will need to define your customer demographic and then design your marketing strategy to target them; this will help you to decide which platforms to push, will it be digital marketing or traditional marketing or a combination of both. Different buyers get their information from different platforms, identifying where your customers get theirs from will be crucial in getting their attention.
Once you have ticked off these steps, you will be ready to announce the grand opening and begin trading, your very own, retail business.