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Opening a store: A step-by-step guide to setting up a shop


In today’s world of online sales, the ‘bricks and mortar’ version of opening a store is no mean feat. However, with hard work and the right strategy, budding entrepreneurs are more than capable of making a success of this task.

It’s highly recommended that you run an online store to complement your tangible store, which means understanding the ins and outs of e-commerce and factors such as updated product schema markup. But for now, let’s focus on the more tangible aspects of running a traditional brick and mortar store.Just some of the jobs that you need to accomplish include finding your niche, setting up a budget, applying for financing, choosing a location, and arranging the various logistical details involved.

Opening a store: A step-by-step guide

To help simplify this task, we will be discussing some of the jobs that you need to accomplish in this article.

Develop an idea

Before anything else in opening a store, you need to have a clear idea in your mind of what kind of store that you would like to set up. Think about what is missing from your local high street and canvas some people to get their opinion on your initial concepts. You can also conduct some initial research by visiting other stores, checking out the number of passers-by, speaking to shoppers on the street etc. Also, it is worth getting a sense of the competition so that you know who you will be finding yourself up against in opening a store, what they are doing well, and what could be improved upon. As well as this, it is worth ensuring that your plan is viable. Look into issues like the legality, resources, and other logistical details that you will need to take care of.

Create a business plan

Next up, you need to write a business plan that covers your company. You need to try to forecast a profit margin based on the total projects profits from sales minus the costs of running the store in the first place. Scout out possible locations for opening a store where you can set up. You also need to consider the legal logistics so that you follow all the correct procedures and don’t risk your business falling foul of the law. Perhaps you need to apply for planning approval if you are doing any building work. Consider how much capital that you have to start the business.

You should have around 6-9 months worth of expenses so that you can give yourself the time to turn a profit when first opening a store. Take the time to understand your rental and purchasing options so that you can weigh up which one is right for you. Think about where you plan on selling online as well or whether your store will only be a physical one. Don’t forget to insure your company to protect it against any unfortunate situations which may arise.

Organise your store

Once you have written your business plan and secured your premises, the time has come to start organising your store. First of all, you should establish your inventory and find suppliers for all the items which you intend on selling. Make sure that you get a few different quotes so that you can be confident that you are getting the best deal. Don’t be afraid to negotiate as this is a key component of setting up a successful company. The internet provides an invaluable platform which you can utilise to ensure that you are getting a good deal.

Now, you can start drafting out some sketches of how you intend the store space to look. When you are thinking about the layout, you should have your customers firmly in mind. The smallest details can make all the difference for success in opening a store. After all, one of the main ways that regular retail stores can compete with their online counterparts id by providing customers with a great experience. You can then start looking into the cost of things like building materials, labour, equipment and supplies.

Prior to opening a store

Before opening a store, you should employ the staff who will help you in the running of your business. Remember, they have to be personable and friendly to treat customers well and encourage them to come back time and time again. If they have prior experience, they will get up to speed quickly, but inexperienced people with the right attitude can be equally valuable to your business. You need to make sure that they are well trained before you open, and you should also set out the opening hours of your store and advertise these clearly. You also need to create a brand and display in clearly on all your signage etc. Don’t forget about advertising and marketing so that you can drum up some enthusiasm and get people through the door on opening day.

The grand opening

The day has finally arrived for you to open your store, and you will want to make sure that everything goes well from the moment you open the doors. Send out some invites to your friends, family, and also the local media so that you can start to generate some positive stories about your store. Also, you could consider putting on some education to draw more people into the shop. Try to greet everyone personally and hand out some marketing materials such as business cards and brochures so that they leave with something that reminds them to come back again.

Be prepared for hard work in opening a store

No one can set up a store and expect it to work without putting in a lot of hard work and long hours. Your path is going to include many ups and downs, and you need to have a strong support network in place who can help you along the way when opening a store. Keep track of your cashflow carefully and take the time to analyse how your business is going as well as any improvements that you could make.

So, now that you have an overview of some of the key steps involved in setting up your own store, now is the time to put them into practice. Take it slowly and cover off all the details in a systematic approach so that you can be sure that you haven’t missed anything and you are giving yourself the best chance of making a success of this venture.

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