Opening a new shop is a daunting experience, and if you are going to do so then you must plan very carefully. I have already mentioned that the level of overheads is an important consideration. Property taxes and especially rents are a very large cost beyond which you must raise your turnover by a very substantial amount in order to have enough profit to live on.
If you are not sure what sort of business you want, have a look at a franchise. You have to make sure that there will be enough profit for you after paying the franchisor, but the advantage is that you will have a tried and tested business model. Talk to current franchisees in the sort of business that interests you.
Decide whether there is a need for your shop in the local community.
For a new shop you need footfall. Unless you are very specialist then you should try to be on a busy street on or near the main drag. Of course that will put up the rent.
You need a marketing strategy both before you open and ongoing. Get someone experienced to send a press release about your Grand Opening. A feature in the local paper will help you hit e ground running. Have some special offers in your first week and mention these in the press release.
Have flyers with special discounts sent round to households with the local newspapers, but make sure you are still making money and leave yourself a decent profit margin.
Many shop owners say they have not time to go networking and they need to be in the shop behind the counter early in the morning. I would suggest breakfast networking. We can all get up extra-early one day a week, can’t we? Friends in the business community will refer business to you, and of course you must reciprocate or get your referrals in first to build your relationships and your income stream.
Remember to consider:
- Tried-and-tested – a franchise?
- Footfall and passing pedestrians.
- Local parking.
- Pre-start-up and ongoing marketing.
- Networking with the local business community.
We can achieve most things with a great plan. You must do your homework before rushing in, but how exciting to be making a difference in an independent business!