…Weve all watched The Apprentice and thought "Ican do better than that" - but could you really?Starting a new retail business can be a stressful,exhausting and dangerous but (hopefully)rewarding experience. You are taking a step intothe unknown and seizing control of your owndestiny.The troubled economic times make it harder thanever to get your own company off the ground, with50 small businesses closing a day when therecession was at its peak in 2008. If you dont wantto share their fate then there are some things youhave to ask yourself before you start your retailbusiness. Cover Image from Pinterest
… 1. Why retail?It is notoriously one of the hardest consumer markets tocrack. It might sound obvious but before you even thinkabout starting a business you must make sure it is theright area for you and it is what you want to do with yourlife.
… 2. Do you have the time?Retail businesses are 24/7 - once you have started thepressure and responsibility are always with you. Not onlywill you be working normal opening hours but you willhave to scout new products, deal with suppliers and amillion other tasks that might not immediately spring tomind. If you cant commit to this time intensive schedule,then dont.
… 4. Why will peoplecome to you shop?Successful businesses are both unique and innovative;filling gaps in the marketplace and meeting customerneeds. Retail shops are ten-a-penny so you need to havesomething that sets your business apart fromcompetitors.
… 5. What will you sell?Products are the foundations of your business - planningwhat kind and variety of things you will be stocking is vitalto sort out before you open.
… 6.Wheres the money coming from?Sadly money doesnt grow on trees so, unless you planon winning the lottery, you will need to have savings or aloan in place to open your retail business. Start-up costsare usually significant in this sector and are unlikely to berecouped straight away. Remember business gas andelectricity prices and council rates will be higher than forhouseholds.
… 7. Will you sell online?The last decade has witnessed a massive power shiftbetween physical and online shopping. You have to thinkif selling your products online will help your profit marginsand, if so, how you will go about maximising the internetspotential.
… 8.Do you know your responsibilities?Theres a lot more to running a retail business than justselling things. Paying taxes, bookkeeping and meetinghealth and safety regulations are just some of thecomplex matters you will need to know about prior toopening your company.
… 9. Have you soughtprofessional advice? Sometimes a good idea just isnt enough. Speaking to professionals or specialised retail advisors can help you transform your brainwave into a viable business model.
… 10.Would you use your shop? If you wouldnt then nobody else will - make sure everything meets your own standards before you open your retail business.