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How to start a grocery store business


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Online Grocery shop check list.

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How to start a grocery store business

  1. 1. How to Start a Grocery Store BusinessInstructions 1. o 1 Check out your competition. Compare online grocery stores to learn how they operate and what they charge. Pay attention to site navigation--getting where you want to go without running a gauntlet of pull-down menus, links and roadblocks. Assess pricing structures and delivery policies. Make notes about aesthetics, like the colors chosen by the web designer to build the brands identity. o 2 Fund your online grocery store with a home equity line of credit, collateralized business loan, investment funds from venture capitalists or another source of cash. Present lenders with a business plan drawn up to show that you understand the financial risk, operational requirements and vendor relationships that can make or break an online grocery store. o Sponsored Links  Cigar Display Humidors Worlds finest cigar cabinets! Large display, worry-free storage o 3 Rent a warehouse. Install industrial refrigeration units, racking, shelving and packing tables, if these essentials arent already in place. Put in a conveyor belt system to help speed the process, if you have enough capital. Obtain standard food handling licenses and permits. Buy insurance to protect your online grocery investment. Affiliate with wholesale food brokers and purveyors. Set up accounts with wholesale butchers, dairies, farmers, bakers and other resources. o 4
  2. 2. Purchase software to design your online grocery website, like Dreamweaver, pay a fee to have the job done by an online firm offering low-cost pre-designed site templates or hire a professional web designer to accomplish the task. Establish a system for updating and hosting your site once it goes live or affiliate with a hosting service so that you may focus on being a grocer. Establish business relationships with credit card companies, PayPal and others, offering another payment method for shoppers who prefer not to use their cards online. o 5 Order packing supplies, like plastic and paper grocery bags, boxes and containers. Consider going green and using plastic tubs or reusable bags that can be filled at your online grocery stores picking and packing area and used for deliveries to conserve resources. Keep plastic carriers clean and disinfected so food isnt compromised. o 6 Publicize your online grocery store on the Internet. Place print ads in publications. Count on word-of-mouth referrals to market your store. Keep an eye on markups to stay competitive with other online grocers, while striving to offer loyal customers the best and newest products on the market.Ordering Food Online o An online grocery store is a website that allows users to purchase food over the Internet to be delivered to the person at a later time. Ordering food on the Internet is similar to ordering any other product--the desired food items can be searched for specifically, or one can browse through listings of products or sections, similar to sections one might walk through at an actual grocery store. The products offered by an online grocery store are identical to a normal grocery store. When one has finished shopping, checkout is made with a credit card, and the buyer must specify certain hours that he will be available to receive the food for delivery. Since Internet groceries must deliver the food to the customers, they typically pay a fee for delivery based on the amount of food they buy. Benefits of Online Grocery Shopping o The primary benefit of online grocery shopping is convenience. By ordering online, one can quickly search for the products she needs and order them without having to physically walk through expansive aisles. It also saves travel expenses and time going to the grocery store. Considering the wide availability of the
  3. 3. Internet, it also means grocery shopping can be done from remote locations or in the middle of doing other tasks. For instance, using an online grocery store can allow a person to do all her grocery shopping during her lunch break at work. It is also very useful for those without a car or who may be physically unable to move around easily, since the food is delivered right to their doors. The use of online- based grocery stores is increasing in popularity as more and more people become comfortable with using the Internet to make purchases. Disadvantages of Online Grocery Shopping o Perhaps the largest disadvantages of shopping online are that it costs extra money, since food must be delivered, and that the food ordered is not obtained immediately. If someone were making a certain recipe and discovered he needed an additional ingredient, he would probably not be able to order it online and get it quickly enough to finish his dish. In the same way, it forces a person to plan his food buying in advance of when he will need it--if delivery will take a day or two, a person needs to plan to have an extra day or two of essential foods available before he runs out. Another disadvantage is that online shopping forces the customer to be home during a certain period to collect the food when it is delivered. Also, online grocery stores will often only cover specific delivery areas.Read more: How Does an Online Grocery Store Work? | OverviewHeres a high-tech option for starting a grocery delivery service. Develop a website that features groceryitems for sale. To start, offer only the most popular grocery items, like milk and bread, and as thebusiness expands, so can your product line. Contract the delivery aspect of the service to people in yourlocal community seeking to earn a part-time income. The operating format for the site would be verybasic and easy to establish. Customers would simply log on to the site, select the items they wish to
  4. 4. purchase, enter payment and shipping information and wait for their groceries. Once established, thistype of venture could be franchised and operated in every community and city across North America.How to Start an Online Grocery StoreThings Youll Need Competitor analysis Business plan Business loan Insurance Warehouse Refrigeration units Racking, storage and bins Website Marketing programRead more: How to Start an Online Grocery Store | eHow.com to Compare Grocery Store DealsInstructions 1. Collect grocery store circulars from inside your local newspaper and nearby grocery stores. o 2 Set the circulars side-by-side and find similar products in each. Look at meats to see each supermarkets deals, for example. Then, you might examine cereals to see which products are on sale. o
  5. 5. o 3 Consider the number of servings. A cut of chicken that has a lot of bones and little meat might have a lower price than a cut with more meat. Compare chicken to chicken across circulars to judge the best deal. o o 4 Judge the products quality. A bony chicken will cost less than expensive prime rib. However, a significant sale on prime rib will still likely render it more expensive than chicken. Weigh your weekly food needs to pick the best choice. o o 5 Circle the best deals inside each grocery store circular based on your grocery list. Or you can base the weeks grocery list on the deals you picked, developing a budget-friendly menu from sale items. o o 6 List the deals you selected in the circles on a piece of paper by flipping once more through the circulars. This list will form the basis of your grocery list.Read more: How to Compare Grocery Store Deals | eHow.com to Start an Online Grocery Delivery BusinessInstructions 1. o 1 Know what you’re getting into. Historically, the grocery business has been a low- margin business, and that doesn’t look to change anytime soon. Several high- profile attempts at establishing online grocery delivery services failed spectacularly in the late 1990s through early 2000s, mostly because these companies attempted to start from scratch and built expensive, automated warehouses. These companies purchased entire fleets of vehicles, and offered buggy, hard-to-navigate user interfaces. All this before making a dime. Take a lesson from these failures, and start small. o 2 Look for what the demand is. See how you want to position your business, and go from there. If consumers in your area are willing to pay for convenience, or want off-hours delivery times, then that’s the niche you have to target. Then it’s time to
  6. 6. promote your business. You can start with an offer--free first delivery, for example--and newspaper ads, fliers on windshields at the train station, coupon mailers or even a feature in the local paper. o 3 Define how you plan on making your profit. Some make money simply by tacking on a delivery fee. Some mark up the items, and some do a combination of both. Not only do you have to factor in the time delivering the groceries, you have to consider how much time it takes to “shop,” the gas and wear and tear on the vehicle, and how you plan on processing payments. o 4 Set up the interface for the business. This is the dicey part. This can be as simple or complex as you want it to be (using the term “simple” within a Web-based context doesn’t mean “simple” in the physical world!). Do you want to offer a full range of shopping choices, or just a general selection of the most popular items? Are you going to list prices online? Is there going to be a shopping cart feature on the site, or just a form to fill out? Or to put it bluntly, the easier the customer experience is, the more work it’s going to take behind the scenes. o 5 Determine how the business will be run. Are you going to allow online payments, with both debit and credit cards? Is the bank going to take a slice of that? What about produce, meat, seafood and deli preferences? How are you going to handle complaints, returns, exchanges and refunds? The closer the online experience mirrors an actual in-store shopping trip, the more work it’s going to take to establish. o 6 Learn to wear many hats. To succeed, you need a rare combination of talents, which includes, but is not limited to, customer service, delivery person, stock boy, computer guru, driver, businessman and personal shopper.Tips & Warnings See what other services are needed in your area, such as dry cleaning pickup and delivery, pharmacy shopping, or partnering with restaurants to deliver prepared meals. By charging a premium for these services, it’s possible to make extra income without a large investment of your time. If you want your online interface to include pricing, you must integrate your store’s UPC code database into your online store, otherwise you’ll spend all your time updating your online prices. Have a “backup” guy or two--people who are willing to pitch in if things suddenly get crazy (for example, if a big storm is predicted, and everybody wants to stock up at once).
  7. 7. Goodwill is mandatory in the service business. Be prepared to make after-hoursexchanges, refunds or credits to unhappy customers, all with a smile on your face.However, some customers insist on being unpleasant. It’s OK to blacklist repeatoffenders.It bears repeating: Groceries are a low-margin business, so unless you have the existinginfrastructure or a partner in the grocery business, you might want to rethink yourbusiness model.Think long and hard beforehand if you plan on offering tobacco and/or alcohol productsin your delivery service.