Opening your first store, your first brick, and mortar store, can be an exciting and busy time. Between paperwork and legalities as well as purchasing stock and hiring staff, it can seem like you just never seem to have everything done. However, there are a few key points that you should always consider before the big day arrives. Here are 5 points to consider when opening your first store.
Do Your Research When Opening Your First Store
Performing your market research before opening your first store is essential so that you know that your store is going to be located in the optimal position for your specific market. Consider the footfall that the area gets. It’s pointless choosing an empty storefront in the middle of an industrial estate if it’s nearly impossible for any shopper to find you easily. You will have to find a happy medium between cost and location as the best location is usually the most expensive. High rents can be the death of an unestablished and eager brand. Just because you have a good location, doesn’t mean it will all work out.
Sale and Payment Processing
Consider who is going to be providing your merchant services. There are many different ways you can provide POS tills and card payment systems in-store. You can install the larger, more permanent POS machines or go for more versatile systems using smaller and more mobile machines such as specialized tablets. Shop around to make sure you aren’t being overcharged for your POS services.
Storage and Stock
Are you planning on replenishing your stock as you go or do you plan on storing in bulk either on or off-site? Such a decision is either going to add constant delivery fees to your weekly expenditures or will add extra rent money in storage or for a larger store. Make sure you know exactly what you want to do and how much stock you plan on moving before making your decision in moving into a store.
Are you Going to Need Staff?
As a business grows it will become very difficult to continue doing everything yourself. Especially if you are still running an online store or similar as well. If you hire staff then you need to consider what laws and regulations will govern your actions and what you will need to abide by. If hiring someone seems out of your comfort zone, consider speaking to a 3rd party HR business that can provide a whole myriad of necessary services to take the stress away from yourself.
Room for Growth
Not an immediate consideration, but it should be in the back of your mind what your plans might be if all goes well. How long is your lease going to hold you down, especially if you need to start expanding to handle a larger than expected amount of business? Are you going to be tied down for several years or are you going to be able to break the lease with minimal excess spending? You don’t have to worry about that too much right now, but always be considerate of the fact that eventual growth may force you out.