Opening a store is an exciting and overwhelming endeavor. Knowing where to start can set you in the right direction.
Here are five things you need to have before you open your store
Money is a necessary evil in opening a store. Unless we can return to our bartering ways of yesteryear, capital is the most important thing you need to open a store. This seems obvious, but not all of us have a trust that our grandpappy set up fifteen years before we were born. So, assuming you don’t have access to large sums of money, you need to get financed.
There are a few ways to do this, you can borrow money from everyone and their mom, you can go to a bank and take out a small business loan, or you can apply for our cash advance.
The reason they call them brick and mortar stores is that they are actually a brick and mortar (sometimes they are built of wood or cement too.) Unless you are starting an online business, you’ll need a location. There are a few ways to look for a place to call your own…store.
Most newspapers still have a classified section (SHOCKING, I KNOW). You can start by getting your local paper and seeing if there are any ads. You can also find a real estate agent, or you could hit the pavement and walk around in your desired area and see if any stores have for rent/lease signs.
So now you have the money and the location for your store. Now you need to make sure you have WHAT to sell. Making sure you have products is kind of key. A vendor is the person who sells you your product wholesale. You’ve undoubtedly seen the trucks that have ads plastered along the side, those are the folks who bring the stores their merchandise.
Look for the cheapest prices with the best quality. Often, you can even find a “cash and carry” type place like Jetro or Pitco. You want to make sure you know how often they will come, and who you use for what.
So now you have to manage everything. You need a way for customers to pay you, you need a way to pay your vendors, manage them, track sales and inventory, and even your employees. Overwhelming? Yeah, it is. Thankfully there are a lot of tools to help you manage. For example you can get an app on your phone to time manage, and a good POS system that incorporates everything you need.
Make sure you get a credit card processor, and these days it’s even more important to make sure it’s compatible with all forms of electronic payments.
1. Drive and Dedication
There are a lot of ways to be prepared for the new venture of opening a business. None of those ways are as important as your drive and dedication. While there is no way to guarantee success, being passionate, energetic, and honest will get you far. Or at the very least, let you go to bed with no regrets.
BONUS: A Catchy Name!
One bonus essential! A catchy name for your store! Get creative, business isn’t all…well, business. It should be fun, and a store’s name is like a kid’s name – it sticks with you forever and the wrong name will get you beaten up on the playground…oh wait, no. You will eventually want to brand yourself. A catchy name gets people’s attention. Your store’s name is important, so be thoughtful!