What do you need to consider when starting a retail business? When starting out in retail for the first time, there are several things you’ll need to know about and consider before you open for business. Your retail shop will need careful planning and there are some things you might not realise you need.
Find your niche
Most people choose to go into business based on a product they’re already knowledgeable about. This is the time to consider what your skills are and how they match up with what you’re passionate about. Surviving in the competitive retail market means finding your niche when it comes to choosing what products to sell. Most of the time that’s going to come from the products you use yourself or have a clear understanding of.
Create your retail business plan
Don’t underestimate the importance of this step. A business plan doesn’t need to be elaborate, but it does need to identify the products you’re going to sell, who your target market is, who your competitors are and your plan for marketing your new retail business as well as any general operational considerations. If you don’t write up a formal business plan, you’re missing out on an opportunity to really focus on the vision for your business and forecasts, which is particularly important when starting a retail business.
Rules and regulations
What you choose to sell in your retail shop must comply with the legal regulations for that product. The requirements of the Sale of Goods Act outlines that the products you sell must be exactly as described and fit for purpose. If you’re ordering goods from a supplier, it’s your responsibility to check that your stock is of sufficient quality before it hits the shelves.
Obtain the appropriate licenses
Depending on what you choose to sell, you might need to have a special license in place before you open your retail shop.
Some examples of this are:
- If you are selling alcohol or tobacco
- If you will be selling food and drink prepared on your premises
- If you plan to play background music in your shop