Set Up Shop

Despite “the Amazon effect” on the world of retail, the dream of setting up a brick-and mortar retail space is still a reality. However, it does take a lot of initial work, including ample marketing research to ensure your concept has legs in your geographic marketspace. With this in mind, take note of the following additional advice to help you succeed.

First, write a business plan. Put your plan in writing. Recording your plan forces you to do the necessary research and consider all areas of your business. It requires that you do extensive research and planning, including financial projections and budgeting.

Second, find a location. Where you choose to set up your store is essential and will have a major impact on its success. The old adage, “Location, Location, Location” is still true today. Be advised, however, to not overspend on real estate for your business.

Third, choose an appropriate legal structure. Choosing the right entity structure for your business is crucial because it has legal and tax implications. Ask our firm for assistance to make sure you set up the right structure.

Forth, select a meaningful name. Your business name should clearly communicate what you sell or the services you offer. Also, if your family name is meaningful in your market area, you may want to incorporate it into your business moniker. Be sure to perform trademark searches to ensure you aren’t going to run into legal problems later.

Fifth, File for an EIN. An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number. Your EIN is used to identify a business entity for employer and tax purposes. It is required if you have employees in your retail business.

Sixth, recruit the best talent. Having the right people working for you is imperative. Hire people who fit your culture and who will deliver an exceptional customer experience.

Seventh, choose your merchandise mix. Selecting the right merchandise to sell in your retail establishment is key. Make sure you do some market research to get the right products at the right price.

Eighth, create an exceptional customer experience. Driving repeat business is critical to success, and offering a rich, unforgettable experience is a way to accomplish this. Believe it or not, 63 percent of Millennials still prefer to shop in a store over shopping online. However, they expect a high-touch experience that makes the trip to a physical location worth it.

Ninth, craft your marketing. Bases on your marketing plan, which is part of your larger business plan, begin working on your marketing before you open your retail store. Brainstorm sales promotion ideas with family and friends and begin branding and advertising prior to opening. This will give you some early name recognition and business momentum.

Tenth, and final step, conduct a soft opening. Before you have a “Grand Opening,” conduct a soft opening. Open your store with out a splashy announcement to the public for a period of time. This gives you and your staff time to work out any potential problems and fine tune operations.

Finally, once you have done the initial legwork required to set up shop, turn your focus to your customers. By making sure that every customer leaves your store delighted, you’ll encourage referrals, repeat business and help ensure long- term success.