Running a store is a dream for many people. The possibility of setting your own hours and selling a product that you are passionate about is alluring. You will be able to use your creativity every day, from setting up window displays to helping customers who value your expert advice. Getting to this point can be a bit of a challenge, but with advanced planning and preparation, the rewards can be well worth it.
Choose a product or products to sell. Determining what you want to sell in your store will influence the rest of your decisions, such as the location and size of the store, how many vendors or wholesalers you will need, and the design and decor of the store.
Pick a location and find your real estate. You may need a real estate agent to find a location where you can buy or lease your store. Your location should be in an area that will attract the clientele who are likely to buy your product. You should also feel comfortable in your location and make sure that it is the right size to accommodate your product. For example, if you are selling furniture, you will need much more size and open space than if you are selling vintage tea cups.
Hire contractors to inspect and finish the space. In addition to the space, you want to make sure that the electrical work, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems are in place and ready to go. You will be in your store for hours and hours, so you want to have an environment that is comfortable for you and your customers.
Find vendors or wholesalers, and have your products delivered. Unless you are making the product that you are selling, you will need to find people who can sell the products to you. Find vendors whom you feel comfortable with so that you can have a long and fruitful working relationship. Make sure to get the best deal on the products so that when you sell them at retail prices, you can get a high profit.
Hire staff. You will need help to run your store. You will need a bookkeeper to track the money as it comes in and goes out, staff to work at the store and interact with customers, a marketing company or marketing team to make sure that new clients learn about your company, and a janitorial staff to make sure that your store is clean and ready for business. You can hire these people individually or use a staffing firm that specializes in each of these positions and that can potentially give you a better price than you would get if you hired them on your own.
Open for business and track your progress. As your business begins, make sure to keep careful records of customers and sales. You can use this information to decide what marketing methods are working, what products sell the best, and what types of products or marketing campaigns are most effective.