Start a Retail Business

How to Start a Retail Business

Whether you are a seasoned retailer or completely new to retailing, it is essential that you start a retail business. Retail sales accounts for more than 85% of total U.S. gross merchandise sales, and nearly all of these sales are performed in stores, malls and other retail fixtures. If you have ever owned or operated a business before then you probably know how difficult it is to start a retail business. While having a catchy idea is fantastic for business, without enough capital your retail outlet will not thrive.

Creating a realistic budget for your retail business can seem daunting, but if you at least have an understanding of exactly where all the big costs are coming then it becomes far easier to address. Start by looking into the basics of setting up your own retail outlet. You will need to set aside a good chunk of money to start your own retail business. While you can obtain financing from family or friends if that’s the route you want to go, there are some other options you may wish to consider.

There are many ways to get help with opening startup costs. If you’re a college student with good grades who is considering opening a retail business then the best option for you is likely to be partaking in a part time job at a local mall or college. With this job you will be able to help increase your foot traffic by doing small tasks that can generate extra income. When you eventually become successful and have a retail store of your own, you will have the added benefit of being able to make a nice profit on the extra traffic you generate.

A well-written business plan is absolutely necessary for opening any type of retail business. Without a well-written business plan, most banks won’t even give you a loan to start with. In order to get a loan, you will need a solid credit history, references, and a well-written business plan. This is where references come in handy. If you are not sure of the references, look them up online or contact a few of your friends to see if they have any whom you can ask about the lender.

When you are ready to open your retail outlet, you may need to borrow money. Your best option will be to look around for various lenders who may be willing to loan you money to help you with your startup costs. You may also want to consult with various groups in your town that may help you get funding. For example, the local chamber of commerce or business association often has meetings where they give small business loans to entrepreneurs. Whatever you do, don’t procrastinate when it comes to getting funding for your business.

The next thing you need to do to launch a brick-and-mortar location is to find a space to set up your retail shop. Again, this will depend on the size of your retail shop and your budget. There are many small town business ideas available. You may want to consider starting out in a small town where there are lots of population and an economy based largely on tourism. Or you may want to start in an area with a high unemployment rate where many people need a job.

Once you have secured a location and a product quality product to sell, you will need to decide how you are going to run your retail business. Will you stock the products yourself or hire a part-time employee to do so? Will you use a fixed office or a storefront and will it be part of your actual home or just an office building on the corner? What inventory do you require and what product quality do you require? As you get started in your retail business venture, you need to make sure you understand these questions because you’ll need them again as soon as you open the first store and again as soon as you expand.

Once you’ve done your market research and have a business plan that works for you, then it’s time to actually open the doors. If you’ve done your homework and prepared your business plan, it shouldn’t be difficult at all to start your own retail store. As long as you’ve followed the advice outlined above, you should have no problem meeting your opening goals and developing a profitable business. Just make sure you do your homework and have a good startup business plan.

Dan Lewis is a business and finance consultant who stared is career with Capital One and worked as a business and finance analyst for over 25 before leaving the corporate world to create this blog.