If you’re looking to set up your own business, the idea of selling goods to a waiting public might hold some appeal. This is especially true if you already have an expertise or interest in a certain kind of product.
Before you boldly give up your day job and set up shop, however, you’ll want to think about some of the obstacles you’ll face along the way, and some of the decisions that might influence the ultimate success of the venture. Let’s run through a few of them.
Nowadays, there are several different ways of establishing a shop, so you need to decide what kind of retailer you want your company to be.
Brick and Mortar
The traditional brick-and-mortar shop consists of a permanent, real-world premises from which you’ll be doing all your selling. Shops of this sort come with considerable running costs, which might dissuade those who’ve yet to prove their business model. Overheads are rising, while foot traffic is in decline, and this makes for a hostile environment for new businesses. While it might be an exaggeration to say that the British high street is dying, the fact is that it is undergoing an unprecedented transition – and only where the demand is sufficient are stores able to survive.
Of course, one of the major sources of pressure for real-world retailers are their online equivalents. A website costs a great deal less to own and run than a physical premises, and it can target a larger number of potential customers. This is especially so in precise niches.
A market stall doesn’t impose anywhere near the same cost as a brick-and-mortar store, and it’s often a great vehicle to promote a particular product, which can attract customers to another location, or to a website. Purveyors of specialist foods might take advantage of market days and food festivals to make use of this kind of promotion.
Who Is Your Target Market?
Your choice of stall will largely be determined by your product, and your target market. If you’re selling grow-your-own-mushroom kits, then an online presence makes sense, as the people looking for this type of product are spread over a vast distance. General-purpose stores, takeaways, and restaurants, on the other hand, might match perfectly with a brick and mortar location.
How Will You Fund Your Store?
Managing cash flow and securing finance are major ongoing challenges for new retailers. To establish yourself, you’ll need to do your research, and market your new store effectively. In order to absorb the shocks of an inconsistent income, business credit cards can be used as they may provide an invaluable source of short-term security.