If you dream of having a lovely little store in your community with a lot of regular customers that keep you busy, then you have come to the right place, as we delve into what is required to open a small retail business.
Choose a category
The first thing to do is decide what kind of store you want to open.
Here are a few ideas;
- Bakery/coffee shop – Check for the number already in your area.
- Fast food takeaway/restaurant – Location is everything.
- General supplies store – With custom labels and an attractive in-store decor.
- Niche store – If you have a passionate hobby, you could set up a store.
- Art & crafts supplies – Check for other such stores in the area.
- Beauty salon – If you have a talent for hair & make up, explore this avenue.
We must understand that the retail market is undergoing huge changes, as online shopping takes the lion’s share of the market. Certain stores simply can’t compete with the low prices online and more shoppers are realising this. The food & beverage sector will always be there, but that is highly competitive and you need a good concept.
You need to do some serious market research to determine whether or not there is sufficient demand for what you are offering; it is easy to be over-optimistic and that could lead to disaster. Of course, friends and family will support you, but after a month or so, things will level out; you need to focus on marketing – hire a local digital marketing agency and have them do some localised SEO work. If you are thinking of a bakery, click here.
Write a business plan
This is a must; you need to cover every aspect of the operation and play devil’s advocate to find holes in your plan.
A comprehensive business plan contains information about the following:
- Overview of the business
- Marketing & branding
- Costing – Set up and management
- Organisation flowchart
Business registration, insurance and permits
You have to go through the red tape that comes with setting up a business in Australia, which isn’t different to any other developed country. You will need general liability insurance to cover you in the event a customer is injured and makes a compensation claim, plus you will need permits of some kind.
This is a big one, location is everything in retail and a lot of research is needed to choose the best location; leasing is the best option and prices can vary depending on where you are in Australia. If you reach this stage of the project, you will already have a solid business plan and the funds to launch the venture.
If you do your homework, have the funds and a dynamic digital marketing plan, there is every reason to expect a degree of success and with a lot of hard work and determination, your store will become an integral part of the community.