Starting a retail business? Here are 9 things you need to know


Starting a business is a goal shared by many, and it’s not hard to see why. You can make your own hours, build a family legacy, and spend time doing what you love. However, building a startup is hard work, so you’ll need to prepare for the worst and expect the best.

What Every Aspiring Business Owner Should Know About Retail

While opening a retail store involves choosing a structure, writing a business plan, and deciding on a name, this list will look at the things you can expect after going through all those legal hoops.

1. Donations and disbursements can be your first “sales”

An unfortunate part of doing business is losing more money than you make when you start. A majority of your “sales” will come from donations or your own pocket. While this setup is far from ideal, you will end up making a profit if you market effectively to your buyers.

2. Listen to your clients’ wallets, not their mouths

At some point, your customers will ask you to sell specific items or product categories on your store. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll buy them. While it’s important to listen to your customers, keep in mind that what they buy says more than what they tell you.

3. Customers will pay a premium for same day delivery

Although some retailers may not want to offer same-day delivery because it’s expensive, customers will pay a lot of money for it. If you want to get the most out of this option, you’ll need to beef up your retail logistics or outsource your delivery service to a fast, reliable courier company.

4. Traders must work weekends and holidays

When you were shopping at the mall, you probably noticed more foot traffic on weekends and during holidays. Unless you work in a religious state, you’ll need to stay open all weekends and holidays to make more money, but that may mean fewer family vacations.

5. Employees don’t care about you or your business

Although we want our employees to care more about our business, retail is considered an entry-level job that should not be taken too seriously. Don’t take it personally. Instead, try to incentivize your staff by offering bonuses and enough vacation during the summer.

6. Organization is a skill you shouldn’t be without

From managing cash flow to paying for order inventory, business owners have a lot to keep track of. You should get into the habit of checking your inventory and available funds so that you have enough to pay your employees and keep the lights on. Or, you can automate tasks with software.

7. Loyal customers are responsible for most of your sales

According to the Pareto principle, regular customers generate 16 times more revenue than a latecomer. The Pareto principle also states that loyal customers represent 80% of your sales. With these numbers in mind, we recommend creating loyalty programs to promote repeat sales.

8. Excellent customer service will set your business apart

Retail and customer service go hand in hand, and it’s not because you’re supposed to be a people person to work in this industry. If you sell similar products to another business inside the mall, your helpfulness, friendliness, and alertness will set you apart from your other competitors.

9. The hiring and firing process is never so easy

Retail positions are mostly filled by teenagers and college students, which means you’ll be responsible for training candidates for their very first job. While this can be exciting, it can also be frustrating. It doesn’t make shooting them any easier either. But, it is an important part of the job.

Image source: Unsplash


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