So you want to own a shop? That’s not an uncommon dream for many entrepreneurs. Nowadays the more popular option is to open an ecommerce store as this is online and easily managed remotely. However, having a brick and mortar store for your clients to visit is often a great idea and works very well in conjunction with your online presence.
What’s more, some entrepreneurs want to have a shop as opposed to simply having an online presence. In fact, they prefer the idea of having a space to display their goods and interact with their customers face to face. Using their ecommerce store as a secondary means to service clients outside of their area of trade. Also, if you are interested in offering niche products or running a boutique type of shop then having a brick and mortar store is better.
So, if owning a shop sounds like the type of entrepreneurial venture you’d want to set up then you must consider what you’ll need to run a successful store.
Signage and marketing
Without signage no-one will venture into your store. Nothing says poor quality like a bare shopfront. In fact, you could go so far as to say that your customers won’t trust you. You need to invest in an outdoor sign at the very least. Something that has your name and logo is perfect and if possible include more signage inside the store too, indicating categories. What’s more, you need to market the presence of your shop. If you are based inside a mall then see if you can place signs showing customers where to find you or have a sign board set up. You can even employ promoters to hand out flyers. And, of course, flood your social media platforms with information on how customers can find you.
This is a must-have before you open your doors. You need to be able to process payments as working on a cash system will not only see you losing out on customers who expect to pay with their bank cards but it will also make you vulnerable to robberies. There are a variety of different point-of-sale solutions available which have been created for different type of businesses and different sized businesses. You could consider the likes of Snapscan as a payment solution too. And, you must have a cash register on site that is secure as you need to be able to store the cash you do receive and have cash available to pay for deliveries and the like.
Unfortunately, you cannot be too careful. No matter what you are selling in your shop you need to make sure you are secure and safe at all times. Having visual security systems in place is ideal. If you are a part of a mall you might find they insist on you displaying a sign indicating their security is in place. The mall security will have a sophisticated security system in place. You should make sure you have open lines of communication with them and have access to the security measures. If possible you should install CCTV cameras and have a video wall controller in a private back room, where you can view exactly what the cameras are seeing. Petty theft is rife within shops and having visible cameras will deter criminals. If you happen to experience an incident then you will be able to spot the criminal by having a look at the footage. No matter your shop size you can find a CCTV solution to suit you and have a video wall controller made to fit your space.
You need to consider what your customers will want when they visit your shop. This means you need to pay attention to your decor, you need to have your items correctly displayed in cases or on mannequins. If you are selling clothing or fashion accessories then you need to kit out your store with mirrors and changing rooms. They will also need bags in which to pack and carry their purchases. You must make sure you have everything your customers might want to make their shopping experience easy and convenient. Have gift wrapping services available and make sure you have baskets or trolleys if your items are big. And of course, keep your shop clean.
There are a variety of things you need before you can open your doors for customers to visit your shop. You need to make lists and budget for everything you can think of. It’s a process of elimination and always a good idea to prepare properly.