The ultimate guide to opening a successful retail store: 2019 edition
Retail is a sector in which, if you play it right, you can expect big business and big profits. However, before you even contemplate opening a retail store in 2019, you need to carefully consider all of the aspects you will need to get right for success. In fact, the landscape of retail has changed dramatically from what it used to be, to embrace more modern standards in every area from the products you will stock to the way you will reach out to potential customers. Luckily, you can find out more about the things you will need to embrace to open a successful retail store in 2019 in the post below.
Manage the project
The first thing that you will need to get right, to open a successful retail store in 2019 is how you approach the setup process itself. In fact, it's best to see it as a project with specific end goals, such as opening your doors to the public or even making a certain amount of revenue each week. Then you can break the tasks you need to achieve these goals down step by step, making them much easier to manage.
In fact, to aid clarity both for yourself and all the other people that will be involved, it can be beneficial to use a project planning template like the one you will find by clicking the link. The reason being that by having your goals and the steps to get to there formalised, it will help to keep you on track even when things get complicated and hectic.
You can even use such a plan to help you determine the future needs of your business, including scheduling and staffing as well. Something that can help you to be ready for any challenges that occur.
Find a suitable location
Location is still essential when it comes to retail businesses, and you will want to pick not only the best looking premises but also one that offers the highest footfall as well. Traditionally, this would have been a shop located in the town centre, which can still be a right choice. Although, increasingly retail stores in out of town parks are becoming more popular.
This is often because such parks offer excellent footfall, and for a myriad of other reasons as well. These include that there are also brand new units that can be easily fitted out to your business specifications, that there are often incentives on lease costs for the first year or so, and there is ample space at the back of the units to make deliveries easier as well.
Get your shop fitted out
Once you have premises that you are happy with, it is time to work on getting your shop fitted out to your business specifications. Of course, if you are running a big name brand store or franchise, you will likely have particular standards that you need to abide by including the company branding and even the store layout. It's also likely that you will have authorized shop fitting companies to with that are familiar with these, something that can make the entire process go a lot more smoothly.
However, if you are running an independent retail store, you will have more free reign over your branding and layout. Of course, this can be a curse and a blessing, primary because it is something that can be complicated and that you don't want to get wrong.
In fact, what with customer standards and expectations being so high in the modern market it is absolutely worth working with professionals that specialize in branding, and shop layouts as well. Both areas that involved a significant amount of psychology that can really help you to maximize your sales, and so be more successful over the long term.
Pop-up versus long-term
Also, when it comes to success over the long term, do remember that isn't the only option to pursue. In fact, it is totally possible to run a pop-up retail shop that allows customers the chance to see and buy products IRL that are usually online.
This being something that can be a fantastic way of boosting revenue and promoting your brand name. The added bonus here being that running a pop-up shop does not have to cost you a lot either, as you will only need to rent the space for a short amount of time.
Find the best employees
The next step, when opening a retail business in 2019, is finding employees to work in your store. In fact, this is over crucial step and one that should be treated with just as much important as any other. What I mean here is that rather than staffing your store with all younger people with no experience in retail because you can pay them less, it's worth investing in some older people that have sales, retail, and management experience as well.
Of course, anyone that you employ will need to love people and be able to be an excellent ambassador for your brand too. Oh, and don't forget that age is not the only area in which customers will want to see diversity. Therefore be sure to vary your staff in terms of gender, class, and ethnicity as well.
Once you have got your staff mostly sorted, it's time to think about marketing your store. In fact, there are two facets of marketing to consider here, the first being how you will let the right people know about your products on a regular basis, with the second being the launch of the store itself.
Now, when it comes to launching you absolutely want to make a big deal about things. This usually means throwing a launch party and running special offers for customers such as discounts across you entire line, 342s, BOGOFS, and even a bonus discount if they sign up to store cards. The latter being something that can help to cement the customer loyalty to your store and so help you maintain high sales over the long term as well. To that end, it's well worth throwing an official launch party with all of your new staff, and the public. You can even invite specific people that you want to be there by name if you like.
Day to day marketing will, of course, be a little different to your launch party, although it should still retain some of the pizzazz and enthusiasm of when you first started up.
In fact, retail marketing is often a tale of two halves these days with online methods such as email mailers, SMS, and offers on social media, as well as in-store signage in both paper and digital forms.
Tech and your store
In fact, when it comes to tech and retail, it's not just marketing that can be done digitally but a range of other things as well, some of which also bridge the digital and IRL divide. For example, many retail stores are now using spill spotting robots to identify any slipping hazards in the aisles and get cleaned up as quickly as possible, something that can help improve customer experience and safety when they visit your store.
Additionally, many stores are experimenting with tech solutions that help speed up the process of checking out and paying for purchases. One of these is the self-checkout, which tends to be used in high volume situations, to allow those with fewer items to make their purchases more quickly.
Another is the scan and go method where customers are provided with the tools to scan their items as they put them in their basket, so they can just bag them up and go, as payment is automatic. Although, currently, such systems may not work for retailers that stock expensive high-end goods as the risk of theft is still too high.
Get your shop stocked
Of course, to run a retail store successful, you will need to have it stocked in time for your launch. In fact, what most retailers do is full their space with as many individual items from their manifest as they can for the launch, and then let customer needs dictate what they restock with later. Something that means you will get a good read on what is likely to sell the best in your store on a regular basis over the first few months.
Online as well as real-world presence
Don't forget that many stores, including independent ones, also have an online presence as well as real-life premises as well. In fact, in the modern market, customers are beginning to expect this.
That is no bad thing, however, because it provides an additional opportunity (at a low cost to you to run) for people to buy your stock, and even check items and have questions answered in a quick and easy way. All things that will only help you to ensure your store is as relevant as possible to 2019, but will also help to boost your business's success as well!