So you’ve decided to follow your dream of starting your own retail business. Congratulations! Now that you’ve had the fun, inspiring vision, the hard work begins. We’ve tried to help make that hard work a little less hard, by giving you some starting-out tips for getting your business off the ground. For more advice, an experienced shopfitter such as Tu Projects can walk you through some common pitfalls and mistakes – Click Here
to see the range of retail businesses they’ve worked with in the past.
Find your niche
Humans aren’t robots. We don’t want or expect things in our world to be the same. For this reason, not many people will be interested in your business if it doesn’t offer something unique. Before you do anything, figure out what your business has that sets it apart from your competitors.
Set your goals
Know where you want to be tomorrow, next month, and next year, and then set yourself a path you can follow to get there. The path may change, and that’s ok, but it will keep you focussed on your goals.
Make sure you can crawl before you try to pole-vault
It’s important to dream big, but for every big idea, write a list of every possible thing that would need to happen to achieve this. This list is your crawling list. When you consider that you achieve every action on that list and then some, you may need to consider minimising your big dream for the time being. Don’t worry – this isn’t giving up or failure. It’s being realistic and making sensible compromises.
Find your image
The last thing you want is for people to be confusing your business with another. Make sure your image is unique and recognisable.
Get a digital presence
It doesn’t matter what your business is, where it operates, or why you started it – every business these days needs a digital presence. If your business doesn’t exist online, it may as well not exist. You can design your own website easily and social media is more or less free. Get active online and see who you can reach.
Maintain your digital presence
Just because you created a digital presence for your business doesn’t mean you can tick it off your to-do list. Your digital information must be up-to-date and you must respond promptly to digital interactions. Publishing images of your business is incredibly useful.
Choose your staff carefully
Your business is only as good as its weakest staff member. Don’t hire out of desperation or laziness. Take pride in your employees and they will be proud to be there. This goes for all contributors to your business, from your staff to your accountant to your stockist.
Plan for failure
It’s not all about positive thinking in business. You would much rather be pleasantly surprised by success than shocked and shaken by failure. If you plan for failure, you give yourself the tools to avert it. If you plan only for success, you won’t know how to deal with the hiccups along the way.
Research the businesses that you find inspiring and those you don’t, and understand what it is that makes you feel that way. Then see what you can apply to your own business.
Don’t neglect your customers
If your customers aren’t catered for, you won’t have a business. It is that simple. Ensure you aren’t so wrapped up in promoting your business that you overlook the customers who are there to support you.
What other great tips do you have for starting your own retail business?