Posted: 31 May 2018
Has owning a retail store always been your dream?
There’s no better way to display creativity with entrepreneurship. You have the freedom to create the brand you want, sell the products you love, and attract a clientele you’ll connect with.
While the retail business may seem like a dream, at the end of the day it is a business. You have to focus on ways to market yourself, rise above the competition, and generate revenue.
Running a successful retail business has its challenges, but there are plenty of ways to conquer the hardships and be successful. If you plan on opening a retail store, here are 10 tips for success.
1. Location, location, location
When you choose a location for your retail store, always find the best location for your market.
This is one of the most important steps — you need to ensure your customers can find you and you’re in an area saturated with your core demographic.
eCommerce has lifted the standards of a location-based store. But it’s still important you choose a store location where your desired customers are.
2. You Have to Deal With Your Landlord and Property Management
Whether your store does well or not, your landlord and property manager have a job to do.
They’re making sure you follow all guidelines, policies, and pay your lease on time. If you break any rules, it could cost you a fortune or could even cost you your business location.
Before opening your store, research the building’s landlord and property manager. See if you can read the rules and the terms of the lease before signing anything.
3. Select the Right Merchandise
Selecting and ordering merchandise sounds like the most fun part of the job, right? Actually, this is a difficult and time-consuming process. And this is by far the most expensive aspect of running a retail store.
Therefore, don’t take this step lightly. Choose the items you can afford and you’ll know will sell.
Knowing this secret code may take time; you’ll have to know your clientele and look at sales numbers.
But once you have an idea of the merchandise that performs best, you have to take responsibility and order what generates revenue while not breaking your bank.
4. Have a Theme
The easiest way to ensure you attract your desired clientele is keeping a theme.
For example, the young girl and tween clothing store will attract different customers than the men’s suit store. A theme tells customers what you sell before they even enter your store.
Think about what you love and who you love being around. Pick a theme based off of your interests and research the products in that group.
5. Stay Current With Trends
You may also think this is one of the best parts of the job; you pay attention to fashion trends anyway, so this part will be a breeze. Actually, this is another exhausting part of the job.
The trendiest styles are full-price and the competition is fierce. If you decide to save some money and order outdated merchandise, this could affect your reputation.
6. Hire the Best People
Inevitably, you’re going to have to hire people to help run the business. And during the beginning phases of the company, you’ll likely hire younger people.
They don’t expect a lot of hours or a lot of pay, so you get an extra set of hands while not sacrificing all of your expenses.
While you should always hire hard-working and reliable employees, take it a step further and hire someone who shares your same passion for the retail and fashion industry.
7. Be Stricter With Managers
After you hire a good set of young people, you’ll eventually need to hire a manager to help you keep up with the business. Be stricter when hiring managers.
Always require a resume, previous job experience with contacts, and a solid set of references.
You also need to appeal to a manager. Experienced managers are used to good pay and full-time hours. If your budget can allow it, offer competitive pay and benefits.
8. Have a Solid Loss Prevention Policy
Retail stores experience theft — your store isn’t the first and won’t be the last.
While it’s one of the downsides of the job, there are ways to decrease the likelihood your merchandise will be stolen.
Keep up with inventory and have a POS system that runs in real-time, such as solutions for brands. Always set up cameras and train your employees to stay on the lookout.
9. Promote Your Sale Items Effectively
Unsold merchandise is the bane of every retail store owner. Fortunately, so many customers are drawn into sale items.
But make sure the sale items are displayed effectively.
Distinguish sale items from regular items. You want your sale merchandise to get sold but you don’t want customers to ignore your full-priced items.
One of the best tips is placing sale items in the back so customers have to work through full-priced merchandise.
Promote your store is having a sale and what items you’re selling. Chances are, you’ll attract a customer who needs that exact item.
10. Don’t Forget Customer Service
While it’s the most outdated piece of advice in the book, it’s also the most important. If you want a successful retail store, you have to have great customer service. Without your customers, you wouldn’t be in business.
Make sure your customers always have your undivided attention, no matter if they’re praising your business or are complaining.
Opening a Retail Store Isn’t Easy Work — But You Can Be Successful
Opening a retail store is a dream for many people. While you think the retail business is all fun and games, there are more serious aspects of the job than you expect. But there are tips to ensure your business will be successful.
The job isn’t easy but seeing your store grow is the best part of the job. Follow these tips and operate the retail store of your dreams.
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