There is nothing more exciting as an entrepreneur than getting ready to open your own physical location. Whether it is a retail store, a little boutique hotel, or a unique dining experience, there are many things to consider before diving in!
Over 24 million people work in the retail industry. If you decide to become one of these people, here are three tips to take your business to the next level by opening your own store.
1. Start Dreaming Big About The Storefront
You want to start by dreaming big. The outside of your store is the very first impression you will make on any potential customer.
You want to think about how the exterior will look. Consider what type of glass storefront solution you may want, or how you will entice people to make the decision to purchase from you. Storefront options range from the windows to the complete storefront systems.
Think about what you envision your very first physical store location to look like, and don’t be afraid to dream big.
2. Focus on Building Relationships
Many people believe that to succeed in business, you solely have to focus your efforts on making a profit. While this is incredibly true, you won’t be able to thrive in the retail industry unless you focus on building relationships. More than likely, as you start your very first location, you are a small business looking to expand over time.
This means you will need to be tailoring most of your efforts towards your local community where the business is located. Start networking with other businesses in the area or local nonprofits. Find ways to connect with the people within a location rather than assume they are just a dollar sign.
According to a recent survey by American Express, more than 50% of consumers in the United States are more likely to spend money with a company that they believe provides quality customer service. This is huge in terms of not only building a network with other businesses but with your customers as well.
Building your relationships doesn’t always have to be about in-person networking. You can also take these tactics to social media as well. This way, you can start building a community and a following that will allow your customers’ networks to reach a wider audience. In turn, this will help you to expand into other markets and regions as your business continues to grow.
3. Prepare For the Worst
Unfortunately, as we have seen happen over the last year, worst-case scenarios for a business can actually happen. The global pandemic forced substantial changes that many businesses did not anticipate making. This is why it’s crucial to create not only a business plan, but a store model that will allow for various worst-case scenario situations as you start your retail business post-pandemic.
This could be anything from allowing for contactless payment options to setting up an eCommerce store despite having a physical location. If you are a restaurant, you may want to think about how curbside pickup or delivery apps could assist as well. Take whatever steps you need to take to ensure that your business could still run efficiently and thrive if something drastic happened.
As you prepare to open the very first physical location of your business, remember the three main components: dream big, build relationships, and prepare for the worst. As you work to build your business plan, you will see how these three major steps will tie in to help your business thrive within your local community.