Maybe you already have an online business that you want to take into the brick-and-mortar field. Maybe you’re starting from scratch and need a place to put down roots. Whatever your reasoning, opening a retail store isn’t a walk in the park. There is a lot to keep track of as you go through the steps of finding a place, creating the atmosphere you want, and finally opening it up to the public. If you know what to keep the closest eye on, you’ll be able to get through the process unscathed, so here are some of the most important aspects of opening a retail store that you should focus on.
Your Legal Structure
Before you can open, you’ll need to decide what kind of legal entity you’ll be as a company. Depending on your budget, you have a few options. Being a sole proprietor makes things simpler for tax purposes, but it means that you personally will be liable for all your business’s debts. Incorporating is much more complicated to set up, but it offers you more liability protection. You can also become an LLC for a combination of both worlds. The decision will affect how you operate immensely, so choose carefully.
Just like with real estate, one of the most important aspects of opening a retail store is finding the right location. It will be difficult enough to find a commercial property for sale, let alone in an area or neighborhood that would be conducive to your business. Consider the function of the space before you buy. If the space is in a good location but is too small to really work in, you may want to search somewhere a little further away for better accommodations.
Your Tools for Business
This is a broad category that encompasses all the things you’ll need to run your daily business. Will you need a point-of-sale system? If so, what does it need to do to facilitate efficient business practices? You’ll need to consider your e-commerce page, if you have one, as well as any accounting software necessary to take care of your finances. Your choice of easy payment processing equipment should also factor into the tools you need to run your business as efficiently as possible.
No store can survive for very long with only one person manning the helm. You’ll need some employees who know what they’re doing if you want to be able to focus on the back end of the business. Hiring new employees can be stressful, but it’s imperative to vet each candidate thoroughly when you first open. Your employees will color how customers see your store, so make sure you can trust them to follow your store’s policies when it comes to interacting with customers.