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When starting a business, things can be challenging no matter what the proposition. Whether you are delivering a service in the form of expertise or selling physical items, you will inevitably come across a variety of challenges you will need to overcome to make your business a success. 

However, in the case of a retail business, particularly where there is a customer facing element of the business, you will find that particularly at the outset, as well as during the course of the business, there will be various challenges specific to or at least more pronounced in retail businesses (source: Bobblehat). 

Initial Business Outlay

For service-specific businesses, such as online estate agencies and businesses delivering expertise, once the business’ infrastructure is in place and the brand set up, there is limited outlay, with no physical entity to peddle. However, in cases of ‘traditional’ businesses; those that sell items or products in any form, you will need to have the cash to purchase the stock to sell in the first place. 

Although many businesses do require loans for their starting up and to fund their entire model, no matter what you will need to buy the goods at a price to then be sold on at a profit. Hence, this is one of the most important parts of starting up retail businesses as without the stock, you will have no business proposition and nothing to generate profit. That said, once you are an established brand, the name and brand itself may well be worth money in time.

Securing Your Stock

Equally important as having stock and the items to sell which will power your retail business is having that very stock secure and safe. Whether you are selling clothes, electronics, windows or something else, you will need to make sure that your storage facility where the stock is kept is safe and secure.

This may mean investing in security measure if you own the premises, such as CCTV cameras, alarms and secure windows and doors. However, if you rent the premises you will have to ask the owner and landlord of the premises to facilitate this for you. Many businesses will keep only limited stock on their own premises, with much of the backlog kept with the suppliers until needed.

Retail Design and Experience

Much like how a business based online needs a good website that looks great and performs for clients and customers, a business that relies on its premises must reflect these same principles. 

When it comes to presenting the goods for sale, you are also presenting the brand and an experience for the clients and customers. Therefore, you will need to take time and spend some money investing in an enjoyable and even unique experience for anyone who comes into your shop. Ultimately, if people are not drawn in by the brand and the offering, before even considering specific items for sale you will not be off to the best start.

Consider taking account of things like:

  • How are the goods and products presented?
  • Are there different options where necessary?
  • How easy is it to navigate the shop floor?
  • Is browsing and moving around the shop enjoyable?
  • Does the shop look, sound and smell nice?
  • Who is your target market and what do they want and need from a retail premises?