When you have a new retail business idea and you want that idea to see the light of day, it helps to have all your things in order, all your ducks in a row if you will, so that you leave absolutely no surprises for opening day and those busy days and weeks afterwards. Running a new retail business can be incredibly rewarding and it is a great way to make a living, if you have a good idea, if you market that idea properly and you manage to sell goods that your customer base will gladly pay for. It will require a lot of hard work, it will take quite a bit of money to get started, but if you have the work ethic and the determination to make it, then the following should help you get your new retail business idea off the ground.
Which Retail Business Will You Start?
Running a new retail business all begins with an idea. You might consider the types of items you plan to sell or your customer base, but not necessarily in that order. For instance, some new retail business ideas started with the typical customer in mind and then went from there. Any items that business sells is then tailored for that exact demographic. Take Lane Bryant, for instance, which specializes in selling plus-sized women’s clothing. Spencer’s is another example. Meant for men and women, the retail store offers adult-themed toys, games and novelty items. However you go about it, you need to answer two questions before you can start running a new retail business. First, who are you selling to; and second, what do you plan to sell? Answer those questions and you will be that much closer to making your new retail business a reality.
The Location Question
If you require a physical location to make your new retail business idea a reality, you will need to lease commercial space, pay for utilities and hire staff; all the proper steps that are required to run any physical business. This guide is primarily for those who wish to start a new retail business online, in which case you will need an online store with which to display your goods.
Creating Your E-Commerce Store
In an ideal new retail business setup, your customers will find your store via a link on a social network or via a web search for a keyword that you have optimized for. They will then land on your site, finding it refreshingly simple and easy to navigate. Your products will be clearly labeled, the photographs will be clear and high-resolution and your product descriptions will be informative and enticing. Your customers, seeing that your prices are more than competitive, will find your checkout process to be a breeze to figure out and your bottom line will steadily rise as your products fly off the virtual shelves. For this to happen, every step of the new retail business idea must be mapped out and planned thoroughly.
If you cannot write engaging product headlines and you can’t create web pages that are smooth and simple to figure out, then hire professionals who can do those things for you. You will get more traffic, earn more sales and make far more money if you have a professionally-made ecommerce store open for all to visit.
If you can write and you can design eye-catching web pages, then by all means do so. The more costs you save, the more profit you will earn and that’s what running a new retail business is all about at the end of the day, isn’t it?
Product Sources and Price Margins
Whether you are selling clothing, adult-themed items, computer parts, smartphones or anything else, you must find a reliable distributor or multiple distributors that can keep the supply train coming, even when business is hot. You must then negotiate with those distributors so that you can obtain the products you need at enough of a discount so as to allow you to then pass the savings onto your customers, while simultaneously turning a profit. Spy on competitors and keep your prices in line with what the market will bear. Or use pricing automation tools to keep your prices in line with competing online stores. Just make sure you offer plenty of sales, discounts and specials to keep customers continuously coming back for more.
What About Amazon, eBay and Other Marketplaces?
Once you start running a new retail business, you will be amazed that anyone has time to list, monitor and sell their items on today’s popular ecommerce marketplaces. This is why many ecommerce selling professionals hire assistants to help them manage their Amazon and eBay accounts. This frees up an ecommerce seller’s time, enabling the person to focus on managing inventory, selling product and responding to customer service emails and calls.
It is recommended that you start with your eCommerce store and then branch out to eBay and Amazon when you think that you have the inventory, desire, will and dedication to do so.
The Day-to-Day Operations of Running a New Retail Business
Once the new retail business is set up, it won’t be that hard to run; at least at first. You will continue to market your store and any marketplaces you sell on daily, and you will monitor your traffic and conversion numbers to make sure your marketing methods are effective.
You will then make sure that any orders that come in are fulfilled in a timely manner. This will involve obtaining the services of a shipping company, unless you plan to go with the USPS. You will need to obtain shipping materials, business insurance protecting your merchandise and store against accidental shut-down, you will need to put out customer service fires when they pop up. Furthermore, and you will need to make sure that all technical bugs are worked out so that shopping at your e-store is a seamless experience.
Now that you know what running a new retail business entails, more or less, and you find that you are still excited at the prospect, the next step is to turn your plan into one of action. Get your products at a good price, find the proper marketplaces to display those items, make sure everything goes smoothly and you could join the ranks of successful new retail business owners everywhere.