In this modern era, the benefits of digital marketing are no secret to anyone. The commercial marketplace is evolving to an extent where retail sales no longer have a monopoly. Entrepreneurs are replacing physical stores with online shopping websites, but is this a wise choice? Undoubtedly, leveraging technology and digital media has become inevitable for brands, but it can’t take over retail stores. Physical stores are an equally powerful media channel, often the first contact between companies and clients.
Despite the convenience of online shopping, consumers want to experience the product in real life. As a result, many brick and mortar spaces offer retailers and brands an opportunity to draw clients into their brand story. These days, closing sales is not enough to make your customers fall in love with your brand. You have to deliver an immersive brand and product experience by offering them an in-house shopping experience.
Therefore, consider expanding your eCommerce venture by opening an outlet to captivate more people. If you are clueless about how to make this happen, let us assist you on this journey. Here we are revealing eight tips for opening a business outlet.
1. Find a Location & Start Construction
When we talk about opening a retail outlet, location can make a difference between success and failure. Sometimes, entrepreneurs decide to open a shop in some shady corner of the city to cut corners on rent expenses. Unfortunately, these poor choices can push customers away, making your business run into losses. Therefore, choose a focal point or a busy part of town for your business outlet, regardless of the rent differences. Believe it or not, a pricier option can get you a thousand more customers than a cheap location.
After you have found a humming space, begin the construction process without any delays. If you own an apparel brand, consider building racks inside the wall for a contemporary look. Similarly, construct a fancy ceiling with a finishing of hardwood in the corners.
2. Ensure Top-Quality Clean Up
Once the construction process is over, you will need a proper clean up. Disposing of the construction materials and giving it a finished look appears to be a hectic job. Unlike domestic cleaning, building cleaning is entirely different. Builder cleaning ensures adequate clean up for buildings and all the aspects of commercial sites. For instance, while painting your outlet or stores, if the plaster falls on the floors and few stubborn spots need to be scoured with perfection, you will need professional help. For builder cleans use Clear Choice to spruce up the entire space. They would vacuum the floors, remove stubborn paint from surfaces, and wipe down all shelving units. In short, they will clear up all the mess, leaving you with the task of shelving and inventory management.
3. Cover Legal Basics
Opening a retail outlet requires more than business registration, meaning you have to take care of legal paperwork and licenses. Have a look below.
- Get a business operating license that permits you to open a store in the city.
- Apply for an employer identification number (EIN). It is a state tax number that permits you to recruit employees who will work at your outlet forefront. Also, this ID ensures your business secured payroll and sales tax.
- Depending on your product offerings, get a seller’s license. For instance, if you are opening a bakery – you have to obtain a permit from the food authority. Hence, check with the government office whether you need one or not.
Besides this, choose a legal structure and ensure it doesn’t put obligations solely on the owner. It would help in mitigating risk while eliminating the chances of business failure.
4. Figure Out Finances
Do you have sufficient savings? Are you applying for a bank loan? Opening an outlet needs capital, and before calling the shots, entrepreneurs must take a hard look at finances. Besides the start-up expenses, prepare a financial plan for the coming six months. It will unfold the chances of survival, helping you devise a contingency plan if things go wrong. Likewise, if you are signing a lease or taking a bank loan, dig into the projected financial statements. It would help you perform a cost-benefit analysis, saving your business from insolvency in the future.
5. Plan for Customer Service
Finding success in retail outlets is more than offering top-notch products. It comes from accumulating value and giving experiences that your competitors can’t provide. Thus, surprise your customers with a personalized shopping experience by letting them try out the products. Whether it is a free sample or dressing room at an apparel store, online retailers can never offer the same personalization level. Likewise, you can hire a professional sales team to assist customers in every step of their purchase journey. These unique experiences create value and differentiate your brand from the rest.
6. Design Store Layout
Surprisingly, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to arranging an outlet. Every store has a different layout as customers shop differently in every industry. In skincare or makeup shops, customers need room to test. Whereas for electronics, you have to set up the store in a way that customers can check and compare products.
Moreover, feel free to decorate the interior and create an environment that inspires customer engagement. If you need ideas, visit the top retailers in your industry and see their store designs. It will help you understand how to position items for impulse buying and what products need the most room. Lastly, don’t forget to freshen up your displays regularly.
7. Finalize Products & Set Strategic Pricing
Since you are opening an outlet, there is no room for test dummies or product samples that customers can use directly. Get in touch with the manufacturing company and confirm the delivery of products. If you want to test the product, share samples among friends and family members before the final launch. These testing sessions will help you determine the value of products in the customer’s eyes. You have to consider these things to set strategic pricing. In the beginning, the profit margins might seem less, but it is super valuable to people, giving you the leverage to enjoy high profits in the long run. Moreover, make sure the prices are inclusive of taxes.
8. Plan A Grand Opening
Usually, the idea of a grand opening sounds expensive to many people. Fortunately, you can have a grand opening without breaking the bank. Use local media to get the word out about your brand without spending much. Similarly, share your business idea with journalists about your store offerings and its importance in the local industry. In addition to maintaining public relations, plug the grand opening through social channels beforehand. If you want to create an uproar, don’t reveal everything at once. Put up different posts every day, such as ‘something exciting coming up soon’ to get people thinking.
Unsurprisingly, opening an outlet is not a walk in the garden. You would need lots of money, resources, and labor to build and run a retail store but the benefits and rewards it brings make every effort worthwhile. If you haven’t yet given this a thought, start saving enough money to open a business outlet. After all, a business outlet with an impeccable social media presence is the ultimate way of getting your business to the top.