With the worst of the pandemic over and consumer demand at a peak, there has never been a better time to open a new retail store. Aspiring entrepreneurs need to recognize that it requires a lot of work just to get to the grand opening, though. Read on to find a brief step-by-step guide to pre-opening procedures.
Step One: Come Up With a Business Plan
The first step is to come up with a business plan that offers in-depth details regarding how the store will get off the ground. This plan will be useful both as a checklist for pre-opening procedures and to obtain funding from investors. The more detailed a business plan is, the more useful it will be, so don’t stop at defining a niche and determining how much money it will take to launch the business. Look into everything from business insurance to Gondola Shelving For Sale before moving on to the next step, and include it in the business plan.
Step Two: Register the Business
Now’s the time to make the business official. Come up with a name that reflects the store’s purpose and brand identity and run it through Google to make sure there’s not already an entrepreneur using that brilliant moniker. It’s also wise to check for trademark filings. After finding the perfect name, take the time to decide on a legal structure for the business, then register it through the relevant Secretary of State website and apply for an employer identification number.
Step Three: Obtain Permits, Licenses, and Insurance
In some states, store owners must obtain a general business license. In others, both licenses and permits are issued at an industry level. The Small Business Association is a useful resource for obtaining licensing and permitting information, but as a general rule, future store owners can expect to need:
- A resale certificate
- A seller’s permit
- A certificate of occupancy
- Business liability insurance
- Unemployment insurance
- Workers compensation insurance
Step Four: Choose a Location and Get Set Up
Next, find a location that offers both plenty of traffic and reasonable lease terms. There is no one type of location that’s perfect for every business, so consider the target audience and base the choice on where they’ll be most likely to go.
Once the store has its new home, it’s time to install necessary fixtures and set up contracts with vendors and suppliers. A store’s vendors are its most valuable partners, so make sure to find suppliers that offer high-quality goods at reasonable prices and have reputations for being easy to work with.
Step Five: Hire Great Employees
Just as a store’s vendors should be its most trusted business partners, its employees will be its most valuable assets. When hiring for retail positions, keep in mind that attitude is worth more than experience. Workers can be taught how to use a new POS system or manage inventory, but they can’t change their basic personality traits.
Prepare for the Big Day
Retail store owners should now be ready to start preparing for the grand opening. Once those shelves are set up and stocked with goods, success or failure comes down to marketing and providing excellent service.