When it comes to advising shop owners who are getting ready to open there’s no question that location will go at the top of the list. Occasionally there is a product that is so desirable that people will be willing to go to an inconvenient location but otherwise you will need to be located somewhere where the customers can easily get to you. This means that before you choose the shop location it will be necessary to understand who your customers are and how they’re likely to get to you.
When they purchase your product you need to know if they’re going to need a car to haul the product away once they purchase. If they do need a car then consider if the location you’re choosing has adequate parking. Is your product something that a customer would buy impulsively? If it is then you will need to put the product in a place that invites impulsive purchases. Although having the best location will increase business it will also require paying a premium for it.
1. Examine The Lease
Unless you’re very experienced with lease agreements you will likely need to have an expert take a look at it. As an example, you wouldn’t want to sign an agreement that requires you to be responsible for all building repairs when you are simply leasing one unit within a multi-unit building. The lease should allow you to exit the lease without substantial penalties should the shop fail to perform as expected.
2. Choose An Appropriately Designed Shop
It is important that you select the shop that is designed for the type of business you will be running. Customers will need to feel comfortable and enjoy their shopping experience when there. You will need one design if you have a jewelry store and still a somewhat different design if you’re selling shoes. If the shop will require substantial interior redesign then negotiate your rental agreement to include two or three months of free rent to accommodate the time and money you will put into the redesign.
3. What To Do With Your Shop Front
The shop front should always be inviting and you should change it to match the seasons. It should be visually interesting and done in a way that attracts visitors into looking and coming into the shop. This is where shop signage and a nice facade comes into play.This is a way to get those walking by to take notice of your shop which will give you a chance to get them to come in and take a look around. If you have a cake displayed and there are flies or bees around, this will turn people away.
4. The Art Of Buying And Selling
A new shop owner will often think that their success depends on how well they sell their products but they will soon find that it is buying that makes them successful. When you purchase the right type of items that are high quality and up-to-date and popular then they will typically sell themselves. You should go to trade shows and read the magazines to help you understand what the current fads and latest trends are in your particular field so that you always have what your customers want. If you are selling large products you should consider providing a delivery service.
5. Online Presence
These days you will need to have a presence on social media and a website online. The site should be up-to-date and vibrant. Similar to your shop window this will grab people’s attention and get them to look. You’ll want to get yourself onto Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. This will also allow you to manage your reputation. Anytime you have a special offer or a sale then you’ll want to announce it on those platforms. When you’re about to have a sale take place, announce the coming special promotion.
6. Vouchers And Music
You should have gift vouchers for sale so that they can be given by your customers to others. This is a convenient and easy gift for them and a great way for you to gain new customers. When someone comes into the shop you not only need the atmosphere to be great but you also want to have the right music playing in the background. Make sure that you are playing music that you have the right to play and that it’s something that your particular customers will enjoy listening to while shopping.
7. Have Appropriate Insurance
It is necessary to have enough liability insurance to cover anything that might happen. It only takes one person slipping or having some other type of accident while shopping in your store for it to be a big problem for you. You need to be aware of safety requirements and potential hazards and then have the insurance in place should anything unexpected happen.
8. Closed Circuit TV
Most of your customers will be honest hard-working people though you are sure to have a few bad ones come in the store. Placing CCTV strategically lets people know that you have security in place and although that won’t deter everyone it will deter the casual shoplifter. This allows him to understand that if they’re caught they will suffer the legal consequences.
As a final tip, you should always remember to smile. A smile cost very little and yet it goes a long way with your customers. Even on a difficult day smiling will make it a little better. Your shop should be a friendly and happy place. You want your customers to know that you appreciate them and you can do it best with a friendly smile.