Starting out in the world of retail can be a scary endeavour for many. You have undoubtedly heard about the issues that the retail industry has been facing. Many physical stores have been closing. The online trading world is booming. For many, going into retail may not be an entirely safe move to make.
But, if you are adamant that this is the right move for you, there are a number of things that you can do. You don’t have to become another statistic. You can buck the current trend, should you follow these tips.
Let’s take a look at how you can make your ventures into retail, successful.
The Lowdown on the Retail Industry
Retail, in the UK alone, is a £174 billion industry. These figures take into account the whole of the retail sector. This includes fashion, groceries and hospitality. This is a profitable industry. So, if you play your cards right, you can have a slice of this lucrative pie. Of course, the world of retail is somewhat competitive. You need to have an edge in order to make it. But, if you have a solid idea, or a niche product, there is no reason why you cannot succeed.
Types of Retailer: Discover Your Niche
Having a solid plan is what is needed to be a success in the retail industry. What area do you want to exploit? There are many areas that you can go into. Where do your passions lie? Here are few pointers to get you started:
- Hard goods
There is a wide range of areas that you can go into to make your retail venture a success. You should aim to do thorough market research before you go into any sector. Ensure that you discover what you are passionate about. But, you will also need to identify gaps in the market within your preferred location. So, if you want to set up an artisan foods store, you need to see if there is a need for it in your local area. You also need to make sure that no one else is doing this in your area. After all, you don’t want to saturate the market, or give consumers something that they don’t want. It is commonsensical when you think about it.
You also need to find out whether you want to have a physical bricks and mortar store. You may want to operate as an internet based store. Both have significant advantages and disadvantages.
Bricks and mortar stores can be costly to run. But, a physical presence is more likely to get customers through the door.
Internet based stores are apparently cheaper to run as you have no overheads. But, the internet is a crowded place for e-commerce, so you need to ensure that you are putting a lot of effort into marketing.
Equipment, Products and Training
There are a vast range of things that you will need in the onset of setting up your store. If you have a bricks and mortar shop, you will need premises. You will also need a till system and staff to help you with busy periods. For an ecommerce venture, you will need a warehouse or space to ensure that you have room for stock. This can be done from home, but you will need to dedicate a space for your stock and goods.
Training is an important part of running a store or retail outlet. The adage says that the customer is always right. With this in mind, you need to make sure that you undergo customer service training. After all, you want your customers to feel valued. You also want them to return to your shop. You need to have a robust training scheme in place so that you can deal with customers and their demands.
Your Key Skills and Attributes: Do You Have What it takes?
As a retailer, you will need a wide range of skills in your arsenal. As a retailer, you should have a strong character. After all, you want customers to come back to your shop. You also need to make sure that you have a good head for numbers. An organised personality is what is needed to make your company a success. A working knowledge of stock replenishment and auditing will be needed. You need to make sure that you can complete the transition from employee to employer with ease. For many, this is difficult. You need to ensure that you have a brilliant customer service record.
What is more, you need to be a salesman, a rep and an administrator. After all, goods won’t buy themselves. Having a good rapport with distributors and suppliers is essential to your success.
It can be tough, but it will certainly be worth it.
Launching Your Venture
Launching your store can be difficult. However, it can be a lot of fun. You need to put a lot of effort into marketing. You need to ensure that you have a prominent social media presence. Twitter and Facebook are popular, but LinkedIn and Google Plus are also great to use. Instagram can be a good way to sell your products in a visual way. Link your Instagram profile to your Facebook and Twitter pages and share content. Taking photos of your store and new goods is an excellent way to generate interest and buzz around your services.
You can also utilise offline methods of marketing. Leaflets and business cards can prove to be a great advantage. Offer discounts for new customers that have a leaflet. This is sure to get people through the doors and putting money into your tills.
Once you have considered all aspects of marketing, you need to find the store itself. Is it big enough to cater for your customers? Do you have a remarkable design which will allow consumers to browse with ease? The layout of your store is essential. You want customers to have a good experience in your retail outlet. Consider the layout when you start your venture.