You have been dreaming about it, saving your shekels, marking the calendar – and the day is finally here! You are opening the doors on your new small business in the heart of the city. But you don’t need anyone to tell you that this was just the latest step in a long process. Whether you’re opening a record store, a used book store, coffee shop, art gallery, or another trendy small business, you are embarking upon a journey. In order for your business to be as successful and lucrative as possible, here are just a few things you should consider before even drawing the blinds on opening day.
Location, Location, Location
It goes without saying that you want your business situated in a popular, high volume area. If only it were that simple! As a new business, you have a lot to contend with as it is; you do not want to add debilitating rent into the equation. It is of the utmost importance to do your homework. Scout various “up and coming” areas. Just because you’re not opening a shop in Manhattan does not spell death for your business in New York. Make some geographical compromises and save hundreds of dollars a month.
Get To Know Your Constituents
You need to know your crowd inside and out before you can even dream of paying off the bills with profits from your little venture. Talk to people! Ask them what they want from your store, not just what they expect. Talk to owners of similar businesses and see if they have any surprising sources of revenue. Opening a record store? Consider a used record consignment sales model. Bookstore? How about implementing a reading and coffee area? Consider partnering with other businesses in the neighborhood to boost the value of both your brands and save a smidgeon of rent.
Keep Your Stock Safe
The most important resource for any new business is undoubtedly that initial – and pricy! – shipment of stoc
k. You should go to any lengths to protect it, and, luckily, there are tons of security measures out there for you to take advantage of. Security tags are a great, inconspicuous way of cutting down on retail theft. Consider ID cards for you and your employees as a way of ensuring that only the people you won’t have access to your computers, backroom, and storage areas. If the cost seems prohibitive, don’t let it; you can buy a used plastic ID card printer for pennies on the dollar. Also, consider signing up for a secret shopper program as a way of keeping your products where they belong.
It’s of the utmost importance to buy into an insurance plan that A)has your back if the worst should happen, and B)won’t break the bank. There are plenty of options out there, but be sure to do your due diligence in order to find one that’s right for you.
There are a lot of risks involved with starting a small business – but you probably don’t need anyone to tell you that. There are no sure-fire ways to completely eliminate these risks, but careful planning and research will go a long way towards alleviating them. Prepare for success!