It does not matter what industry you are in, launching a new business is always a challenge. Retail stores are not exception. You have to pick the perfect location, perfect your product range and have a dedicated team of employees trained and ready to go. There are plenty of other things to do and stay on top of, but the small things are often the most important and set you up for success.
Here are a few key things to think about before you launch your brand new retail store.
Investigate your space
Before you sign the lease, spend some time hanging around the space that you are considering launching your retail business from. This gives you an idea of foot traffic to your store, the time of day when it is more busy, traffic issues, how the surrounding stores do, lighting and accessibility problems and so on. Would-be store owners, quite understandably, get excited about a location but fail to check out some of the finer details. Spending time at the location might reveal some things that you can either discuss with your landlord or make you keep on looking.
Create the right layout
The layout of your store can either make or break your store. If it is laid out in a pleasing and logical way, you can monitor the store better to prevent shoplifting and damage, and your customers will be encouraged to spend more than they possibly came in intending to. If you sell perfumes and fragrances, for example, leave adequate space for customers to give them a spray and test them. If you are selling shows, they need somewhere to sit and try them on. You also need to think about signage and making sure it is clear – find out here about the different sorts available.
To get an idea of what works and does not work when it comes to the layout of your store, visit a competitors and see how theirs is laid out.
Plan for superb customer service
Superb customer service is absolutely vital to a successful retail store. If someone experiences bad customer service at your store, you can be sure that they will tell all their friends and family about it, and with social media used so widely these days, it will probably be shared across there as well. Make sure that giving your customer the best possible experience is right at the top of your list of priorities. Train your staff how to deal with issues and to avoid conflict. Offer a great level of customer service and you will soon build up a loyal customer base.
Plan for bad days
There are going to be days where things fly off the shelves, your customers are all polite and easy to deal with and everything goes smoothly. There will be other days where barely any customers come through the doors, you will have customers come in with problems, the till will stop working, the door jams and just about everything that could go wrong goes wrong. Hopefully, those days will be few and far between, but have an action plan in place for those days anyway.