Owning your own small business or retail store is a goal of many. You can be one of the few small business owners who make the dream a reality. You just need to understand what you are in for as far as start-up costs, cash flow, as well as what it takes to be profitable before you open your doors. Your marketing strategy needs to include understanding your target market and what products they will buy from you in enough volume with high enough profit margins for you to live the lifestyle small business owners dream of.
While I don't believe in build it and they will come, I do believe if you go in with your eyes open, you can have it all. I've met thousands of business owners from all over the world who prove it.
And, you're going to learn how to increase retail sales sooner or later anyway, why not learn the pitfalls you will encounter when you start a retail business, before you take the plunge?
And if you’ve already opened a new store, read on to see how many you’ve already encountered...
42 Things No One Told You About Starting A Retail Business:
1. Your retail shop will be solicited for donations before you make your first sale.
2. People in your town will assume you are rich because you have your own business.
3. Some days you will donate more products to charities in your community than you will sell in your store that day.
4. As soon as you figure out what your customer wants, they will want something totally different.
5. Every lunch will be eaten standing up, and only one bite of a hot meal will ever be eaten hot.
6. What customers say with their mouths is interesting, but what they say with their wallets is how they really feel.
7. You will always remember the customer who managed to get under your skin and got you to lose your cool...even if you were right.
8. Every big event in your store coincides with a terrible storm.
9. Customers will have suggestions for every part of your startup - what products you carry, what events you should hold, what POS system you should buy, etc. But what they buy, attend, and otherwise support, is another matter entirely.
10. You will work weekends and holidays; if you don't like it, don't become a retailer.
11. Just because someone asks for a discount, doesn't mean they won't buy if you don't give them one.
12. Nobody cares more about you and your business than you.
13. You will outsell your best retail employees... every time.
14. Customers never read the small print on coupons which will challenge your ideas of delivering customer service.
15. People think that because you are the business owner you have no boss, which is completely wrong; you have many. Your business loan is your boss, your retail business space is your boss, plus every customer who walks through your door is your boss too.
16. 99% of the time, that 800 number on your caller ID is probably a merchant-services telemarketer trying to get you to switch to them.
17. Sometimes a Tuesday might be your best day of the week; other times it will be a Saturday. In this business, there is often no consistency.
18. There will always be customers who won't respect your store, products, or employees.
19. Never discuss politics with your clients in your shop or on your shop's social media page. You will be making half of your customers angry.
20. Like most brick-and-mortar retailers, you will fight a losing battle to keep your backroom, stockroom, and desk organized.
21. Without a sense of humor, you will never survive. Okay, you may survive, but you will be miserable.
22. You're bound to get pitched by a small business consultant who opens the conversation with, "My retail store failed so I switched to consulting."
23. The customer is not always right.
24. There are many businesses out there whose only intent is to rip-off and scam other small business owners.
25. Sales reps can lie...even some of the best ones.
26. If you let your vendor substitute one item for another one time, the next time they will simply send you whatever products they feel like sending you, to the point that you won't even recognize it as your order when it arrives at your retail shop.
27. You will need to force any marketing or PR firm you hire to be accountable, and you will need to fire them when necessary.
28. You'll have to fire the friend you were sure would be a great business partner or employee.
Even with all of the maddening things that come along with being a small business owner - especially right now during the pandemic - when you are starting a retail small business, the things you will learn about yourself, your customers, your online presence through social media, and your community will make your life more rewarding.
While you won't start off a well-known brand, from your dedication to trying new ideas as you go along and learning from Covid-19 instead of fighting it, you can build a local brand that beats others in the retail industry.
To start off right, check out my online retail sales training program SalesRX.
The 5 Shifts Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Are Making to Generate Up to 20% Higher Profits Every Month
Are you a hungry brick-and-mortar store owner who’s ready for a fresh, people-obsessed strategy? This training is for you if you want to grow your business using a powerful customer experience formula proven to make your cash register chirp.