For many, setting up their own shop is a lifelong dream, and one of the main reasons that stop entrepreneurs from setting up their store is that they don’t know where to start. At Displaysense, we are here to help you with all of your retail queries, and this continues into helping you set up your own shop.
Keep reading to learn more about what you need to plan, outline and organise when setting up your shop. Our handy guide includes key steps and processes to follow before setting up a physical store for your business.
1. Assess the current retail market
Before you start planning what colour you will paint the walls of your new dream store, you should assess current market conditions. Consider whether now is the right time to open a new business from a financial standpoint. Are people within your target market cutting back on costs? Or do they have disposable income to spend on your products and services?
Is there a need for your store in your local area?
Another point to consider is the competition you will face within your industry in your local area. Have you found a niche and target market you know you can satisfy? Look for potential competitors within your industry in the local area, and if the market is already saturated, try to think about how you will stand out from the crowd.
2. Create a business plan
If you have decided that your business suits the current market, the next step is to create a concrete business plan to drive your strategy moving forward. Your business plan will define how you work and indicate the tasks you need to complete and where your main focus should be.
What to include in a business plan
Whilst your business plan should be an outline with clear points, it should be flexible, and you should be able to navigate through it in a way that suits your business. Make sure to include the following points within your business plan:
- Executive summary - This should be an overview of your business plan and include key points you will address.
- Business analysis - This segment of your business plan should consider the market's current state, competition, and how you envision your business in this context.
- Products and services - Outline the services and products your business will focus on selling and expanding. Have you sourced any stockists or suppliers? If so, outline them in this section.
- Marketing strategy - How will you attract your customers? Outline your marketing strategy and where you want your business to focus from this perspective. Will your marketing strategy rely heavily on social media to start? You should outline your first few months and continually assess this as you go along.
- Management - How do you envision the structure of your business? Consider here how many staff members you will need to hire and what the cost of this might look like. Think about employee benefits and policies and how you will approach recruitment.
- Financials - This is one of the most important parts of a business plan, and if you are looking for an investor or bank loan, this area will be scrutinised. Things to include are profit and loss statements, breakeven analysis, cash flow forecasts, sales forecasts and capital requirements. Make sure that you spend time on the financials and that they are correct and double-checked.
- Appendix - You can include any documents or forecasts you may have in this section. This section aims to give the reader a better understanding and vision of your business.
3. Define your brand
Before you start your business, knowing who you are as a brand is important. Knowing your brand voice, look and feel is crucial, as it will define many things about your business, including your colour scheme, packaging and even your location.
If you don’t have any experience building a brand and have no reference on what this should look like, read up on our Why Is Brand Important resource. Within this guide, we outline the different types of brands, the steps you need to take to build a brand and provide examples of how this can relate to your business.
Other branding elements include:
- Store name
- Tone of voice
- Social media set-up
- Window design
- Interior store design
4. Location and store floor planning
Once you have established all of the above, it is time to source a location for your store. When deciding on the location of your store, consider the following:
- Foot traffic: is the location in a busy part of town that will attract people passing, or will you have to work hard to build a reputation to get new customers into the store?
- Competitors: will the location of your new store be located near a competitor? If so, consider how this may impact your business. You could attract some of your competitor's customers, but it could also negatively impact your store and be difficult to attract loyal customers in a saturated market.
- Price: when choosing your location, you will need to consider how much the rent and business rate of the store will be and factor this into your costings.
Store floor planning
When you have secured a location for your shop, you can begin to work on the floor plan. The flow of your store is important as it will determine customer experience and allow you visual merchandising opportunities.
Consider where the entrance of your store will be and the surrounding area, and make sure you think about any access issues for wheelchair users during this process. From here, you can start to layout the floor plan - some key elements to consider include:
- Clothing rails (applicable to fashion stores)
- Storage and shelving (to cater for stock)
- Changing rooms (applicable to fashion stores)
- Till and purchase area
- Shopping baskets
Set up your own store with Displaysense
At Displaysense, we have a range of products available to help you set up your store, including visual merchandising equipment such as mannequins, dump bins, and clothes display stands. Within the range of equipment, you will find retail display equipment to suit the needs and style of your shop. Browse through the range of storage and shelving supplies that will help you to store and locate your stock in an organised manner to increase productivity and manual operations effectively.