Retail is the sale of goods and services from individuals or businesses to the end-user. Retailers are part of an integrated system called the supply-chain. A retailer purchases goods or products in large quantities from manufacturers or directly through a wholesaler, and then sells smaller quantities to the consumer for a profit. Retailing can be done in either fixed locations or online.
Shops may be on residential streets, shopping streets with few or no houses or in a shopping mall. Shopping streets may be for pedestrians only. Sometimes a shopping street has a partial or full roof to protect customers from precipitation. Online retailing, a type of electronic commerce used for business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions and mail order, are forms of non-shop retailing.
Steps to start a retail business:
- Choose a Business Legal Structure – Choosing the proper legal organizational structure for your business is one of the most important decisions you will make. While it is possible to change your structure at a later date, it can be a difficult and expensive process. Therefore it’s better to make the right decision before you start your own business.
- Choose a Name for Your Retail Business.
- Apply for an EIN – An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity.
- Decide What Products to Sell – Finding a product for your retail business to sell may very well be the most difficult decision you will need to make when starting a retail business.
- Write a Business Plan – Whether it is formal or informal, on paper or on disk, the process of creating a business plan will only help your business become successful. It is one of the most crucial steps in starting a retail business.
- Learn the Laws – Understand what business licenses and permits you need to obtain by contacting your city, county and state government offices. Before you start your own business, find out what laws govern your type of retail store. Consider consulting with both a lawyer and an accountant, as each will help you properly organize your business.
- Find a Location – Where you choose to locate your retail business will have a major impact on everything your shop does. The difference between selecting the wrong location and the right site could be the difference between business failure and success.
- Buy Wholesale Products to Resell – A successful retail business depends greatly on offering the right product, at the right price, at the right time. Therefore, it is paramount to the success of your business to be able to locate the best sources for those products. As you take this step to starting a retail business and decide what products or product lines you would like to sell, it’s then time to find places to buy those items at wholesale.
- Establish Store Policies – The best time to establish policies and procedures for your retail business is during the planning stages. By anticipating problems before you open your doors, you can choose how you’ll handle special situations, as well as the normal day to day operations. This helps avoid making mistakes once you’re faced with customers.
- Spread the Word – Before you open a retail store, start spreading the word. Create a retail marketing plan, brainstorm sales promotion ideas, begin branding and advertising your retail store. Learn how to use loss leaders, media buys and sales events to the benefit of your retail shop.
These are the steps that would help you to open your own retail business.