31st January, 2018

4 people you need when opening your first retail store

Opening a bricks and mortar retail store for the first time ever is exciting, but also a little bit daunting – so it’s best to get help.

While opening an online store can be done from your spare room, opening a physical store is a different kettle of fish.

It’s why securing the people who will give you ongoing support and advice is so crucial.

While you can have a support network of more than four people, these are four key areas where having wise heads can make or break your business.

 Retail Lease

People to Help: Real Estate Agent and Lawyer

You might like the property you’ve chosen for your business, but do you like your landlord?

The lease on your store can be one of its biggest costs, so it’s important to have a fair and reasonable real estate agent who is responsive if things go wrong.

A good property manager can be a great asset to your team as well, so consider both the property and the real estate agent when making your decision about the premises you trade from.

But signing a lease in the first place can be a tricky business, and you’ll definitely want the security of knowing you can stay in the one location if business is going well.

At the same time, being locked into an unfair deal can be a killer.

The best person to help you decipher a retail lease and negotiate for a better deal can be a commercial lawyer with retail lease experience.

A lawyer can help look over your lease and highlight any of the aspects that might be too heavily in the landlord’s favour or could be disadvantageous to you.

You should never sign a commercially binding contract involving substantial amounts of money without first getting it checked by a lawyer.

Retail Technology

Person to Help: IT Support Person

Retail is no longer about just whacking a till up front and having some stock, so it makes sense to have someone to rely on when things go a bit haywire.

These days your customer databases, point of sale, loyalty program, in-store display and even security system are internet-enabled – so it makes sense to have that one ‘go-to’ person in your life who can help you out when things go a touch wrong.

Luckily there are great retail management solutions on the market like Neto which can help make setting up systems a breeze, and in the rare event something goes wrong help is available.

Cash flow and Profitability

Person to Help: Bookkeeper or Accountant

Knowing how you’re performing in your business and being able to identify breakeven and profit points is critical in the early years.

An accountant or bookkeeper can help you set up your financial records so that you have important financial information at your fingertips.

Making sure you understand about GST your tax obligations and how to prepare your BAS statements is vital.

Getting it right from the start saves a lot of heartache in the future. They can also help you with choosing the right point of sale system and help you organise different payment options for your customers.

READ: Find an accountant or bookkeeper

Getting Customers

Person to Help: Marketing Consultant

Of course, having all these people to help is going to be kind of pointless unless you can get customers to walk into the store.

A marketing consultant can help you set up strategies so that you are attracting people to your store and setting you up to secure repeat sales.

While it may seem having a consultant on call may be waste when you’ve got little money to spend, this is something which pays itself back through increased sales and foot traffic.

Not only can opening your first store an expensive venture if you don’t get things right, it can also be one of the more daunting experiences in your business life.

Getting the right advice at the beginning can not only save much heartache but can get your business moving in the right direction faster so you see the profits in a shorter time.