Because of the advancement of technology, you can now buy and sell whatever you want without leaving your home. With just a few taps, you can get a TV or a couch delivered to your home at the earliest possible time. The same goes with setting up shop. There are dozens of website hosts that entices potential business owners to create their sites within a few minutes. The trend was only strengthened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Figures show that consumers turned to online stores in the past year.
Despite this, brick-and-mortar shops remain relevant to the retail industry. According to Quip marketing head Shane Pittson, offline experiences are key to getting new clients. Quip is a popular online dental store that offers subscription options. Now, the question begs: how do you set up shop in the digital era?
To help you make your decisions, here are the dos and don’ts of building your store:
Do: Take Your Time
Due to external and financial pressure, you might be tempted to rush your decision. It’s easy to pick the first location you like and get ahead with building. But this is one of the decisions where you should take your time. Choosing the wrong area can bring several problems in the long term. It could mean low sales. If it doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic or it’s not very accessible, people won’t go to your shop. It can also lead to high costs. What looks good at first glance may be hiding structural damage underneath. First impressions aren’t always reliable.
That’s why it’s important to take your time and do your research. Vet everything from the promising locations to the people you’ll outsource. You’ll need a good designer, land-surveying service, and construction company for a good store. You might have to be patient but at least, you’ll limit mistakes once you’ve made your decision.
Don’t: Just Follow Trends
If you enter a shop that was built in the past few years, you’ll know it at first glance. It probably has white walls, plants in every corner, and a quote in neon lights as the centerpiece. While it makes any space look nice and attractive, it can also take away your business’ identity. Spend a few minutes on Instagram and you’ll spot a similar looking shop in a major city. Having a similar decor might lure millennials and Gen Z consumers but you risk having a forgettable store.
Instead of copying furniture and color schemes from Pinterest, find your brand’s identity first. What sets you apart from your competitors? It’s the message that your store should send from the first visit. You should also decide what kind of experience you want your clients to have. If it’s an affordable store, you’ll want to make it to look practical but organized. If it’s more upscale, focus on creating an elegant ambiance. You want customers to remember your store for something special, so they’d return. Why would they choose your shop when there are dozens of other photogenic stores in the area?
Appearance is everything in the time of social media but it’s not just about crafting a pretty picture. It should be sending a well-constructed message as well.
Do: Study History
When you’re setting up shop, it’s not enough to plan for the future. You must also brush up on your history. Find out how similar businesses have fared within the past few years. If you can, you should also determine why it succeeded or failed. You might learn a thing or two from their mistakes or achievements. Besides the nature of the business, you should also learn the history of the location. Ask the landowner why the space became available. If it was previously occupied by a shop that closed, it might be a red flag. There’s a chance that it’s a sign of no foot traffic or low spending power in the area.
Don’t: Spend Above Your Budget
Businesses are very expensive to build from the ground up. This is why it’s important to stick to your budget as much as possible. A survey has found that the average time for small businesses to become profitable is four years. It might take some time before you can expect to get your return of investment.
Starting any business venture is an important decision to make. It means commitment, losses, and expenses. But, if it works, you’ll earn profits and even contribute to the community by hiring employees. It’s an achievement that’s worth all the trouble.