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Questions to ask when opening your first store

Questions to ask when opening your first store

Though the economy is still picking up from the 2008 recession, in recent years, consumer confidence has risen considerably. This means there are entrepreneurial opportunities, particularly in the retail sector, so if you’re getting ready to open up a new shop, here are some questions you should ask yourself beforehand.

What will I sell?
Every successful business starts with an organized and detailed outline. The first decision you must make concerns what you want to sell. It’s not enough to say that you want to open an apparel store or jewelry outlet – you need to get more specific. Find out what’s missing in your community, and try to fill that niche. Perhaps there are no casual clothing stores geared toward men in your town, or jewelry stores that cater to younger women. When it comes to answering this question, the more specific you can get, the better.

What vibe do I want?
In a similar vein, you must decide what vibe you want your store to carry overall. This will help you in the early stages of building your business. Think about how you want your customers to feel when they’re browsing your wares. This decision will help you decide what sorts of store fixtures will best convey the “emotion” of your store. For example, if you want a neat and clean look in your store, then you can consider minimalist adult and child mannequins, such as those that aren’t an entire figure, but rather just a torso or pair of legs.

What rules will I instate?
Before you can open your doors for business, you must first design a set of rules that will dictate the way your store will run. Will you allow dog owners to bring their pets inside? Are employees required to follow a certain dress code? Will your business offer free gift wrap? Hammering out these decisions beforehand will mean you don’t have to play touch-and-go after you begin welcoming customers.

Where will I be in 10 years?
Thinking about the future of your business can help you make choices early on in your store’s life. In 10 years, do you see yourself happily managing a single, popular shop, or do you expect to have expanded your franchise? Will you be working the floor with your customers, or will you have appointed a trusted manager to run day-to-day operations?