To start retailing you need a name and all the legal requirements. You also need to find a suitable location to set shop. You also need to choose the channels and the products to distribute.
The dream of starting a retail business can easily become a reality. It may take a lot of initial work as you start your own business, but with the right planning anyone can achieve their goals. The following steps to starting a retail business should be used as a guide before you open your store.
But before you work through these steps, let me offer one bit of caution or advice. As a retail consultant, I deal with stores every week who are struggling and on the verge of closing.
The number one reason I encounter as to why these stores are closing is a lack of a retailer at the helm.
- Choose a Legal Structure for Your Retail Business
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.
The most common structure is an LLC. While S corps have a lot of traction as well, the LLC is the simplest structure to use.You will want to incorporate, though, to protect you and your family in the future in case all does not go as planned.
- Choose a Name
Dreaming up a moniker may come easy for some, but others struggle with the task. Considering the truncated nature of social media and online searches, you want to be careful to select a name that can communicate who you are quickly. Too often, retailers select a name that is clever to them or just a word or their name, but these become difficult for organic search traffic and SEO. The more it takes to explain your name, the more it will cost you to win business online.
- File 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. It is required if you have employees in your retail business. It is easy to acquire and can be done on your own here.
- Determine Your Products or Services
Picking the right merchandise to sell in your store is the perfect balance of art and science. And all products need services to support them whether its repairs or simply gift wrapping, consider what “extras” your store needs to be successful. Most likely, the products you are selling are baed on the ones you have a passion for and why you are considering retail in the first place. But remember, buying products is 10 percent “eye” and right fit and 90 percent math. Getting it in your store is easy. Getting it out profitably is the hard part.
- Determine Your Channels
Each way a customer can do business with you is known as a channel. Will you have an online store as well as your brick and mortar store? Will you do catalogue or phone orders? Will you have a mobile app? Retail is an omnichannel world today. Customers expect to be able to engage and buy from a retailer in multiple ways. You must determine in advance what channels you will have for the customer to engage you and weave a consistent brand and culture and experience through all of the channels.
- Research and Know 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.
Sourced from: https://www.thebalance.com/retail-4073978
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