Starting Your First Store: 3 Steps to Keep in Mind

Starting Your First Store: 3 Steps to Keep in Mind
June 28, 2019 Anita Ginsburg

Owning a retail store is a dream for many, and now, it’s easier than ever. Being an entrepreneur is challenging, but it gives you complete control and freedom to turn your business into exactly what you envision. Whether you’re planning on opening a brick-and-mortar location or want to become the next big thing on Shopify, there are some important steps to keep in mind as you prepare to launch your business.

Research the Market and Understand the Laws

You’ll have to know what the market is for your store before you order products and set up shop. A big mistake many new store owners make is not thoroughly understanding their location’s interests. Just because you know there’s a good market for something doesn’t mean that market is in your area. If you’re going local, then you’ll need to understand your area’s demographics and choose the right stock accordingly.

Legal structure is also important; most small businesses are registered as an LLC. This is a simple structure and it will help distinguish your business property from your personal entities.

You’ll also need to register for an EIN—Employer Identification Number. This is legally required for federal tax purposes.

Getting the Right Insurance

Liability insurance protects your business from any charges or claims filed against it. It isn’t required by law, but you should get liability insurance as a preventative measure to safeguard your assets. Accidents happen even to the most prepared and cautious business owners.

Say a client falls in the parking lot or a shelf falls and injures someone in your store. Without any liability coverage, you would be subject to covering all of their medical fees. Liability insurance is the far more affordable option in any legal situation.

Figure Out Finances

You may have finally learned how to stay afloat in the murky waters of business loans, but how do you plan to forecast your store’s finances in the future? You’ll need the right software to make sure that you always know your current figures.

A point-of-sale system (POS) can help you monitor your inventory, manage costs and stay up-to-date with sales on a weekly or even annual scale. This type of financial accuracy and projection can prevent major loses and oversights that could cost you your entire dream.

You’ll need patience and persistence if you want to open a successful retail store, but as long as you do your research and stay true to your business plan, you can do it. Make sure that you are fully prepared for the day-to-day responsibilities of business ownership, too.

Some aspiring store owners stretch themselves too thin and find it difficult to manage daily tasks. Keep in mind that your store will need you to run it once it’s open, so try not to take on too many other tasks. This will become your full-time job, so you’ll need to be prepared to go above and beyond to help it thrive.

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