owning a retail business

By Jenn Donovan.

Owning your own small business is a goal of many. We all dream we can be one of the few small business owners who make the dream happen but the reality is that 65 per cent of small businesses close in the first three years.

While I don’t believe in ‘build it and they will come’, I do believe if you go in with your eyes open, you can have it all, just like the entrepreneurs before you.

There are many things no-one told you before opening those doors, these are but a few, and you are going to learn this stuff sooner or later―so why not now?

If you’re already in business, then read on and see how many times you nod in agreement (or smile or cry).

owning a retail business

1. You will be solicited for donations before you make your first sale.

If you own a small retail business, there’s a fair chance you are asked for donations at least every day and saying no is very hard―after all they are all great causes or fabulous clubs in your community. My tips, set a budget and stick to it. Give gift vouchers rather than product―so they need to come in store to spend it―giving you an opportunity for upselling or word of mouth marketing. And always ask them to fill in a form.

2. Every lunch will be eaten standing up, and only one bite of a hot meal will ever be eaten hot.

Sad but true. It’s possible lunch will be long after an acceptable hour or perhaps not at all some days! Eating lunch and taking a toilet break will become problems that are more complicated than you ever thought possible.

3. What customers say with their mouths is interesting, but what they say with their wallets is how they really feel.

Customers will have suggestions for every part of your business―what you carry, what events you should hold, your pricing strategy, etc. But what they buy, attend, and otherwise support, is another matter entirely.

4. You will work weekends and holidays; if you don’t like it, don’t go into retailing.

The dream of running your own business, having more freedom and more family time is frankly, at least for the first three years or so, a BIG FAT LIE! You will work and then you will work some more.

Running a retail store is hard work, building a profitable, successful and saleable retail store is even harder. PS. Your staff, if you have them, might need to be aware of this too as they have a habit of wanting the busiest times of the year off.

5. You will outsell your best salesperson… every time.

Simply because no one care more about your business than you!

Jenn Donovan runs  Inspiring Retail, which educates, connects and inspires small business within the retail industry. Whether your retail business is online or offline, new or established, Jenn’s first-hand retail experience and knowledge will help you get the competitive edge your business needs.


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