Whether you’ve been selling goods online for a while now or opening a shop in your local area has always been your dream, this blog has some essential tips for you. Renting or buying your own premises and welcoming customers through the door can be a much more daunting task than setting up your website. Luckily, there are lots of things to do to make your transition from the digital world into the real one a much smoother process. Here are just a few ways you can get started:
Lean on technology
The right software will make running your own shop easier and more efficient. Whether you’re looking for merchant services to make payments easier or need a system to organize your inventory, finding these services ahead of time will mean you’re ready for anything on opening day. Don’t forget, if you haven’t already, you should definitely use software to organize your finances and tax returns.
Advertise in your local area
Opening a physical shop is different from setting up a small business online in that you’ll be relying more on the people who live nearby to help you earn a living. This means that targeting customers all over the world won’t be of much use, so it’s time to adapt your advertising strategy. Try handing out leaflets, optimizing your website for local SEO, or even speaking to local publications and asking to be featured. It’s also worth checking to see if your town or city has a place where business owners can meet and network. You never know, you could strike up a great new partnership
Stay up-to-date with regulations
There are lots of rules and regulations all shop owners have to adhere to. This not only includes registering your business and having relevant licenses but health and safety regulations too. While your shop might not seem like a dangerous place, you must carry out a risk assessment and make it accessible to a wide range of people. Uneven floorboards or steps that aren’t clearly marked could become hazards to your customers, so think carefully about the layout of your premises.
Linked to health and safety risks, insurance can protect you if someone does get injured on your premises. Accidents can happen, so make sure you’re covered against lawsuits if someone slips and falls or gets hit on the head should a shelf collapse. Insurance can also protect you should a customer suffer an injury as a result of one of your products malfunctioning. It is an extra expense, but the cost of insurance is incredibly low when compared with some of the fines you could face if something were to go wrong.
Think about whether you’ll realistically be able to run your shop on your own. If you think you’ll need a helping hand, it’s worth hiring a part-time employee in advance to avoid becoming overwhelmed in your first week. You can always hire someone on a contractual basis if you don’t want to be tied in for the long term.