Ready to sell gift baskets and boxes in a retail store? First read these six marketing questions to answer before opening shop.

A lesson to learn

“Sinn previously told PBN that her biggest challenge is people trying to find the shop.”

This quote, from an article published in Pacific Business News (no longer available without a subscription) about the forthcoming sale of a retail store, reveals valuable lessons. The store opened and within one year began preparing to close or change hands.

Perhaps your shop is currently in a brick-and-mortar space. If not, you’re probably set up in a home studio or commercial setting. In any case, your ultimate dream may be to relocate to a retail store.

Opening a store is, as expressed in old-school slang, no joke. Not only must the location be in a place where people can easily find you and park, you also have to create an atmosphere, through a well-devised marketing plan, to keep customers returning.

What buyers want

Customer influence occurs in numerous ways. Here are three options they appreciate:

  • Free delivery to their residence or other local location
  • Corporate account availability
  • Event catering services

These and more offerings help to boost your visibility and revenue. Your pre- and post-launch marketing plan ought to include these ideas and more that center around providing convenience in every way possible. That’s what keeps customers coming back by foot, online, and by phone.

Consistent education on retail trends and how other retailers increase sales are a plus. However, remember that an academic certificate or college degree won’t guarantee income. Customers will not magically show up at your door. You must continually let them know about products and services whether marketed in print or online.

A look at the planning process for specialty retailers is found in the article, Success Blueprint for Holiday Gift Basket Sales.

Six marketing questions to answer before opening shop

When renting a storefront, the building’s landlord, electric service provider, and suppliers want their money. If you’re not prepared to go all out marketing your store, you will be in deep trouble with creditors who don’t care about your sales. Their ears are not programmed for excuses.

Such concerns are remedied by asking and responding to the following six marketing questions to answer before opening shop. It’s important to map this out before signing a lease. Each question focuses on finances and marketing and, as you notice, requires more than a yes or no response.

1. What are the planning projections for the area?
2. Who is my competition, and what type of marketing drives their success?
3. What type of firm was here previously, and why did it close?
4. Who are my preferred customers, and which promotions reach them best?
5. Where can I rent a mailing list of local residents; what’s the price per use?
6. How will this space accommodate me in five years?

Review these questions and answers with your business advisor or another local entity funded by the state or country in which you set up shop. Complete these steps before signing a lease or purchase agreement.

Prepare for longevity

Opening a store is exciting and can be a dream come true. It can also be stressful and a nightmare that disrupts your sleep if you aren’t proactive.

Now that you have six marketing questions to answer before opening shop, which question was easiest to answer and which one was difficult?