“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 about the forthcoming sale of a retail store, reveals valuable lessons. The store opened one year and soon after began preparing to close or change hands.

Perhaps your shop is located in a brick-and-mortar space, or your business may be located in a home studio or commercial setting, and your dream is 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

Customers are influenced in numerous ways. Here are three options they appreciate:

  • Free delivery to their residence or other 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.

Continued education on retail trends and how similar 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 niche retailers is found in the article, Success Blueprint for Holiday Gift Basket Sales.

Important questions

The building’s landlord, electric service provider, and suppliers want their money, and 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 in-depth questions before you sign a lease. Each question focuses on finances and marketing and 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 that is funded by the state or country in which you set up shop before lease or purchase agreements are signed.

Prepare for longevity

Opening a storefront 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.

What’s your plan B to keep the doors open if you were in this retailer’s shoes?

Shirley George Frazier
In the gift basket world, all roads lead to Shirley George Frazier, the industry's reigning expert and international authority. Shirley is chief basketologist at Sweet Survival LLC and author of the industry's best-selling books, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, The Gift Basket Design Book, and Marketing Strategies for the Home-Based Business. Shirley works with manufacturers and retailers to successfully add gift baskets to their current revenue streams. Shirley is also a frequent speaker at events and instructor of the popular online course, Start Your Own Gift Basket Business. Contact Shirley to speak at your event or call 973-279-2799 to schedule a consultation.

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