Starting a Retail Business

The dream of starting a retail business can easily become a reality. It may take a lot of initial work as you start your own business, but with the right planning anyone can achieve their goals. The following steps to starting a retail business should be used as a guide before you open a store. 

But before you work through these steps, let me offer one bit of caution or advice. As a retail consultant, I deal with stores every week who are struggling and on the verge of closing. The number one reason I encounter as to why these stores are closing is lack of a retailer at the helm. Retail is one of the easier business to open. And for the person dreaming to have his or her own business, it makes sense to try retail. However, retail is much harder than people realize. As much as I respect a person wanting to "own their own business" I advise you to read a book before you decide. It's called the E-Myth. And if, after reading this book, you still want to proceed, then these are our frost 10 steps. 

Choose a Business Legal Structure

Business people discussing plans on tablet.
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Choosing the proper legal organizational structure for your business is one of the most important decisions you will make. While it is possible to change your structure at a later date, it can be a difficult and expensive process. Therefore it's better to make the right decision before you start your own business. 

The most common structure is an LLC. While S corps have a lot of traction as well, the LLC is the simplest structure to use.  More

Choose a Name for Your Retail Business

branding your name

Dreaming up a moniker may come easy for some, but others struggle with the task. Here are some do's and don'ts for naming your own retail business. Be careful to design a logo that is easy to read, and looks good on a website, sign and shirt.  More

Apply for an EIN

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An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, and is used to identify a business entity. Here's why you need one and how to apply online for an EIN before you start your own business. More

Write a Business Plan

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Whether it is formal or informal, on paper or on disk, the process of creating a business plan will only help your business become successful. It is one of the most crucial steps in starting a retail business. Learn how to write a business plan for your retail store, why writing a business plan is necessary, purchase business plan software and view free sample retail business plans. More

Decide What Products to Sell

Riyash, Saudi Arabia - Store Photos for Review. Abdul Kareem
Finding a product for your retail business to sell may very well be the most difficult decision you will need to make when starting a retail business. Before you commit to a product or product line, consider these factors while deciding what to resell. More

Learn the Laws

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Understand what business licenses and permits you need to obtain by contacting your city, county and state government offices. Before you start your own business, find out what laws govern your type of retail store. Consider consulting with both a lawyer and an accountant, as each will help you properly organize your business. More

Find a Location

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Where you choose to locate your retail business will have a major impact on everything your shop does. The difference between selecting the wrong location and the right site could be the difference between business failure and success. More

Buy Wholesale Products to Resell

Abdul Kareem

A successful retail business depends greatly on offering the right product, at the right price, at the right time. Therefore, it is paramount to the success of your business to be able to locate the best sources for those products. As you take this step to starting a retail business and decide what products or product lines you would like to sell, it's then time to find places to buy those items at wholesale. More

Establish Store Policies

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The best time to establish policies and procedures for your retail business is during the planning stages. By anticipating problems before you open your doors, you can choose how you'll handle special situations, as well as the normal day to day operations. This helps avoid making mistakes once you're faced with customers. More

Spread the Word

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Before you open a retail store, start spreading the word. Create a retail marketing plan, brainstorm sales promotion ideas, begin branding and advertising your retail store. Learn how to use loss leaders, media buys and sales events to the benefit of your retail shop. More