Skip to content

How to Start a Profitable Retail Store Business in 12 Steps

Do you want to start a retail store business? Find in this post a detailed step-by-step guide to opening a successful retail shop.

Most people believe starting and running a retail business is easy. However, in reality, that is always not the case. To start and run a successful retail store business, you need a lot of work beforehand. If you are serious to make your retail business profitable, invest as much time as possible in planning. It will considerably reduce mistakes in the future.

Here are the 12 Steps to Start a Retail Store

1. Decide your Niche

Deciding what kind of retail store you are going to start is one of the most critical aspects of starting a retail business. The most popular retail store niches are mainly grocery stores, specialty stores, and general merchandise stores.

Grocery stores generally deal with products related to the daily requirement of food and non-food items. These stores sell a wide variety of products related to food, beauty, health, etc.

Specialty stores sell products in categories like electrical and electronics. sports, apparel, automobiles, etc.

General merchandise stores often sell products related to clothing, daily food items, home decor items, etc.

2. Create a Retail Store Business Plan

It is essential to create a business plan document for your retail store. Some of the aspects that your retail store business plan must include are as follows:

  • Market Demand
  • Products
  • Pricing
  • How do you plan to promote your retail products?

There are two ways of developing a business plan. As Small Business Administration (SBA) outlines, they are traditional and lean startup business plans. If you are looking for funding for your retail store, it is advised to draft a traditional business plan.

3. Choose Products

After you decide what kind of store you are going to start, it is now time to find and decide what products to sell. This selection of products requires a good amount of research on the local demand of people.

After product selection, you need to find out the suppliers for those selected products. You can source products from local manufacturers and wholesalers.

Remember, purchasing the right product at the right price is extremely critical in successfully running your retail store business. It is like a make or breaks part of the business.

4. Select the Location

Location is perhaps the most important aspect of the retail store business. You have to find out a location with expected high footfalls with a budget that you can afford. You need to give considerable time to find out the best possible retail store location.

5. Make the Business Legally Compliant

A retail store depending on the nature of the business activity will require permissions, licenses, and certificates from the concerned authorities. Check with relevant authorities for permissions required to make your retail store

6. Consult with an Accountant

Accounting plays a key role in the day to operations of successfully running a retail store business. You must check with a competent accountant for the proper accounting process you need to maintain.

7. Choose the Proper Business Entity

Registering your business entity is advised before launching your business. There are several formats for registering your business entity. You can register your entity as a proprietorship, or partnership depending on your requirements.

For example, if you are planning to launch a retail store in the United States, forming an LLC is a preferred option. This is because this type of company formation helps you to protect your personal assets from business assets.

8. Interior & Operational Tools

The interior of your retail store is an important aspect of a profitable retail store venture. You must consult an interior designer and decide how best the retail floor space can be utilized for merchandising.

9. Hire Manpower

Another key factor for successfully running a successful profitable retail store business is the competence of counter salesman and floor sales managers. Recruit people who command good communication skills and possess a customer service-centric attitude.

10. Soft Launch

It is always advised to have a soft launch before you open your retail store to the public.  A soft launch is that period where you open your store without informing the public. Take as much time as required for this exercise, as it might reduce potential mistakes that can happen when you or your employees actually start interacting.

11. Hard Launch

This is the day you were waiting for a long. You must prepare for the grand opening of your retail store. Invite as many people as you can. This is the first impression you are making of your retail store. Check, everything is in order and the invitees don’t catch you unprepared.

12. Promote your Retail Business

Finally, do some local promotional activities to let people know what you are selling. Remember one thing while promoting your retail store, you must find out reasons why customers visit your store. You must define your unique selling proposition before promoting your retail store business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Start a Retail Business with No Money?

Yes, it is possible to start and run a retail business with almost no money. However, to be successful, you will need to be innovative and work harder. Some of the ways you can make a profit from a retail business by investing little money are as follows:

  • Selling used items that you already have at online marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, etc.
  • Work as a commission agent and sell products of others.
  • Dropshipping is another valid option.

What is the Cost of Starting a Retail Store Business?

The magnitude of startup costs of launching a retail business will depend on a number of factors. It includes license fees, retail space rent, inventory costs, manpower salaries, computers, accounting software, stationery expenses, and marketing costs. On average the initial cost of starting a retail business can be as low as $10,000. However, on a larger scale, the investment can rise to $100000.