Tips For First-Time Retailers


In recent years, there has been a significant and greater success for small businesses, including first-time retailers. These independent retailers have become celebrated by local communities who have welcomed their contributions to the local economy. They have even been celebrated by the most major social media platforms, such as Facebook, who developed campaigns to support independent retailers during the country’s lockdown.

However, while there is now more opportunity for small retailers to begin making a mark on their local area, the professional standards and practices of established retailers still need to be understood and adhered to, otherwise, the business will quickly close. Drawing from common mistakes that first-time retailers make, here are the basics that each enterprising shop-owner needs to know when opening their doors.

Meet Local Demand

Until recently, Waterstones saw decreasing sales. It may have been easy to place the blame upon digital bookselling competition, such as Amazon, however, instead, the business restructured its operation and gave individual stores more independence, which allowed them to cater their stock and events to local demand. This move brought the store greater success and is one of the main reasons they have kept in successful business since.

When bringing your service or product to the community, be sure to consider their reception and demands. By doing so, you’ll earn support as well as a loyal and regular customer base.

Study Your Risk Assessment

When taking on a new operation, you will be taking on the responsibility for your staff and customer’s health and safety. It is imperative that you are diligent with your safety checks and risk assessment. There are numerous guides that can be found online that will help you build your risk assessment accurately and to legal standards.

The Health and Safety Executive website contains all necessary information regarding your obligation as a business owner, including guidelines for timber fire doors and fire safety standards.

Join Online Communities

Even if you aren’t looking to or don’t need to advertise your business online, you can still benefit from joining the local community online. There are now ways to connect with your customers and the local area on websites such as Facebook and NextDoor, each with their own portion of the community.

By having a presence within these groups, you will be able to connect with both familiar and new customers, find great opportunities that may appear, as well as respond to potential queries your area may have. Additionally, you will be able to connect with other nearby businesses, which can be a great advantage to first-time retailers as independent businesses tend to support and advertise each other in solidarity of the community.

Don’t Overspend

One of the most common mistakes that new businesses make is overspending or expanding too quickly. If your expenses aren’t closely considered in the first year of your business, you may be disappointed with surprise costs down the line.

It’s easy to become excited, especially if your business performs well initially. However, playing it safe and holding out on major expenses will be much better for your business in the long run, especially when experiencing unexpected costs.

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