I have a friend, Barbara, who wanted to invest in a retail business for the first time designed for her unique tastes. She likes people and enjoys the sales process. Furthermore, she envisions the pleasure of buying of merchandise several times a year at the various accessory marts around the world. Selecting backpacks as a timely focus, she opened a modest luggage/handbag enterprise that speaks to her love of and admiration for luxury. Since her rent has been negotiated and is under control, she can offer good prices and reap the rewards other retailers are not achieving in a damaged economy. Other sectors are performing far better at this time in many parts of the US.
Stores are closing right and left, but hers is working nonetheless. She created a good business plan, limited the number of staff, and made it hands-on and profitable. Everything was carefully thought out. She designed the space herself–modern and well-lit with rows of clean class shelving accented with metal edges. There is a well-crafted sisal area rug for texture and visual appeal. The tones are natural and soft, universally appealing. The world is turning toward sleek spaces and businesses that don’t comply are getting passed by. The old barn wood floors and funky orange wall coverings are passé. Barbara has done her homework.
The goods are the latest and greatest. She knows what people want from research and she has to compete with e-tailers and discounters. That takes some real doing. She buys limited, sure to sell, items – popular styles of cool backpacks and no risks. She can’t offer only what she would wear. That sounds the death knell of retail. She goes for good quality suede and leather and avoids cheap synthetics. If people are going to buy a new backpack, they want it to last. Shelling out a lot of money requires a feeling of self-indulgence and a special treat. She aims to please in this regard.
To her credit Barbara knows where to shop to get the best deals for her low-volume business. She has resources to invest back into the store. This is crucial to keep pace and stay current. Styles change and she knows to keep abreast of trends. Because backpacks last for years, her marketing must create incentives to buy this ubiquitous item. An advertising PR campaign is in the works. It sounds intimidating and complicated, but isn’t really. Opening and running a business is latch key if you follow basic guidelines.
- Set aside the required capital and additional emergency funds
- Create an adequate inventory for the initial opening
- Regularly review the business and marketing plans for necessary revisions
- Invest back in the business to keep it growing.
- Analyze sales. What are the most popular items? Can you increase prices?
There are other considerations, of course, but these will set you on the best path to revenue progress and ensure a successful business. There are many rewards whatever you choose to sell. Find out what presses your hot button and go for it!