Many people will play with the idea of opening a shop at some point in their lives. No wonder, an own company means professional self-realization. Dealing with people on a daily basis can be a lot of fun. Choosing the right products feels a bit like playing in a shop like you did in your childhood – of course, being the boss yourself*is also tempting. But what about reality?
The retail trade is booming and is one of the strongest branches of the economy in the whole of Germany, that much is certain. If you start with the right idea and give your business a personality of its own – your personality – you will also be successful! However, the path to success leads through economic thinking and a customer-oriented orientation of your company. And we’ll now take a closer look at how you can achieve this so that you can soon even dream of more branches!
First, of course, comes dry matter. The guidelines for doing business are set at the state level, so you should first familiarize yourself with the rules you have to follow in your state. Deal with competition law and if you want to offer food, you also have to deal with food safety and hygiene.
The Price Indication Ordinance is also important. It all seems a lot in the beginning, but it will soon become flesh and blood if you work daily in your business. And another very important tip: before you fall in love with a shop and sign a contract, you should definitely get in touch with the responsible building authority. Have the premises inspected by the building inspectorate first to protect you against any subsequent alterations that can cost a lot of money!
The basic prerequisite for you as a retailer*is to be enthusiastic about your offer and to love personal contact with your customers. Your tasks also include such dry topics as purchasing goods, bookkeeping or tax revenue. If you are unsure in any of these areas, you should fill the gaps in your knowledge before you start, be it with advice literature, seminars or start-up courses. You can get support from experts later on, for example from your tax consultant’s office, and you are guaranteed to learn more and more.
But as an entrepreneur, a certain basic understanding of all aspects of your self-employment is essential. As you can see, in order to run your own business, you need to have a lot on your plate at the start. But many have already done that!
Offer to buy
If you’re talking about opening a store, many will look at you doubtfully and ask if this is the right time. After all, more and more commerce is migrating to the Internet and quite a few assume that you will have to choose one option: stationary commerce or e-commerce. However, this assumption is not correct because the boundaries between online trading, online marketing and stationary trading are becoming increasingly blurred.
So from the very beginning of your planning, make sure you use the Internet to maintain relationships with your existing customers and attract new ones to your store. And in order for them to do that with enthusiasm, you need to put the question of what added value you can offer your customers* before all other considerations.
Unique selling point
Put yourself in the shoes of your future customers. Why should she take the road to shop in your shop? What products do you want to offer, what do your customers* have from buying these products? How do you want to stand out from the competition in your city? Shopping today is more than just exchanging goods for money, it’s about the experience for the consumer! What experience can you offer them to make your business unmistakable? And which target group would you like to address at all?
All these questions must be the cornerstone of your considerations before you open a store – because your success will depend on that. The clearer your customer-oriented orientation is, the easier it will be for you to assert yourself against long-established “industry giants”.
Products and prices
You should also think about the price and product policy at this point. Surely, as a retailer you can’t offer many products as cheaply as big chains, which get incredible discounts when buying. But you can open a shop which is able to offer very special products because of its independence. Much of what the big chains can offer can be compensated for by an individual ambience, personal service and a unique branding.
Independence and self-realization are worth the adventure of setting up your own business. Preparation and careful planning give you the necessary security. Whether aunt Emma shop or high-tech sneaker store, as long as you pay attention to the above points, nothing stands in the way of opening your business.