If you’re thinking about starting a shop, there are basically two choices. Either, you can set up an online shop, or you can opt for a bricks and mortar location. Both choices have their advantages and disadvantages, so let’s look at each in turn.
Setting Up An Online Store
Your main focus of your online store should be a well built website. You’re going to need to set one up, and it should look authentic (reflective of your personality) as well as being attractive to potential consumers. You also need to make sure they’re going to want to shop there and that they will be willing to trust your company (proper web-security). To ensure this happens, I suggest you invest in a good web design team. They’ll do the work to set up your site for you. Then, you will need a page for your shop. But, you can use an already built template that you can buy from a company like Shopify. If you do this, you’ll find your shop is easy for customers to use.
The next thing you need to think about is getting the interest of the average consumer. You need to market your business as much as you can. There is no getting around the fact that this is going to cost money. It takes more than just setting up a few social media accounts, although this is a good place to start. You may also want to try blogging, building up a following of readers. SEO plays a very important role in attracting the right readers and consumers to your blog and store. If you struggle with the concept of SEP you may want to hire a professional or company to set up your site with SEO for you. That way, people will find your business when searching for the product you’re selling.
As for the product, you’ll need to decide what you are going to selling. It can be physical items like clothing, or arts and crafts that you make, or it cab even be services that you can offer to others. With telework closing the gap geographically all it takes is a bit of imagination and passion to come up with great ideas and offerings.
Setting Up A Local Shop
The biggest disadvantage for an online shop is a local store’s biggest selling point. You don’t need to market your business to a noisy world like you have to online. Once it’s up and running, local customers will find you if you are in a desirable location. Marketing costs can be lower if you are only advertising locally too.
When you think about setting up your store, you must think about space and storage. If you’re selling food produce, you will need a cold storage facility. You’ll also have to think about whether you need tech like a refrigerant dehumidifier. This diminishes the chance of frost building up and keeps your stored products protected.
You may also need to make supply contacts to get the products you need for your shop. The best way to do this is by ringing up suppliers and enquiring as to whether they would like to provide for your new business. You should choose the supplier with a reputable company that is willing to make you a good offer. For instance, if you are selling cheese or milk you will need to speak to a dairy supplier. Check around locally too for suppliers. By providing locally produced products you help to support your community and the people that shop there will as well.
Since it is also national customer service week, don’t forget that to keep customers coming back the service that you provide is also key. A positive shopping experience in your store will go a long way to build customer loyalty and spread the word about your business.
The path you take will depend on your requirements. If you are willing to wait for demand to build up, you could open a shop online. But, if you want to get a local demand right away a shop in a desirable real estate location may be the right business for you.
Photo Credit: Pixabay