The 5 Best-Kept Secrets Nobody Tells You About Opening a Store

Talitha Loftus
Talitha Loftus
Marketing Manager

Opening a brick-and-mortar store can be an intimidating process, but a handful of simple considerations can go a long way to setting you and your brand up for success.

There is no doubt opening a retail store can be a daunting task with a ton of things to do and consider. But, along the way, retailers often forget the small but important steps that will set them up for business success. Below, you’ll find the top 5 secrets nobody tells you about opening a store – until now!

Establish your identity

First and foremost, firmly establish an identity for your store and your brand, and ensure your store’s identity will be apparent in the product you assort for the shop and the manner in which you display it. Go back to the drawing board and remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place. Challenge yourself to be original instead of copying the work of other retailers. Keep your offerings on point with your business model and if it helps you get started, create a mood board and mission statement in addition to your business plan.

Investigate your space before opening

Before signing anything, get to know your space. Take time out of your busy schedule to spend a few hours, days or even weeks to see how the store operates – it will be worth it in the long run! Most retailers fail to really consider the pros and cons of their new location, but by spending time in the store you will be able to gauge foot traffic and answer questions such as access to bathrooms, store lighting, is it safe for an employee to close up alone, etc.?

Opening a Store – The 5 Best-Kept Secrets Nobody Tells You About Opening a Store from RetailNext on Vimeo.

Get people talking by building your online presence beforehand

We all know how important social media is to promote your store; I get that. However, retailers often avoid this step before opening up shop. Don’t give away the big reveal, but rather use your free social media accounts as a platform to drop hints and spark mystery for what’s coming.  

Not another “Location” tip

Yes, I know you’ve heard it a million times, but I can’t emphasize this point enough: location is everything.  Opening a retail store is a costly exercise, but resist the temptation to go cheap when it comes to real estate. Pay attention to where large, successful retailers are located, and don’t be shy to reach out to surrounding stores to ask about the growth of the block, peak hours, and anything else that tickles your fancy.

Treat your employees like your most loyal customer

Lastly, but most importantly, satisfied employees are simply more productive and more efficient. They tend to work harder, contribute more, and have less sick days. They feel empowered, appreciated, and are more loyal. They stick around so companies don’t have to spend time and money recruiting and training new workers. Happy employees also tend to rave about their workplace, which attracts new customers and talent, so make sure you treat your employees right!

Now that the secrets have been exposed, I hope these tips will arm you with the right tools and confidence to successfully open a store. If you are looking for more helpful hints on retailing, take a look at our resource library.

Good luck!

Join the #retail, #inspiringretail and #SmartStore conversations on Twitter @TalithaLoftus & @RetailNext, as well as at www.facebook.com/retailnext.

Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Talitha Loftus and I’m tuning in from the Cape Town, RetailNext branch. Today, I’m excited to share with you the five best kept secrets that nobody tells you about opening a store.

First and foremost, you need to establish an identity, be original and don’t copy the work of others. As a starting point think about creating a mission statement as well as a vision board in addition to your business model.

Secondly, investigate your space beforehand; before signing anything spend some time in your store. Take a few hours, days or weeks out of your busy schedule; trust me it will be worth it. This way you will be able to gauge foot traffic and answer hard-hitting questions such as store lighting, access to bathrooms and whether or not it’s safe for employees to lock up alone.

Thirdly, get people talking by building your online presence beforehand. We understand how important social media is to promote your business, we get that. However, retailers often avoid this step. Don’t give away the big reveal, but rather use your social media platform to drop hints and create mystery.

Yes, I know you’ve heard this a million times but I can’t emphasize this point enough: location is everything. When it comes to real estate, don’t go cheap. Pay attention to your larger retailers and where they are located and don’t be shy to approach your local retailers too; ask them about the growth of the building over the past few years and when peak hours are.

Lastly but most importantly, treat your employees as if they were your most loyal customer. It’s simply put: satisfied employees are more productive and efficient. They contribute more, hard working and take less sick days. They also tend to rave about your workplace, which will attract new talent and customers

So these are my five best kept secrets. Thank you for tuning in today. I invite you to take a look at our resource library for more information at retailnext.net.

Good luck.