There are many reasons to start a business in Florida. For one, the state’s government keeps the business taxes and regulatory requirements low. However, no matter the industry, starting a business is never easy and retail is no exception.
Besides the most common steps you need to take, like determining the business structure, registering a business name, or registering with the Florida Department of Revenue, and between perfecting your products and choosing the best location, it can be easy to forget other small but important steps that can set your retail business up for success.
Before you launch your retail business, be sure to consider these 7 things.
Invest in Insurance
Although the only type of coverage that business owners in Florida must carry is workers’ compensation, you should also consider investing in retail business coverage. This type of coverage offers protection from a variety of unexpected events, ranging from damaging a customer’s property to employee injury. With the right insurance plan, you can focus on running your business without having to stress about accidents or financial losses caused by work mistakes.
Build a Website
By building a website for your retail business, you’re letting your customers know why they should trust you, increasing your credibility as a business owner. A website is convenient to use, allows you to sell your products and services around the clock, and gives you an opportunity to market your retail business online. The more professional-looking your site is, the more benefits you’ll get from it.
Find a Good Location
If your plan is to also have a brick-and-mortar store, be sure to find a location with good traffic. The more traffic you can attract, the better. The rent for such place will probably be higher, but definitely worth it in the long run. You should also investigate the space you’re planning to rent by spending some time there before signing the lease. This will allow you to get an idea of the traffic, lighting during the day, business hours of the stores nearby, parking, signage options, etc.
Hire and Train Staff
Before opening your retail store, you need to make sure that you’ve hired the right people for the job. After all, your employees will be the face of your business. Start by creating a clear job description which states what type of person you want to hire, the skills required, and the amount you’re willing to pay.
Next, you need to ensure that all your staff members are well-trained. Your employees should be ready to deliver exceptional service to your customers from the moment your store opens. In order to achieve this, consider holding a paid training where you will practice customer service skills, outline expectations, teach employees about the products, review store policies, etc.
Consider Customer Service
No matter how great your products are, your business won’t thrive if your customer service is poor. Great customer service is especially important in retail because if customers feel appreciated, they’re more likely to not just come back but also recommend you to others. So, before opening your store, work out a strategy for how you can offer an outstanding customer experience that is unique to your business.
Market in Advance
Stocking the shelves and opening the doors to your store isn’t enough; you need to build word of mouth and brand awareness. After all, if people don’t know about your business, no one will show up for your grand opening.
Ensure that people know about your event by recruiting family and friends, but also by starting to advertise the moment you have a date set: create a Facebook event, prepare a press release for the local media outlets, advertise in local papers.
Don’t Ignore Your Finances
While having a unique business idea is great, your store won’t grow without sufficient funds. Creating a budget for your new retail business can seem overwhelming, but if you understand where the major costs are coming from, it’s much easier to deal with it. Don’t plan on signing a lease or purchasing merchandise unless you have enough money to cover these expenses. Ideally, you should have enough finances to support yourself personally for at least 6 months and then add that to your business expenses.
There’s never been a better time to open a retail store in Florida or anywhere else in the States. In 2020, total retail sales increased to $4.04 trillion from $3.78 trillion, which is the highest growth since 1999.
Of course, starting a retail business takes careful planning but taking some time to create a solid strategy and execute it accordingly is the best way to set your business on a path to success.