Thursday, June 20, 2024

Setting Up Shop: Brick and Mortar Isn’t a Thing of the Past!

February 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Money/Business, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comE-commerce has taken the world by storm, and increasing numbers of first-time business owners are opting to take their startup online rather than braving the traditional brick and mortar store. There are plenty of reasons to do this. Online retail, after all, comes with fewer responsibilities and a smaller initial financial outlay. You don’t have to consider commercial property, you have fewer overheads, and you don’t have to employ as many staff to man a physical store. However, there are still a number of benefits that come hand in hand with running a tangible store that can help you bring in a whole lot more profit than you would by operating solely online.

You get to offer better customer service, communicate with buyers on a face-to-face basis, and your consumers can survey your products in person, meaning that you are less likely to experience returns and requests for exchanges. In fact, if you’re confident in your brand and believe that it’s bound for success, a brick and mortar store could prove to be the better option for you! Here are a few things that you need to bear in mind during the setup process to get your company started on the right foot!

Choosing the Right Location

Location is key when it comes to making a success of your brick and mortar store. If you setup in a busy location with high footfall, your brand will be exposed to larger numbers of people, and hopefully this will result in more visitors. Once individuals are in your store and browsing your wares, your chances of making a sale increase significantly. Once you have established a customer base, location remains equally as important, as they are much likely to return to you to purchase more goods if you are in a convenient and easy-to-reach location.

Some good news regarding the move of swathes of business owners to the web is that more desirable properties are freeing up. Scoop them up while you can! Sometimes ideal locations will not come up as soon as you’d like. In this case, you should consider a temporary store to get into the swing of running your business. There are plenty of stores tucked away down alleyways and side roads! If you find that you’re not placed in a prominent location, you need to consider signposting. This is an effective way to direct potential business to your retail space. Just make sure that your signpost isn’t causing a blockage or hazard on busy pavement areas.

Manage Your Energy Efficiently

Once you’ve chosen a commercial property, you’re going to have to power it. Most retail stores will need electricity, gas and water. Electricity will light the space, gas will heat the space, and water will ensure that there are facilities where you, your employees, and customers can use the bathroom, wash hands, and neaten up. However, this outlay should be at the lowest price possible. So browse your options before signing up for the first energy company that comes along. Remember that you can use Power Factor Correction to reduce your energy usage and keep your bills as low as possible.

Set Up Displays

Once your business has moved into the space, it’s time to start setting up displays. You need to show off your products in the best light possible, making everything accessible and aesthetically pleasing. You can do this yourself, learning what works best for you through trial and error, or you can bring in a professional merchandiser who will be able to show you the ropes and get everything just right the first time around. Make sure to put plenty of work into your window display in particular. Now, designing a window display is by no means a new or revolutionary concept. But it should always be something that you plan and carry out to perfection.

The purpose of a window display is to intrigue passers by, catching their attention and drawing them into your store. Now, for some reason, window displays tend to be the stomping ground of larger companies. But there’s no reason that your small business can’t make up a brilliant display and profit from it! Utilising the eye-catching power of visual merchandising, your display should give potential consumers a good idea of what kind of items you stock, so show off your best quality products. Remember that it’s the first point of contact between you and your customers!

Create a POS

Your POS (or “point of sale” is the part of your store where transactions are carried out. Many people place so much focus and emphasis on their organisation of stock and displays that they can neglect the area where the actual completion of a sale is carried out, and money is exchanged for goods. You need your POS to be in clear view, so customers know where to head when they want to buy something. If they are left to wander about the store, chances are they’ll get frustrated, put the item down and leave. This will result in not only one missed sale but a lost customer, as they will probably take their custom elsewhere in the future. You also need to ensure that all of your POS equipment is working.

You’ll likely have a till for cash payments, but other payment methods such as contactless card payments and Apple Pay will require up-to-date card readers. If you want to take payments away from your POS, you can also invest in tablet devices that can be transported around the store. This secures payments more quickly. More often than not, consumers make spur of the moment sales. The longer you leave someone to mull over a purchase, the more likely they are to leave it or search online and find a cheaper price from an online stockist who doesn’t have to incorporate commercial property maintenance into their price.

While it’s simple to disregard brick and mortar stores as a thing of the past, you need to acknowledge how many are flourishing on the high street. If you’re willing to put in a little time and effort, your company could join their ranks!

Staff Writer; Paul Jacobs

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