10 Steps To Open A New Retail Shop
If you are ready to turn your retail dreams into a reality, you might be wondering where to begin. With some proper planning, your new business can be a roaring success in no time! Follow these 10 steps to make sure you are on the right track.
1. Find resources and business assistance to plan for success
Launching a retail shop is an intricate process that needs expertise in many fields, so don’t try to become a jack of all trades! There are many resources available to help business owners, so you’d be crazy not to take advantage.
A great place to start is with the Australian Government Business resources. Here you will find a broad range of advice and expertise on everything from finance, grants, planning and marketing.
2. Write a Business Plan
You have probably been dreaming about your new shop for years and have every little detail planned out in your head. But it’s vital to get your ideas on paper. It will help highlight any gaps in your planning and give you a roadmap to follow as you begin your journey.
Your business plan will be unique to your business but as a starting point, you should include:
- Your business name and shop name (they might be the same or different)
- The product(s) you will sell
- Your suppliers
- A pricing strategy for your products, including profit margins
- Your monthly, quarterly and annual goals, including the break-even point
- Your target customers
- The competitors of your shop (both global and local)
- Your team members
- A marketing plan
3. Secure finance
With a solid business plan in place, you will be able to approach your bank for a business loan. As you would expect, they will be particularly interested in your financial goals and how you will meet them.
You need to show a realistic approach to your expected profits to reassure the bank that you will be able to meet the repayment schedule.
Make sure your plan includes how you will pay for every aspect of your business, including any capital you already have, grants you are applying for and all expenses, including registering your business, insurance, stock, wages and running costs such as the new property electricity and gas connections and the new NBN connection.
4. Find the right location
Crucial to any good retail shop is its location. You need to find somewhere that your target customers will have easy access to you. Things to consider are the suburb, the foot traffic, parking and the proximity to competitors.
Once you have found the right spot you will need to consider the terms of the commercial lease, including the monthly rent, to make sure it is the right place for your new shop. There are pros and cons to short-term and long-term leases, so you need to take time to consider your options before you rush into signing on the dotted line.
5. Take care of the boring stuff! (We’re talking tax, insurance and the law)
With any business venture, you can’t avoid the paperwork! It’s so important to get everything in line before you start, to save yourself a lot of potential issues down the track. Depending on the type of retail shop you are setting up, you will need to consider some, or all, of the below:
- The business structure (company, sole trader, partnership)
- Business tax
- Public liability insurance
- Building insurance
- Contents insurance
- Food licence
- Liquor licence
- Employment contracts, including relevant industrial relations laws
- Workplace health and safety policy
- Fair trading laws
- Energy efficiency audit
Please note, this is not a comprehensive list of paperwork! You need to research your specific industry to make sure you have everything in order for your new shop.
6. Compare energy plans
The operational costs of your retail shop will make up one of the largest ongoing costs that you incur. This includes the cost of your new electricity connection, and possibly a new gas connection as well.
Most of Australia’s leading energy providers have Small Business plans, and finding the perfect match for your new shop could save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Some of our favourite plans are in the table below.
*based on the provider’s average usage estimates for small business customers on the Citipower network (postcode 3000). Prices are correct in November 2022.
^based on the provider’s average usage estimates for small business customers on the Evoenergy network (postcode 2600). Prices are correct in November 2022.
7. Make a plan to be energy efficient
Even if you connect electricity and gas to the cheapest business plan, it will all be in vain if your new shop is wasting power.
When you take over your new premises, you should conduct an energy audit, to see where you can save energy. This can range from simple, easy-to-implement things, like turning off lights and computers, to bigger investments like insulation or even solar panels. If you are leasing your premises, you will need to talk to your landlord before making any permanent changes.
For more tips on making your new business energy efficient, read our guide here: Compare and Connect Electricity for your Business.
8. Compare NBN or business internet plans
A reliable and fast internet connection is an essential part of any modern business, and your new retail shop is no exception!
Before you connect broadband, you should think about the business functions you need to perform, such as EFTPOS, security and payroll. You will find that the best NBN plans for business offer bundle deals on some of these business features to maximise your savings.
Some of our favourite business internet plans are in the table below.
* Prices are correct in November 2022.
9. Launch day
A strong launch day can set your new shop up for success. There are two options to launch your business:
- Soft launch. This involves opening quietly, usually to family and friends only, before you announce yourself to the wider public. This can be a great way to test your systems and processes to iron out any kinks.
- Hard launch. This involves all the bells and whistles. It might involve an extensive local area marketing campaign in the lead-up to opening day, a launch party, opening day discounts and the launch of your online store.
10. Grow your business
Phew, after all that planning and a successful launch day your new shop is up and running. But the hard work has just begun!
A retail shop needs constant attention to make sure that the sales keep hitting your goals and the business continues to grow.
Make sure you activate the marketing plan that you laid out in your initial business plan and continue to adapt and improve as you go.
Who is Move-In Connect?
Move-In Connect is a moving utilities service. We offer expert advice on moving home electricity, gas, moving broadband and Pay TV to help residents and business owners save money on their bills.
Our 100% free comparison services are not just for moving electricity connections to a new home, we can also help you find a better deal for your current home or business premises.
If you have any questions, or you are ready to start saving on your bills, call 1300 786 045 or enter your details online.