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What to consider when opening a shop

Thinking of opening a shop?

Whether you’ve seen your lockdown ideas flourish into a profitable company or you’d like to offer your products and services in a new area, it’s always worth being organised. We’ve outlined some of the most important things to consider when opening a new store in the following guide.

1. Running costs

A few of the standard, expected running costs for a small bricks-and-mortar business might include:

• Building rent

• Employee wages, along with holiday/sick pay

• Utility bills – water, gas and electricity

• Wi-Fi and/or landline telephone coverage

• Property tax and licensing

On top of the costs that you’ll already be budgeting for, you could face a hefty bill if things go wrong. From shop fires to theft and damage, an unfortunate event could become stressful and expensive. Taking out insurance for your shop can possibly provide you with a useful layer of protection.

2. Location

Depending on the type of products and services you offer, your store might thrive in different areas of the town or city you’ve chosen. Before you set up and invest in one spot, consider where your target demographic primarily shops.

While researching the areas with the highest foot traffic could be effective for some businesses, your target audience might not always head to the high streets.

As an example: the busy, quirky street of Bishopthorpe Road in York is popular with residents and tourists alike, but differs from streets in the city centre by being home to primarily independent shops and cafés.

3. Equipment

If you’ve primarily been an online business until now, you might need to purchase new kinds of equipment to help handle sales. This could include tills, larger display cases and apparatus, plus carrier bags for customers.

You might also want to invest in security equipment to help keep your store safe. CCTV cameras make a fantastic, reliable addition to your protection measures for your shop.

However, it’s worth remembering that if your business uses CCTV, you’ll need to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and you might need to pay the data protection fee.

4. Layout

Once you’ve secured your space, you need to ensure you design the interior in a way that promotes a memorable and pleasant customer journey. Try to set up shop with a logical flow.

By improving customer experience in-store, you should be able to boost sales and the likelihood that customers might return.

5. Online services

Even though many shoppers in the UK are returning to shopping in physical stores after the Covid-19 pandemic, you shouldn’t neglect your website or online shop.

Continue to boost your online marketing strategy along with a mobile-friendly web store for your customers to use. Businesses operate at maximum efficiency by offering both physical and online stores, with a strong customer service team on hand.

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