So, you’ve finally decided to give your at-home or online business a little bit of oomph – setting up a brick-and-mortar location. Good for you!
The concept “brick and mortar” was coined in opposition to online shopping or eCommerce. Before the internet grew big enough to make online retail convenient and lucrative, storefronts were simply that – outlets, retail stores, or simply shops. But even in this day and age – where the internet has taken over most of our lives – physical stores still carry great significance. They carry convenience, help customers make a decision, seem more secure than online shopping, and allow the customer to test your merchandise correctly and realize your worth. Therefore, having at least one brick-and-mortar location is crucial.
When it comes to knowing what steps are involved in opening up a physical storefront, it is essential that you understand everything. The last thing you would want is for your business to disrupt a specific permit or code because you were never aware of the appropriate protocols.
But thankfully, we’ve come up with a list of critical elements that you must be aware of when setting up a brick-and-mortar business. Let’s get started!
1 . Pick a nice location
If you’ve finally created a business plan, you’ll know how much money you’ll need to open your business. You also have a plan for where and when you want to open it. You already know what services or products you will provide, as well as the name of your store. The next step is to put everything into action. That is the stage at which you conduct research and think about your store’s location. If you are less experienced in real estate, get a retailer involved to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Furthermore, when deciding on a location for a brick-and-mortar store, several factors should be considered, including:
- Infrastructure:How does the physical structure look? What is its age? What is its current state? Is it in need of extensive repairs? Are there any potential flaws in the structure? Are you going to consider a temporary fencing hire to protect your building and its valuable resources? Ensure that the location can meet your store’s needs in terms of capacity, design, security, and other business demands.
- Codes and zoning:Some states and cities have zoning laws that limit the types of businesses that can function in specific areas. You should consult with your realtor about any zoning regulations that may apply to your business.
- Visibility:Is your store in a prominent location that allows easy access for vehicles and pedestrians? Is there a lot of foot traffic in the neighborhood? Is it visible from the road?
2. Fixed vs. Variable Costs
There are fixed and variable costs involved in running a brick-and-mortar business. It is critical to distinguish between the two, budget effectively, optimize merchandising tactics, and be ready for anything. Consider the following fixed costs:
- Amortization– the cost of intangibles that spread out over time.
- Insurance — the liability coverage that you have on your company.
- Depreciation— the gradual reduction in the value of assets. A physical asset is gradually depreciated over time until it has a value of $0.
- Utilities– energy, water, and other services.
- Rent — the amount of money you pay for your shop’s rent.
Consider the following variable costs:
- Merchandise — the stash you order to sell to customers.
- Credit Card Fees— the fees must be paid to provide credit card services. It is also true for POS systems that accept physical card payments.
- Production Supplies — are the supplies required for the machinery that aids in producing your goods or services.
3. A commercial lease
You’ll need to sign a commercial lease if you’re renting an area for your brick-and-mortar store. They are more complex than residential leases and are usually for a more extended time – often three or more years. A commercial lease will specify what you and the leaseholder are responsible for in upkeep and maintenance. Most commercial leases will also include remodeling the space to meet your needs as a new tenant. The terms of these renovations will be negotiated when you bargain the lease. In many instances, the landlord will have builders on hand to do that work, and your lease will be adjusted to account for the cost.
And yes, a commercial lease can be daunting, so ask your realtor any questions you have about the rental contracts and what they mean for you. Moreover, before signing, please make sure that you fully comprehend it.
4. Equipment &supplies
You have a business plan, funding, a storefront, and a license. You now require supplies to run your business. Adhere to the budget you established in your business plan for the facilities you require. Rather than purchasing new equipment, you may be able to save some money by purchasing used equipment or renting it. You’ll also need supplies in addition to the equipment. It is also in your business plan, and you’ve budgeted for it. So all you have to do now is stick to the budget.
5. Hire some employees!
You’ll need employees before you can open your doors. In some instances, you may be able to hold the fort on your own. However, this can be difficult if you want to be open seven days a week, if you get severely ill, or if you want to travel. You may decide to hire help to distribute the volume of work and ensure that everything is wrapped. Bookkeeping, inventory, hiring, marketing, and interacting with customers are all things to manage. To figure out how many employees you can hire, consult your business plan and budget as usual. You must report any new employees to your state within 15 days of hire. The information required for reporting varies, but in general, it includes your employee’s address, name, EIN, and social security number.
6. Take advantage of technology
Today’s consumers are more tech-savvy than ever before, making it critical to utilize retail technology. For starters, stores can install digital screens that display their most recent promotions and allow consumers to discover products and verify stock availability. Retailers may also offer in-store discounts that can only be redeemed through their official mobile app. A growing number of brick-and-mortar businesses have also implemented mobile systems. It allows employees to process orders and purchases on smartphones and tablet devices, effectively bringing everything to the customers’ table.
You’re all set – your store is ready, your resources are prepared, you have a trained staff, and now it’s time to open your doors. Of course, it will take some time and effort to get to this point, but once you get to where you want to be, you’ll be glad you didn’t give up. Remember to pay attention to the finer details and make sound decisions with proper financial consideration. Yes, unexpected challenges will come your way, but nothing will ever bring you down once you have your assets and strategy in place.