How To Start A Small Retail Business In 11 Steps

Changing your entrepreneurial hobby into a retail business can seem exciting. However, turning the hobby into a business can be overwhelming. It is a favorable market to invest in as there is an increasing demand from consumers.

But in actuality, tough competition prevails in the retail market. With E-commerce processes and technologies like Electronic Shelf Labels or direct response television advertising, the retail industry is evolving with every passing day.

But before taking such a huge step, there are certain things you need to consider that will impact your marketability and long-term profitability.

1. Consider your Location

A significant thing you need to focus on while putting up a retail business is an advantageous location. You need an area that proves to be an ideal set-up for your business but finding such a spot can be daunting.

While selecting the site or opening a new business location, you must consider things like parking availability, rent cost, and if you will get passing foot traffic on the site.

If you have a standalone store and sell an array of goods, then you need a spot with high traffic. But if you deal in niche and boutique products, you need a spot in a mall or plaza.

2. Know your Target market

To build a strong foundation, you must first identify your target consumer. Targeting a specific market doesn’t mean excluding the people who don’t fit your criteria.

Targeting a market means assessing and identifying your typical customer and tailoring your marketing pitch according to their requirement.

3. Plan for Transportation 

Transportation, especially trucks play a vital role in the retail business which produces perishable goods, such as fisheries, poultry firms, horticulture, dairy, etc. Transportation services will help in carrying the perishable goods produced by such industries to the consumers living in different distant places in time.

Trucks carry raw materials to the factory for the production of the product and service. It helps in supplying the finished goods to the consumers.

If a proper transportation system is not established neither mass production nor distribution is possible. Therefore, you must consider buying or renting trucks that will help you with transportation.

4. Assess your competitive factors

Starting with less or no competition seems like an ideal scenario. This scenario means that you have a vast market for your product or service, there is a demand, and the consumer can’t find it anywhere else.

But having no competition can also be a result of a lack of market demand, hurdles to entry, or failed attempts by other players.

Therefore, it is highly advisable to conduct a proper SWOT analysis and research on the weaknesses, strengths, and future threats and opportunities. This analysis will give you an understanding of whether or not you must carry on with the plan.

5. How do you Hire employees?

The sales force plays an integral role in creating an impression on the consumer. Therefore, hiring top talents who have initiative and problem-solving skills will increase the sales of your business and will keep the consumers satisfied.

There are a few things you must consider before starting the hiring process. Analyze the size of your store, if your product requires more personal selling, the pattern of the trade and its density, location of your business, and working hours.

These credentials will help you estimate the number of staff members your business requires. 

6. Have a Legal perspective

You need to understand all the legal facts related to your organization. Figuring out the economic, social, political, legal, and environmental factors that impact your business will help you foresee the issues and find a preventive measure to such issues beforehand.

Reaching about the legal perspective provides you with information on subsidies which can be vital for your start-up. 

7. Get Financial capital

When you plan to start a retail business, you either establish everything from scratch or go for a franchise.

In both scenarios, you need finance to start, keep inventory, market your product, manage the sales and maintain labor costs.

Financial capital is required to avoid cash flow problems and maintain operations. You should also ensure that your business stays afloat in times of decreased income, or increased expenses.

It is not expected from everyone to have such savings, so you can raise money from lenders or financial investors who are willing to invest in your idea.

8. Budget for Marketing and advertising

While setting up a new retail organization, you need to consider marketing strategies and advertising. You can do it by talking to communities to build brand awareness, using digital marketing tactics like websites, social media pages, or E-commerce.

Also, you can entice your loyal consumer by giving them rewards to create a core consumer base. You can go for traditional marketing tactics like organizing events, and advertising in local newspapers.

These marketing and promotions will create brand awareness and will increase the customer base.

9. Develop you brand

Your brand identity is the essence of your retail business, therefore consistent branding is essential for that. Work on the visual branding by creating a logo. You must give your store a unique name accompanied by a slogan.

Minor details like the storefront, fonts, signage, and color scheme create a significant difference in building your brand.

Always remember that your product or service is just one part of your business, the consumer also connects with the image of your brand. 

10. Launch your online store

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Your physical retail store might be doing exceptionally well but an online store will help you reach a larger audience geographically.

It will provide you with a platform through which you can interact and nurture your relationship with the existing customers.

Website building platforms provide you with tools and templates to help you design your ecommerce store. You can also hire a professional who can help you develop your website.

11. Team up with other businesses

Collaborating with other businesses is beneficial for any retail business. It allows you to get ideas from experienced businesses and provide additional feedback regarding your retail business.

Teaming up with a business help you in expanding your consumer base and provides access to additional resources.

A good business partner will have strengths that balance your weaknesses and make you look like an all-around perfect choice.

They will provide your retail business with ample motivation and support when it needs it.


These proven tips will help you in starting your small retail business. Your aim must be to achieve complete consumer satisfaction. You must keep your financial budget in mind while planning your marketing strategies.

Establishing a retail business can be tough, but if it has a plan and execution strategy, then the size of your budget, your plan of action, goals, and strategies, and market survey are settled.

A business partnership established with good intentions can be beneficial for both parties and can help your business grow. Do these and nobody can stop you from achieving success.

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Post Author: Abimbola Joseph

Abimbola Joseph is a creative content developer who derives pleasure in encouraging individuals to be the best they can be in all relevant facets of life. She believes that we all have a better version of ourselves which can be leveraged to impact others and make the world a better place. Connect with me on Instagram @abimbolajoe.

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