There is still huge demand of retail stores in major towns and cities across Nigeria because of high population and increase on consumer needs. Starting a retail business is no easy task, but with hard work and determination it can be rewarding. Take the time to think through your plan before you sink any serious funds or work into the business. Retail business can bring about huge profit and fulfillment when it is as a result of smart business strategy than just to make both ends meet.
If you are going to set up a retail store then you will need to find a niche, weigh your capital, and make sure that your plan is viable; handle the necessary registration and permits; find a location, design the store, and hire staff; open the store, advertise the store, create a brand and make money.
Types of Retail Business: –
I. General Merchandise Stores
They focus on variety of products and services and have big stores, which can contain their goods. Such example sells goods from the little soaps to furniture and Electronics etc.
II. Specialty retailing
It focuses on one or two particular items that they sell to consumers. It can be in a form of convenience stores or end high stores.
III. Grocery Stores
They sell a lot of things that varies from foodstuffs like meats, vegetables, spices etc. to kitchen utensils, cleaning equipment etc.
IV. Supermarket and Departmental stores
The small stores you see across the road that focuses mainly on consumable products and needs than wants.
V. Non-store retailing
This kind of retail where people have no stores, sell things around in with a bus, motorcycle, hand drawn cart etc. They also sell things while moving or walking from one place to another.
The ability to sell a lot of items through the use of Internet by creating an e-commerce website and allow people to order for products or services online.
can be in the form of:
- Wine stores
- Food stores
- Clothing stores
- Computers Stores
- Mobile phones stores
- Cosmetics shops
- Kids wear stores
- Craft shops
- Electronics shops
- Jewelry stores
- Art works
- Pharmaceutical shops
- AV Entertainment shops
- Sports stores etc.
- Niche Area:
Target a specific need or want that is under-served or could be significantly improved. Talk to people in your community and try to understand what they want the most. Take some paper and a pen, and brainstorm all the things you would like to sell in your store.
- The more good items you come up with and get for a low enough prices, the bigger profit you will make.
- Avoid basing your entire business on a single product; this is what separates the stores of the world from the lemonade stands.
- Study the market:
Ask questions, keep your eyes peeled for opportunity, and consider making a survey about which products would sell well in a certain area. You can either adapt your business to what the market lacks, or find a specific area that suits your business. Make sure that there is a legitimate need for a given service.
Run a market study:
- Hang around an area, visit shops, and ask questions about the local market.
- Record statistics: sit in a cafe and take notes. How many people pass by? How old are they? Are they mostly male or female? Do they work, live, and/or shop here? Which times and seasons seem to draw the most shoppers?
- Speak to customers and potential customers. If you ask the right questions, you might get the right answers.
- Trust your intuition. Your hunch is just as important as the results of market research.
3. Feel out the competition:
Find businesses with which your planned business would compete. Research them and learn as much as you can from them. Try to find out their revenue and expenses.
- Think of what you would do to improve the product or service offered by your “competitors,” and by how much it will increase revenue (and profit).
- Head to the next town, find similar businesses, and speak to the owners. Be frank about your intentions to set up shop in your targeted area. Consider asking to work for them for free for a few days to learn the ropes.
- Do not think that your time has no value. It has an “opportunity cost,” which is how much you would earn by being employed. Include this in your cost calculations.
4. Do your research and make sure that your idea is viable:
- What you plan to sell is needed and wanted by the community in which you plan to sell it.
- Your plan is legal. All items and activities related to the store should be compliant with any relevant regulations. Make sure that you will secured a business permit.
- You have planned out all of the financial and organizational details, and that it makes sense for you to own and operate this store.
- You have enough resources (financial wherewithal and manpower) to set up your store and make it last.
- The all of the above have been handled before the store opens.
5. You may then:
- Write up a detailed business plan.
Your business plan will act as a guide for your startup, meet up with your objectives of both the short and long-term goals, financial projections etc.
- Give your business a legal backing with the CAC.
- Obtain the necessary business permit(s) from State and LGA.
- Consider the capital to start this business.
- Work within your means.
- Ø Pick a location while understanding your options.
- Establish your inventory.
- Ø Consider your Prices – Compare it with similar stores.
- Design the store space.
- Build the basic functional areas that your store needs.
- Design your layout with the customer in mind.
- Hire your staff, open your store and build a brand.
You will need a lot of social and emotional support. Set out quickly and create a brand. Good Luck
Compiled by Peter Agbugui