Be exposed to your target market
Many businesses fail because there isn’t a demand for what they’re selling but because their products and services are not marketed at those who want and need them.
Wherever you rent, it must be affordable. We’ll look in a moment at what’s involved in taking on a shop lease. Still, wherever you decide to locate your business, you must be sure that the products and services you’re going to offer have a fair chance of generating not only enough to cover rent, rates, insurance, etc., but also pay you and give a profitable return.
Allow a degree of flexibility.
One of the keys to running a successful business is to be flexible. You’ll need to adapt to market changes either as they happen or preferably to anticipate them. If your business is located somewhere where you have no scope to change in any way – for example, rearrange the sales areas, introduce or remove a workshop area – you will not be able to adapt to change, and this will impact your success.
Be secure and safe
In the case of the antique shop, not only was the business located in the wrong area, but it was also exposed to frequent attacks. The advantage of having a shop window for your business is that passers-by can look at what you’re offering and be tempted to return to your business when you are open. However, if you have shutters and security doors where no one can see your window displays, you lose out on potentially valuable sales.
Choosing where to sell your goods
There are lots of places you can market your goods. Your business could include a combination of these or just one:
- space in another shop;
- concession in a retail area;
- direct marketing;
- exhibition or trade fair;
- hotel foyer;
Space in another shop
Probably the most inexpensive way of getting your shop is to hire a space in someone else’s. While this can be an ideal solution for some businesses, it won’t suit everyone. Generally speaking, these businesses are run by hiring either a cabinet or a space somewhere in the leading shop where you display your goods, for which you pay either a weekly or monthly rent. These types of shops have what’s often referred to as ‘easy-in easy-out terms, which means there are no tiresome leases to deal with. You can rent your space for anything from a month to a year or beyond.
Another thing to consider is whether or not direct marketing techniques could sell your products. By this, I mean purchasing specialist mail-order lists and then writing directly to your target market. Most people will describe this as ‘junk mail,’ but targeted mailshots can bring about immediate, impressive results if used correctly. If you don’t believe me, then start taking a closer look at your junk mail over the next few weeks. You’ll see that it comes from some very credible businesses such as banks, insurance companies, shops, clothes companies, etc.
Exhibitions and shows
Exhibitions are usually open to the public and vary in size. For example, the London and Southampton annual boat shows attract thousands of potential customers, while a local plant or stamp fair may attract far more minor. However, the potential suitability of a show should not be judged solely on how many visitors it attracts. The most important thing to get right is to make sure that the show is attracting your target market
When deciding where to sell your goods and services, remember there are lots of options available to you. Hiring space in another business’s retail unit is an excellent way to keep your costs down and make your venture more financially viable. There are times when it will be more cost-effective to buy an existing business than start your own. Don’t be afraid to investigate these possibilities. Many local authorities offer retail concessions, providing attractive prospects in terms of low rents and prominent positions.