How Do You Start a Small Retail Business?


Quick Answer

Aspiring retail business owners should determine a business model, find a location, secure financing, determine a business structure and deal with regulatory requirements. Community business leaders and small business development organizations can help aspiring retailers determine the best strategies to complete these steps.

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Full Answer

Once a business idea has been decided on, aspiring retailers need to determine which business model suits their needs. Typical choices include traditional store retailing, online sales or door-to-door sales. Many businesses utilize combinations of these models.

If the business is a traditional retail store, retailers need to choose a viable location that attracts customers. Retailers need to consider the demographics of locations and the types of customers they are likely to attract. Analyzing employment and consumer statistics can help retailers determine the most effective locations for a new business.

Retailer also need to acquire financing. Most businesses receive funding through bank loans or government-offered small business loans. Researching the different types of loans available is a necessity before opening a new retail business.

Retailers must also consider what type of business structure suits their business. Business entities such as partnerships, LLCs and corporations all offer advantages and disadvantage, and retailers need to determine which structure is the most beneficial for their business model.

Finally, retailers must deal with various regulatory requirements, including licenses, permits and hiring practices. Research and consultation with experts can help retailers avoid potential legal infringements.

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