Starting your own retail business can be exciting and overwhelming in equal amounts. You may have already taken care of the paperwork and secured a location for your first store, but what are the things you need to get before opening? Each type of retail business may have its own unique needs, but here are the things that most retail stores need.
Potential customers would not be likely to drop by your shop if they do not know the name, where it is and what you sell there. For any retail store, you will need to put up at least one outdoor signage which contains the store name and logo. You could also put your store address and contact details on it if you want. Inside the store, there should also be signs for different items and categories so that customers know where to get what they are looking for.
Shelves and racks
You can display a huge variety of products on shelves. Whether you are selling books, clothes, stationery or hobby items, shelves can accommodate almost any kind of retail product. If you will be selling clothes, get some clothing racks and hangers too, since some types of clothing are better hung than folded. Customers may also find it easier to sift through clothes displayed on racks.
For smaller items, like keychains, stationery, CDs and jewelry, you might want to put them on rotating racks. Customers will just have to spin the racks to choose among different items. Some rotating racks do not take up much space too.
Of course, you must make sure that you have the equipment necessary to process customers’ payment. Having a point-of-sale (POS) system would make it easy for you to process and keep track of transactions. Generally, POS systems consist of software applications and hardware equipment which can be sold separately. Some POS packages already include these, but make sure that you have a cash register and credit card processor. You need to provide your customers with transaction receipts too, so you must also have a receipt paper or receipt printer.
Customers would need to have something where they can carry their products after completing their purchase. Whether you prefer paper or plastic, it would be good to have shopping bags of various sizes at the cashier booth. You can have these made with your store name and logo on them, or just purchase generic ones.
You would also need to protect your store from theft, so setting up a reliable security system is important for your business. Installing surveillance cameras would allow you to monitor your store round the clock or as long as the cameras are working. This also ensures the safety of the customers shopping in your store. As much as possible, the cameras should be able to cover most, if not all, of the areas inside and around your store.
Some needs might be unique for each business and you should be able to decide what is best for yours. Be patient in figuring out the stuff your store might need before opening because you might miss out on key items if you rush. Do not hold back from showing a bit of your personality through your store design too. After all, it might be a good part of your brand.