When you start a retail business, the biggest question, after what you're selling, is where you're going to sell your products?
There are plenty of options for different sales channels, and each business owner will decide which is best for them. But how do you make that decision?
Should you try to sell in as many places as possible to increase your chances of success or should you work out which sales channel is best for you?
And with online sales, markets, physical store fronts and more to choose from, how do you know which will bring in the sales and which will be a flop?
Consider the merits of the following sales methods for your small business to decide whether you should stick to the online world or branch out into physical retail.
Image credit: the little dröm store
Many small businesses begin selling online. The costs are low and setting up an online presence can be relatively easy. Depending on what you sell, there are several different ways you could sell online. You might choose to set up a store on your website, so your customers can complete the purchase process without ever leaving your site. However, if you do this, you must make sure the process is secure, and that your customers are confident of this. You can also use third-party websites, such as eBay or Amazon. If you sell specialist products, you might find a site suited to your business. For example, sellers of hand-made goods might use a site such as Etsy. One of the things to consider if you're selling online is your storage space. You might be able to run your business on the internet, but you can't store physical products on the cloud.
Image credit: Tim
If you want to try physical retail, but you aren't ready for a store front, a market stall could be ideal to get you started. Many successful entrepreneurs started off running a market stall and built their fortunes from there. They're a much cheaper alternative to a store because you only need to pay a small amount of rent for your sales space, instead of investing in a vast place. You could have your jewelry business up and running with just a table, an earring display stand and a cash box. Your takings will need to cover the cost of hiring the stall whenever you use it, whether it's daily, weekly or monthly. Plus, you'll need to cover the cost of transport and any other expenses you incur.
Physical Store Fronts
Image credit: MBC Foods
When your business has grown too big for a market stall or you want to expand your online sales, it could be time to open a physical store. However, not even these need to be permanent. Pop-ups are currently very popular and if you're unsure about opening up full-time they're an excellent way to test something new. People often prefer visiting a brick-and-mortar establishment because they can try before they buy. So, although it's more expensive than selling online, don't rule out offering your products on the street too.
The above are some of the store channels you want to consider when starting a new retail business. Taking your time to make your choice is important since this is one area to will determine your success.
In closing, I recommend you watch this very insightful video on retail store management. Enjoy!
Over to you: What are your thoughts on choosing a store channel for your new retail business?