In 2021, opening a retail space may feel risky and intimidating. If done correctly and supplemented with digital alternatives that are available at the drop of a hat, having a retail space can help contribute to the success of your business. Whether you have a startup or have been open for business for a while, here are five tips for opening a retail space on a budget.
1 – Create a budget
It might seem obvious, but before you even begin to make financial decisions for your business, you need to determine exactly how much money you have, and how much you can guarantee will regularly come in. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to have thousands of dollars saved. If you haven’t done so already, look into all the available funding and grants in your area and apply for all that you qualify for.
2 – Set your priorities
Now that you have your budget and you’ve thought about these three important factors before starting a business, it’s time to outline your priorities. With a limited budget, you can’t put as much money as you’d like to into everything. Make a list of all the different areas of your business – web design, accounting, merchandise, rent, taxes, etc. – and place them in order. Some things, like taxes, are nonnegotiables and should go at the top of the list. After the non-negotiables, look at important areas where you may be able to reduce spending.
Once you’ve determined which areas are already spoken for, you’ll have a clear idea about how much you can afford to spend on retail space rent and utilities. With this final value, you can begin your hunt for the perfect space.
3 – Build a solid website
Even though you’re set on opening a retail space, if you don’t already have a great website, it’s time to think about starting an online business. An online shop with strong SEO (search engine optimization) and e-commerce will help your business attract new customers, whether or not they live in the local vicinity.
Starting a website shouldn’t cost you much, and hiring a graphic designer is largely unnecessary for small and medium businesses these days. Companies like Wix and Squarespace make building a website easier than ever. These programs can also be used to create a logo for your brand.
4 – Go thrifting
You don’t need to spend thousands on fancy new furniture and display shelves for your retail space. Thrift shops and estate sales offer a great selection of furniture at a fraction of the price. Coffee tables, bookcases, and chests of drawers can give your store personality. If you prefer a sleeker look, choose a modern chest of drawers or refurbish an old piece of furniture to give it a modern twist.
5 – Keep it simple
Remember, your storefront doesn’t need to be perfect right from the beginning. Start with a lease in a small space, and expand to a larger building when you’re ready. By keeping it simple and focusing on the essentials first, you’ll be able to identify potential areas of growth and stick to your budget.