There is always a lot of talk about ‘building businesses.’ Growing contact lists, expanding employees, building on goals.
But there doesn’t seem to be a lot of commotion about actually building a business. Setting out your stall or setting up your shop. Nobody seems to focus on the construction side of it. Even if you aren’t starting off with a plot of land, you still need construction knowledge if you buy an existing site. You need to refurbish it to suit your needs. What’s more, if something goes wrong in the future, you’ll need repairmen on site. It’s good to know who to call. That being said, there’s a lot more to a physical business than building and refurbishment – it can be a whole new world!
Firstly, it’s a bad idea to rush into the physical world. You don’t exactly need to wait entire decades to push your business into a physical storefront, but you do need to establish your business beforehand.
Physical stores and buildings obviously cost more to run than their online-only counterparts and this can really damage your budget for the first few months, if not years. What this means is that you will need a fairly sizeable amount of starting capital to sustain your business through the highs and lows of running a physical store. Of course, your business plan needs to be sound as well to ensure that your business keeps going regardless!
It might be a better idea to begin life as an online-only outlet before you expand your operations. This allows you to gather a strong following, make some money, add some real foundation to your future plans and of course, build your brand in a real environment.
If you start out as online-only, you’ll have a big advantage as you will have built a dedicated list of customers at low cost to yourself. This gives you a great boost when you start out as you won’t exactly be starting from square one and the online arm of the business can help fund the physical side of the business.
In terms of building a store, it is likely that you will rent out or buy a building that will already have the space you need, but do take the time to note down your thoughts about the current floor plan? What do you want to change? What works? You could even ask your customers!
It’s important that you keep on top of issues in the store. If your roof is leaking, hire a local roofer to fix it. If you plumbing isn’t working, call the plumbers in. If your heating doesn’t work, get someone to look at it!
Of course, physical business and retail outlets place a great deal of focus on the customer experience. You can’t hide behind a webpage or code this time! Make sure you treat your customers with respect, and of course, with a smile. This will go a long way to ensure that your customers are valued!
There’s a lot to focus on with a physical business, but plan well and deal with issues and you’ll be a long way towards success.