8 Things You Wish You Knew Before Opening Your First Brick and Mortar Business

If you are considering opening a brick and mortar business, there are a lot of pitfalls that may pave the road to your journey. Knowing what to do and what to avoid can help your physical store achieve a higher chance at success. Here are 8 things you wish you knew before opening your first brick and mortar business.

1. Location Matters.

While the internet makes it easier than ever to find businesses, choosing a spot that is in a busy location is crucial to your business’ success. Heavy foot traffic can help bring in sales on slower days because people might just be in the neighborhood and wander in. On the opposite hand, if you pick a business that isn’t near a lot of other shops, people have to go out of their way to come to you, which may present itself as a huge challenge if you don’t have a good marketing campaign. Choosing a location that has other businesses nearby is both wise and practical for first time business owners.

2. Yes, You Can Negotiate Your Business Lease or Mortgage!

Although you might be super excited to sign your lease or mortgage paperwork and open your doors, you don’t have to take the advertised price! Ask around the area, to learn what other local business owners are paying to see if anyone will be willing to share their monthly rental fees. Take that information, along with any public county records of businesses that sold in the last past few years and determine a rate that you are comfortable with. Pitch your offer to the landlord or property owner and see what happens. You might just end up getting a great deal that you would not have gotten had you not asked for it!

3. Advertising Locally is Still Important!

Local ads are still important. Consider advertising your business in any local publication that has a strong viewership. This can help your business get on the radar of local shoppers who may be in the market for what you are selling. You can also create targeted ads on sites like Facebook and specifically advertise to people who live in your town.

4. Your First Year May be Hard.

Launching a new business isn’t all roses and sunshine all the time. Give yourself the chance to learn the ropes of your industry. It may take some time and there may be challenges along the way, but keep pushing through.

5. Accepting Cash and Credit is Best.

Accepting a variety of payment options allows you to capture more profit for your business. While some startup owners might fee apprehensive about credit card processing fees, most customers carry plastic in today’s shopping environment. Pricing your products accordingly can help offset any small payment processing fees that may arise.

6. Study Your Competitors.

Doing market research to study your competitors is essential to understanding why and how other businesses that are similar to yours are successful. Don’t be intimidated by your competition! Go check them out. Shop with them and see why people like them or what they can improve upon.

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7. Utilize Multiple Platforms to Sell.

Just because you own a physical business doesn’t mean that you should leave money on the table. Have an e-commerce store, sell on Craigslist, Etsy, and on social media platforms like Instagram. You might even want to Create an Amazon Business Account. Your business needs as many streams of revenue as possible to be financially successful.

8. Having Sales Can Attract More Business.

Sure you may have heard of “2 dollar Tuesdays”, or “Flash Sale Events”, but now that you are in business yourself, you see why it’s totally important to run sales every now and then. Utilizing Facebook, email marketing campaigns, or customer loyalty programs can help inspire people to come into your business and shop away!

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Mark Blank

Sweet Startups co-founder and Yale grad school dropout. Mark sold his first website at age 22, and currently provides consulting services to small business startups around the world.

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