It’s 2019 and you’ve made a promise to finally put action behind the goal of owning your own store one day. You’ve done your research, you’ve tested the market through pop-ups, and now you wonder if it’s time to open a permanent space. This post will guide you through five questions to ask yourself before opening up your doors to a permanent retail location.
1. How important is your product to your core audience?
After launching your product you now can identify who your target consumer is and your plan to get in front of more people like this. You can tell if your product is ready for its own store if your shoppers have become mini evangelist—singing your praises without having to be paid. After the consumer makes their purchase, their tendency to refer friends or repeat business is a great indicator of loyalty/success.
When in doubt, target consumers through cost effective marketing efforts. Some inexpensive marketing tips to get you going are social media marketing both organic/paid advertising, loyalty programs like Clover Rewards, word of mouth marketing and local events. Brand loyalty can come in many different forms, but ultimately is a crucial part of starting any new business.
2. Do you have the proper team to bring your vision to life?
The reality is you can’t do everything yourself. You are the expert, but often times in order to execute your vision properly you are going to need some help. With the understanding that budgets will be tight starting off, accomplish as much as you can by yourself and hire against your skillset. When you have the proper team in place it allows you as the visionary to focus on the bigger picture like PR/Marketing, sponsorships, volunteers, tying loose ends etc. A team allows you as the owner to be clear-minded as the stress/anxiety of opening day approaches.
3. What KPI’s (key performance indicators) do you use to measure success?
It takes a long time to measure success and you want to make sure you’ve taken everything into consideration. Test your product/brand in different seasons, work with different partners, and consider which KPI’s will be used to determine success.
Some of key performance indicators to consider are:
- Profit Margin
- Average Ticket Size
- Average/Daily/Weekly/Monthly transactions
- Conversion Rate
4. Will I have trouble maintaining inventory?
If you’ve traditionally sold your product online, in pop-up shops, or through other retailers, the volume becomes entirely different when you have your own store. A bigger store means bigger inventory and detailed management. Smart POS systems allow you to seamlessly check inventory through technology that informs you when your shelves are low on a particular product, prior to doing a physical count. These systems also tell you which of your products are selling the most/least, further informing you on what to produce more or less frequently.
5. Do I know the best space for a retail location?
Even if you have the best product and a loyal following, location can make a huge difference when transitioning from pop-up shop to retail store. If you’re able to find something roughly in the same location as your successful pop-up, you’ve hit the jackpot! But chances are, you’ll need to make some adjustments. Do your competitor research, check Clover Insights, and consult with advisers to make sure you’re going to the right place at the right time.
Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, Sun Trust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including Ignite Payments, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at clover.com.