Home – New Forums Starting your journey Retail – I have many questions!

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  • #979047
    Claire8ear
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    Hi all

    I am planning on opening a baby/children’s shop to sell clothes/toys/books.
    I am doing my research now and thought I’d start asking a few of the questions that are at the forefront of my mind!

    1. How to I go about sourcing products?

    2. Is it best to set up a company as the business structure? Can I then claim business related expenses?

    3. I am looking into POS software, and being a Mac person, both VendHQ and Lightspeed seem appealing. They seem to have all the features i would want. Does anyone have experience with these & could I get some of your feedback please?

    4. Any advice on size, location or features of potential shops?

    5. I would like to try and do some market research in regard to potential customers and what their buying needs might be, but am unsure how to go about this. I would love to use surveymonkey but can’t work out how to approach people to get them to complete a survey…

    These are enough questions for now! Hopefully there are some out there willing to give me a hand!

    Thanks in advance!

    CB

    #1111608
    JacquiPryor
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    Hi Claire,

    Can’t help you out on the retail/shop/product parts – but in relation to your question of:

    2. Is it best to set up a company as the business structure? Can I then claim business related expenses?

    An accountant would be best to advise on if a company is best for you. If you set up a company then the company claims business expenses (rather than you personally). A company is a legal entity – and you are also a legal entity as a person. So, if you go with a company it will obtain its own ABN and basically all transactions (in and out) will go against the company and its ABN for reporting/tax purposes. The company then could (for example) pay you a wage and withhold tax and then you go about your tax return ‘as normal’.

    If you set up as a sole trader (rather than a company) then you are the entity. You would likely register a business name so it would be you “trading as” Claire Bear Shop for example. You would hold the ABN and you would be the entity. Then you could claim the business expenses – but you would also have to declare the business income – it would ultimately all be factored in on your personal taxes each year.

    Hope that helps a little. Best of luck :)

    #1111609
    yourvirtualboard
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    Hi Claire,

    I’d recommend getting in touch with a BEC and there’s one located in Katoomba

    They will be able to answer most of your questions, point you in the right direction and provide some ongoing support.

    #1111610
    Michelle Johnson
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    Hi Claire,
    The answers to most of these questions will depend on the outcomes from your point 5 about market research. If you are going to open locally, I would suggest running a few very open focus groups with local mums and dads ( you could hijack a mothers group..?). If you manage to run these yourself, you can also use this process to build support for your shop in the local community.

    These people will be able to tell you what they would like in terms of location and shop fit out.

    I would also recommend visiting competitors ( and if you are not in your target market, take a friend who is and can help you understand what a parent would be looking for)

    If you need more in depth help, happy for you to message / email me.

    Good luck with your research and have fun!
    Michelle

    #1111611
    Chris – Marketing
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    • Total posts: 162
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    Hi Claire
    with the research and suppliers u can take a huge short cut and ride on Millions $$$ already spent. Go to another town city or suburb and find the best vibrant baby outlet which reflects your direction. Take note of the labels some of them may even have addresses. Take note of the size range, floor size & layout, lighting and colors scheme.
    Contact the suppliers of product and make appiontments to view thier range. Ask them what the minimum buy in is.

    Don’t over complicate things. Choose and register your business name as a sole trader or partnership. U can form a company anytime and still trade under your existing choosen Brand name.

    Make sure u tell the world what u r doing and selling.

    Good luck

    Chris Poulios
    20yrs manufacturing top end fashion to Big brands now into consultanting and Marketing

    http://www.satisfaction-marketing.com.au
    http://www.webthreads.com.au

    #1111612
    Rhys
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    Hi Claire,

    Claire8ear, post: 124231 wrote:
    3. I am looking into POS software, and being a Mac person, both VendHQ and Lightspeed seem appealing. They seem to have all the features i would want. Does anyone have experience with these & could I get some of your feedback please?

    CB

    I have some experience of Vend, I have a number of customers running this, from a very small single register boutique (low turnover) to a busy multiple terminal high volume sports store. Getting good feedback from users.

    It is a good solution for a retailer (especially one just starting out) as it offers a good range of POS features, is priced on a monthly subscription (so no upfront cost for the software), plus it syncs to Xero for your back office accounting & BAS. As you can see from the above range of clients it can grow with your business, and of course it runs just fine from a Mac.

    I will have lots of Vend info up on my website within a few weeks – I’ll let you know when it’s up (or please feel free to contact me if you need further info),

    Cheers, Rhys

    #1111613
    James Millar
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    I agree with Michelle – the points that you have listed are out of sequence in terms of priority. Very much the horse before the cart.

    Perhaps you should consider undertaking a thorough feasibility / research process before you worry about product lines and providers, specific POS systems etc. Quality research will undoubtedly give you a better idea of where the opportunities are and where the risks are.

    Once you’ve done that you can prepare a financial model and make a decision as to whether the forecast return is worth the risk.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1111614
    The Hobbit
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    Claire8ear, post: 124231 wrote:
    4. Any advice on size, location or features of potential shops?

    5. I would like to try and do some market research in regard to potential customers and what their buying needs might be, but am unsure how to go about this. I would love to use surveymonkey but can’t work out how to approach people to get them to complete a survey.
    CB

    You really should consider doing a Feasibility Study before getting too committed. All though our manual How To Conduct Feasibility Studies For Tourism Projects is specifically written for tourism related businesses it will still be a great starting point for you. There is a free sample of the manual available on that page. Using survey monkey is fine so long as you have the right demographics participating. But that’s going to be hard to achieve, especially if you haven’t yet researched the feasibility or market. There’s nothing worst than just asking friends and acquaintances, they are unlikely to be your friends if they didn’t share similar views and are unlikely to be representative of your whole market.

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