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  • #991560
    Rockie
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Hi i am Rockie, 24, from Melbourne. I have lately been thinking about setting up a small retail store. I have done a fair bit of market research about these particular items and i have found them to be in considerable shortage. So i am planning to set up a store to try and fill this gap. I have talked to the wholesalers (who by the way are based in Asia) and will be meeting a custom broker next week to get some more information on importing my stocks.
    The only thing i have no idea about is how do you actually go about opening a store? In other words if there were a checklist on how to open a retail store, how would it look like.

    P.S: I just joined the forum this morning and this is my first post. Hope you will disregard any silliness on my behalf. And thanks in advance.

    #1182082
    Rowan@quaotic
    Participant
    • Total posts: 712

    It is not silly to ask questions before embarking on an expensive venture.
    When I opened my first store, I did some research, bought some stock and leased a space – easy.
    But, really we can’t give you more advice without more info –
    Does your product have regulations to be met?
    Have you thought about marketing, just opening a shop doesn’t mean people are going to just magically find out about it and come through the door?
    Why is your product in shortage, do people really want/need it, or is it difficult to get into the country or something?
    Have you done a business plan?
    Do you have more money than you think you will need? This is important for a start-up.
    Do you have back-up plans for if your wholesaler goes under, changes stock, or the dollar changes and stock will be more expensive?

    Just a few questions you have to answer before you can make more plans. Maybe you have already gone over these questions but I am sure you will find more. Anyway, can you give us a but more info on your business if you come back with more questions.
    Good luck with it :)

    #1182083
    CanaryTradeMarkAssistance
    Member
    • Total posts: 18

    Rowan’s given some great advice. I’d also point you to the sticky post on this forum if you haven’t seen it. It has a lot of great links for starting up a business. Though not specific to retail stores, those links are important for all business owners to look through.

    Best of luck with your retail store. If you can reply to Rowan’s questions, hopefully Rowan or someone here will have some more answers or advice for you. Good luck and have fun!

    #1182084
    Rockie
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Hi Rowan, Thanks for your reply.

    To answer some of your questions, yes I have thought about marketing. The key demographic I am targeting can very easily be identified and reached. I have a vast network of family and friends that are also going to help spread the word. But for starters I am mostly going to depend on shopping catalogues. I also have a few unconventional ideas on how to selectively get these catalogues to the identified group.

    There are no local manufactures for this product. And it has only recently been identified as something needed in large quantity by this particular group. However the lack of knowledgeable investors mean the demand cannot be met with those already in business. Furthermore the price this product is being sold for at the moment is exponential compared to its wholesale price. Also, it can easily be brought into the country.

    As for the funds, I believe I have just about the right amount. I have about 40k, with 25k going into buying the stock. So I have a good 15k to take care of the rest.

    As for the wholesalers, the rich market in the originating countries mean you always have the options when it comes to wholesalers. I have not however given any thought to the possibility of dollar hitting a low. However I am thinking since the product originates outside Australia, any fluctuations will affect the existing businesses too (so there is still a competition). Furthermore, buyers from Australia who are on vacation and want to buy the product from its point of origin will still be affected by the lower exchange rates.

    As for the regulations, I am not really sure. Can you further elaborate on this and also the question on business plan?

    #1182085
    Rockie
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Hi Jarrod and Thanks for your reply.

    I did visit the link you have mentioned but the stacks of information is a little overwhelming. I will however give it another read now that you have mentioned it.

    #1182086
    Rockie
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Rowan,
    If you are talking about seeking professional help for my business plan then i haven’t yet consulted anyone. As for writing it down, haven’t done that either. However i have gone through my business plan many times in my head. I have a very clear vision and set goals.

    #1182087
    Rowan@quaotic
    Participant
    • Total posts: 712

    I know that many people put a lot more value on a business plan than I do, I think that writing it down formally before you start business does help to ‘gel’ everything and often brings up a few new things you have to think about, even if you never update it again.
    I strongly suggest you do write one, and if you put it away for a year or two and bring it out you may be amazed at how you will have strayed from your original ideas and expectations. I am not sure how to explain it but having your plans solely in you head can sometimes make things complicated as you are always fiddling with your thoughts.
    You don’t have to have your business plan looked at by a professional but it can help to have another persons view of your expectations.

    As far as regulations go, you haven’t given any hints of your product but there are regulations that cover anything that may harm a person – such as childrens toys, medicines, foods and labelling on clothing etc. Some items may need to conform to standards such as electrical or electronic items, or have specific insurance. Do you need council approval for your business etc.

    #1182088
    Rockie
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Yeah i think i will write one down over this weekend. And sorry for being vogue about the product. Its just that i myself am having a difficult time placing it under a category (this product is of a cultural significance and we don’t have it here in Australia so i am having a hard time classifying it) but i would think it should come under clothing as its most made of fabrics. If so is the case, what steps do i need to take to make sure i comply with all the regulation?

    #1182089
    CanaryTradeMarkAssistance
    Member
    • Total posts: 18

    Rockie, if you don’t want to spend ages on a business plan, you could try out this idea/challenge: make a business plan in only 10 tweets.

    It’s ten simple questions/categories and I found when writing answers for mine, they were originally too long. I cut and refined until they fit. If you can express your ideas in less than 140 characters for each answer, you know you’ve got a set of clear and firm concepts you can easily communicate.

    #1182090
    3ntr3pr3n3ur
    Participant
    • Total posts: 46

    Rowan,
    Sounds like you’ve embarked upon an exciting venture…!
    Plenty of good advice above. However, I’m feeling that you need to undertake a higher level analysis before taking the ‘deep dive’ to the detail…
    Firstly; challenge your business model. Retail sales may not be the most cost effective way to get this particular product to market… Retail is (per product sale) expensive… You may find you’re better off setting up the logistics/importing side of the business and (instead of retail) act as a distributor for the product. This would involve significantly less overheads and increase your potential for a higher volume of sales…
    Secondly; Business Plan, do it…!
    I know, I know, sounds all too hard… not anymore – Check out this link http://www.entrepreneur.com/formnet/form/454. It’s a very simplistic Business Plan Presentation, simplifying the typical business plan into a 10 page splash (instead of a 40 page headache).
    I’ve also attached my one-pager version I populate when framing up a business opportunity…. (couldn’t upload .ppt so it’s a .pdf)
    Start by filling in the one-pager, just to get your idea ‘down on paper’ and to challenge the depth of understanding of your idea, then populate the presentation with all the lower level details – adding slides where appropriate…

    Don’t look at the business plan as the place to dump everything you already know about your idea. Although it will support this, the real benefit is that it will prompt thought and challenge you to investigate the stuff you hadn’t yet considered….

    Look forward to hearing more of your venture as it progresses…!
    Regards,
    Alan

    #1182091
    Rockie
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Very interesting Jarrod. Thanks, i will try it out.

    #1182092
    Rockie
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    HI Alan and thanks for your reply.
    The reason why i am going for retail and not logistics/ importing is that i feel much more confident with retail. Furthermore, my circumstances at the moment does not favor the second option. I might consider this option further down the road. The retail store will certainly provide me with a strong platform for that endeavor.

    #1182093
    Chris H
    Member
    • Total posts: 111

    My primary concern with any business venture is capital and cash flow.

    You mention having 15k in working capital after purchasing stock for 25k.
    There are a few things you may want to consider.
    Firstly, consider the sale price of this 25k worth of stock, this is what will define the cash flow of your business.
    How much of the stock can you sell in a month, what is the profit, then look at outgoings such as lease and staff to see if it is worth the trouble.
    You also need to evaluate how much stock you need to have on the water and on order, considering most supplier requiring payment ex-works, you will need to give careful consideration to how much cash is tied up in stock you haven’t received. If you’re going to finance your stock to free up cash, then it becomes doubly important to understand your finances.

    Good luck!

    #1182094
    Rockie
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    HI Chris and thanks for your reply. Capital and cash flow are actually two points i have evaluated the most. I am quite confident with the profit margins on the proposed amount of stock. Subtracting all the known expenses from the profit i will still be left with a good enough amount to get me going for the first few months.

    #1182096
    wealth creator
    Member
    • Total posts: 3

    How do I post a new question on this forum?

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