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I'd like to open a shop - where to start?

(6 Posts)
TheWildRumpyPumpus Wed 17-Dec-14 16:26:44

Yes, simple as that I know!

We've recently moved to a large village, 2000 people or thereabouts. It has a couple of village shops, a pub and 2 take-aways and that's it commerce wise.

There are a couple of empty shop premises, the old post office shut a few years ago and the florist closed last year when they retired.

I have zero experience in retail, but am naively harbouring a dream of opening an interiors/gift shop, the kind found all over the place.

Has anyone done anything like this? Where do you start? Would be grateful for tips and advice!

TalkinPeace Wed 17-Dec-14 16:31:55

I'd start in 2003 and have a spare million pounds in the bank

sorry to rain on your parade but the reason the shops are empty is because nobody else can make money in them

Cocolate Wed 17-Dec-14 16:40:01

Haha talkin. I did that and came on to say: don't!!!

Mostly because of the reason they are empty units
and it is 6/7 days a week
all those weekends when all your friends/family are off you'll be working and worrying.
Rent and rates.
Paying staff even minimum wage when you take a piddling £67 (or even £0) for the day (and that can happen).

On the other hand if you have a load of money burning a hole in your pocket then you need to start with finding out about rent and rates, what sort of lease (DO NOT take on more than a year - 6 months if you can), market research - who will your customers be, can you afford to weather a few tough seasons before you become a destination shop? Then you need to find stockists (there will probably be trade fairs where they all gather and you go along to these and talk to whichever ones you hope to stock. Sometimes they will not open an account with you if there is another stockist near by though this might be a thing of the past). You also need to work out how much you have to spend on stock and be quite certain that there is a market for your products. Visit similar shops in similar villages to start with.

AMumInScotland Wed 17-Dec-14 16:53:21

I think maybe I'd start by actually working in a similar shop for a while - that way you could learn about how that trade works, without having to risk a fortune in upfront expenses while you learn by trial and error.

I have a feeling that kind of shop in my area is actually a hobby for someone who doesn't need a proper income, rather than making any actual profit. You'd need to work out what it is that separates successful businesses from the ones who were in those units before you.

TheWildRumpyPumpus Wed 17-Dec-14 17:00:08

Thank you both grin

I wouldn't say I've money to burn exactly, but we do have cash to invest and both kids are at school so I want to get back working sometime.

It's an area I'm interested in (interiors), having done design courses in the last couple of years. I've visited design trade fairs before so would be happy revisiting those.

I guess you start with gauging local interest? The school mums are house-proud and there's lots of planning applications in, so people do keep their houses looking good.

DH is torn between humouring me and looking aghast at the moment!

TalkinPeace Wed 17-Dec-14 17:09:42

Interiors : you need a captive market of at least 20,000 homes.
a village will never, ever support it.
You need to go to your nearest Market Town (20,000 population) and see what is happening there
BUT
One of my clients closed their shop because they made more working NMW for somebody else.

Start with a website / ebay shop / FB business page / Amazon shop / blog
and then see if its worth moving out of the corner of the living room

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