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Opening a shop in today’s market – getting it right

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Opening a shop can be a great business venture; if it’s done well. It can also end up being a costly failure if you don’t get the simple things right. The world is changing and while we’ll always have a need for shops, we won’t always need certain shops. For example it may be difficult to open a book shop or a record store now due to the way we consume these products online, and many independents continue to struggle against bigger corporate entities. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set up your shop, you just have to be careful before you go into business. Here are some things to consider.


Before setting out on a new business venture, it’s imperative that you understand the specific insurance issues affecting your business. Before your shop opens, speak to an insurance expert to make sure you understand your requirements, and compare shop insurance at Swinton Commercial to make sure you get a good deal.

Your market

You’ll need to identify your target market before setting up the shop, i.e. the people who you hope will use the service or purchase the products you are looking to sell. Once you’ve done this you need to establish that this market actually exists and whether there is actually a demand for the type of shop you propose. Try researching on the internet to see what competition there is in your area and in other locations around the country.


Location is extremely important and you’ll need to get this absolutely right if you’re going to succeed. Location ties in with target market as you’ll want to be suitably located near to your target market in order to make your shop accessible, but you’ll also need to attract as much potential footfall as you can. Examine the locations of competition in the area, but don’t automatically be put off by competitors, especially in areas where there’ll all clustered together as there may be a reason for this and it could end up working in your favour.


It’s important to look at the size of the premises which your competitors use as it’s again something that must be absolutely right. If you move into premises which are too small you may quickly outgrow it, but if it’s too big you’ll suffer unnecessary overheads.

Business Plan

You should never start a new venture without a business plan, and opening a shop is no different. Make sure you have a clear, structured picture of your objectives and how you plan to achieve them. Considering the issues faced by many shops in the current economy, you should include forecasting and specifically how you wish to fund your enterprise.


There are various legal requirements to take into account. For example you’ll need to be aware of the Trade Descriptions Act, Sale of Goods Act and all aspects of employment law.


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