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Starting An Employeeless Shop

Discussion in 'General Entrepreneur Discussion' started by Fiddich, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. Fiddich
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    Fiddich New Contributor

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    G’day everyone!

    I am just wondering if anyone has experience opening a physical shop and could offer me some advice?

    First a little background.

    I currently manufacture my own product (as in I make it myself) and sell it at various fairs/events, markets, shops (not my own) as well as online.

    It is going alright so far, my biggest source of revenue at the moment is a market where on a good day I can bring in around $2000 revenue. This is only one day a week though and during the winter I don’t get as many sales as during the summer.

    One idea I am thinking about at the moment is opening a shop in the town that I live in. I have worked out the technology which will allow me to have a shop with no employees so the customers can just go in and serve themselves.

    I have went through the positives and negatives of not having anyone in the shop to serve customers and I believe the positives outweigh the negatives.

    My biggest concern at the moment is the cost of running the shop and the potential not to cover those costs. Basically I don’t know if I will be able to sell enough of my product.

    It will be about a $25000 investment to get the shop all setup and to run it for a year. I am not too worried about losing the money and will not require a loan as I have the cash but I am wondering if anyone has any ideas how I could kind of gauge how many sales I could expect?

    If anyone else has opened a shop I would love to hear about your experience and any advice you could give!

    Cheers
     
  2. RazorCut
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    RazorCut Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I've had several bricks and mortar stores over the years. The key thing is location, location, location.

    The other key thing of note of course is the better the location the more it costs.

    The easiest way to gauge footfall is to stand in the street and count consumer movements either past your intended store or in to other retailers in the same location (ideally in a similar market segment).

    What sort of square footage do you require? When you say 25k investment how much of this is rent and rates and how much is fixtures and fittings? How are you going to make it self service? How much shop space you do require? Can you afford to be tied into a lease?

    If it can be run without staff why can't you rent a concession or place your product with more retailers? Yes you will have to pay them a cut but isn't that better than the setup costs of a dedicated store? What country are you in? What about returns? If you have no staff how does someone return a product?
     
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  3. Yzn
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    Yzn Bronze Contributor

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    Everything RazorCut said.
    Especially this: "If it can be run without staff why can't you rent a concession or place your product with more retailers? Yes you will have to pay them a cut but isn't that better than the setup costs of a dedicated store?"

    If you can do that forget about opening a store. ever.
     
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  4. Fiddich
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    Fiddich New Contributor

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    Thank you for taking the time to respond!

    Most retailers will put a 100% markup which means I have to either wholesale (don’t really want to as I lose a lot of margin) or increase the retail price which then results in less sales.

    Australia.

    I am not too worried about returns as I do not get many (less than 1%) although I will be able to work out a solution for the ones I do get. Depending on the reason I may just refund their money.

    I don’t need a big shop, there is no real minimum square footage that I need. I can design the layout to suit the shop.

    Around 12k is rent and rates and I can allow the rest for getting the shop setup.

    This was a challenge I have been thinking about for quite some time and I have managed to work out the technology that will allow me to do this. Basically the product will be locked away and can only be accessed once it is paid for.

    I can cover the lease for a year, so if worst comes to worst and I don’t sell anything, it won’t break me.
     
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  5. Fiddich
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    Fiddich New Contributor

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    Cheers for the reply!

    Have you learnt this from experience?
     

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