From online to the high street: how to handle the big move

farmers-market-1329008_640When you first started turning your retail empire dream into reality – taking the plunge by setting up an online shop – working from home was the safest bet.

With fewer costs, smaller risks and less chance of having to blow every bit of profit on astronomical childcare costs, common sense told you it was the way forward.

But now a growing demand from customers and an increasingly healthy turnover are clear signs that it’s time to scale up.

And that means getting a foot on the high street.

Although it’s the right next step, committing to a bricks-and-mortar shop has you almost as scared as you were starting out all those years ago – the last thing you want is for standards to slip or costly mistakes to eat into your bank account.

To help you manage the delicate process of opening your new flagship store with as few sleepless nights as possible, we’re sharing our top tips for handling the big move.

#1: figure out what you need

From storage space to parking facilities, figuring out everything you need from your new premises – and how much you’ve got to spend – is your first job.

If your expectations are too high you’ll struggle to find anywhere at all, so whilst some factors – like the price – are non-negotiable on your end, you’re going to have to practise the fine art of compromising with other less important ones.

#2: get the location right

Picking the perfect spot is another factor you shouldn’t compromise on. High footfall, nearby parking, a good enough distance from home or your children’s school – there are lots of different elements at play when deciding on the right location.

Online databases let you narrow the property search according to location, so discovering the available shops for sale in any given area doesn’t have to involve endlessly hunting around local high streets.

#3: make it your space

Once you’ve settled on a shop, and hopefully ticked ‘perfect location’ and ‘within budget’ off the checklist, you can finally get started with the fun stuff – putting your own personal touch on the place.

Get the interior cleaned and the layout organised before working on amping up the curb appeal. Sparkling windows, fresh paintwork, a memorable sign and an eye-catching display of your most valuable wares is how you’ll attract lots of new customers. Additionally, look into cardboard displays and other POP fixtures to help drive sales.

#4: tell the world the good news

Although you’ve been working on the high street move for months, unless you share the news far and wide your customers will be left clueless about your exciting plans.

Email marketing, a social media campaign and a good old-fashioned opening party will help spread the word amongst existing fans, and could help lure in a whole load of new ones as well. To do it properly look to an external marketing firm for expert help.

Have you got any other top tips for successfully launching a high street shop? You can always share your advice by leaving a comment.

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