How to Start a Retail Business

Starting a retail business is one of the most profitable business ventures possible. For each item sold, there is a nice, tidy profit. Here are some things you should remember when starting your own retail business:

Starting a retail business is one of the most profitable business ventures possible.

For each item sold, there is a nice, tidy profit already – that is how retailing works. Most stores these days are actually retail stores. A sports equipment store is a retail business, its merchandises are taken from various wholesalers that deal with sports related equipments. A grocery store acts likewise, its merchandises are also taken from various food and drink wholesalers.

So how do you set up a retail business? Here are some things you should remember.

Like all business ventures, your primary concern would be your finances. Your initial investment would issue a lot of demarcation lines to your spending. If you have a severely limited budget, you may want to try setting up your retail business online. There are many retail businesses in the World Wide Web: from clothes to car parts; and with such a global market, there is always room for one more retail business. You need only a way to make it accessible to your intended market.

However, if you do have the finances to start a “conventional” store then you might have two options: one, you open a retail store under your name; two, you buy a franchise from an earlier established store. There are pros and cons to both options. Weighing them would have to be your decision, keeping in mind that an investment like this is great, and that you alone will be stuck with the outcome of your decision. Research both options carefully, and rule in your favor. One such advantage for a self-owned retail business is that you are the highest authority when it comes to your store; and one disadvantage is that you are literally starting from scratch. One such advantage for a franchise is that their years of experience can help you easily earn back your investment; and one disadvantage is that you need to meet a lot of requirements which involves paperwork, background checks and financial scrutiny before you can actually buy a franchise.

After that decision has been made, perhaps you should scout around for a prospective place of business. A retail business works best if “browsers” or drop-in customers have the liberty to check out your merchandise for themselves. Choosing a convenient location means a place where the rent is cheap, there is ample room for both supplies and displayed merchandise, the neighborhood is comely and your business is readily accessible to your prospective market.

Which brings us to our next two interconnected questions: what merchandise do you wish to sell and to whom do you wish to sell them?

What kind of products would you wish to sell? There are many kinds of goods you can market. What you sell in your retail business is of course, your prerogative. However, the best way to handle its setting up, its acquisition, its sale and marketing is if you know a lot about the products you are attempting to sell. Selling liquor is very different from just selling groceries. Selling sports equipment is very different from selling sports merchandise and clothing gear. Selling cut flowers is very different from selling exotic plants. Individual businesses are governed by specific rules, regulations and restrictions. A legitimate business venture will have to get licenses and permits, and a retail business is no exception.


  • Muneeb said on September 21, 2011
    want to open showroom of women cloths here in jeddah saudi arabia. my kindly request you to please advise me about the manufacturing & exporting company to whom i concern.
  • Aissah Rubeena said on January 29, 2014
    Hi would like to introduce the American fashion in Mauritius dealing with teenage, women, babies and children clothing. I am actually in Canada and I am fascinated by the clothing style here and in America, it will be a grande premiere for the Mauritian customers and the boutique will really works. Am actually working in a very famous American store in Canada so I know how to run a retail business. I am looking for a franchise or investors or financial help to open the business together with manufacturing and exporting industries to provide the goods.
  • Dada said on July 28, 2015
    Katima Mulilo, Namibia. I intend to operate a gasoline fuel station and a classic warehouse in my area where I do come from. I come from a remote area. I would like you to advise me where I can find finance for start up of all my business venture, like stipulated herein. Thank you in advance


    (All the above fields are required.)