Opening a Mexican Grocery Store
The population of ethnic groups in the U.S. is continuously increasing. If you live in an area where most Mexicans came to live after leaving their country, you can cater to the basic needs of this community by opening a grocery store selling stuffs they knew from home.
Living in another country makes one nostalgic for the smell and taste that he knew back home.
If you live in an area where there are a lot of Mexicans, a grocery store that will carry Mexican goods not found in supermarkets will surely be a hit. So how do you start a grocery store?
Steps to Starting a Mexican Grocery Store
- Find a location ideal for a grocery – a place most frequented by Mexicans because it is near where they work or where they used to pass by to go to work
- Check whether zoning regulations in your city allows the operation of a grocery in your chosen location.
- Inquire with the city office for the federal, state and local requirements in opening a business and the laws regulating business operations. Learn everything you need to know about taxes, employment and retailing.
- Identify equipment you will need (cash register, refrigerators, freezers, display racks, shelves, and bins) and where you can get supplies.
- Identify the goods you will sell.
- Come up with financial estimates. Calculate how much you will need as startup capital, how much will your weekly and monthly revenue and expenses be, and project earnings.
- Plan how you will get financing for your mexican grocery store.
- Put everything in a business plan.
- Accomplish the paper works -- enter into lease agreements for the store and contracts with manufacturers, wholesalers and distributor; get permits and licenses you will need
- Hire salespersons if you need help in the store.
- Order your equipment and supplies.
As an ethnic grocery store, you face a unique challenge in attracting your target customers and in surviving competitions with supermarkets that now usually carry some items for the general Hispanic population. Here are some tips in running a grocery shop suited for Mexicans.
Tips for a Mexican Grocer
- Take advantage of the holidays and seasons to introduce seasonal food – Mexican juices and barbecue during the summer, for example
- To survive competition with larger stores, specialize in selling goods not usually found anywhere else. Sell items you know are hard to find in mainstream stores and sell them in greater variety.
- Sell non-food items that remind people of their home or help them continue to connect with it, like Mexican newspapers, movies, particular cooking equipment.
- Help Mexican customers connect with each other by becoming an information center for the immigrant community – help them distribute fliers or post event ads that involve their group.
- Spend time with customers, talk to them, give them advice and tips on how to get and do things around.
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