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What Do You Need When Opening a Retail Unit?

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Retail unit|What Do You Need When Opening a Retail Unit?There are many different forms of business out there, and each one offers customers and owners alike something slightly different. If you have chosen to open a retail unit, you need to think about some of the following things.

Location

With a retail unit, location can be everything. You need to make sure that you track down somewhere that meets several needs. Of course, the unit has to be big enough for your business. Not only must it have a good layout on the shop floor, but there should be enough room in the staff-only areas like the stockroom and office for you to be able to successfully manage the business.

On top of this, the unit needs to be in a good place. If you are going to be relying on passing foot traffic for a lot of your trade, you need to make sure that you are located somewhere where you will get this interest. A busy high street or a shopping centre might be ideal. If you are tucked away in the middle of nowhere, you might not be able to get the foot traffic that you need.

You should also think about the needs of your customers. For example, if you sell particularly big or bulky goods, or if you expect your customers to purchase a lot from you in one go, it can be good to try to find a retail unit with an adjoining car park. This is going to be something important to your customers, and can be a great way for you to begin to build customer satisfaction and loyalty from the moment your brand launches.

Technology

Nowadays, there are many pieces of tech that every business needs to make sure that they have as part of their retail unit, even if it is a simple shop. For example, most shops nowadays take card payments, so you will need the terminals and software to be able to process these payments. With this, you need to look for the payment provider that offers the lowest credit card processing fees possible. This means that you will be able to take the most revenue from each transaction instead of paying excess fees. Though finding the lowest credit card processing fees should not be a priority when choosing a payment provider, it should definitely be something in the back of your mind.

A retail unit is going to need many more different pieces of technology to be able to run smoothly. Most businesses nowadays make use of some form of computer system to be able to keep track of several metrics. This computer system might be linked to the till and payment provider, but it could also be used to track stock, orders, and holidays for staff to mention just a few of its capabilities.

Even if you have what appears to be a very traditional store on the outside, you can still make use of technology in a few key places to help you manage the business more efficiently. Never doubt how much easier it can be to manage certain projects and operations with the right tech on your side.

Equipment

In a slightly different tangent than technology lies equipment. You obviously need to make sure that you have all the right equipment necessary to be able to open the business and run it properly. This can often mean that you need to find some highly specialised equipment. For example, if you decide to open a hairdresser, you will need all the equipment associated with styling hair. A café will need a kitchen outfitted and a coffee machine. A specialised repair shop will need the tools and precision equipment required for orders.

It can be expensive to outfit a retail unit with the right equipment but it is incredibly important that you do find it. Not having it to hand means that you might be tempted to try to get around it and complete the task with the equipment that you have might mean that you do not finish the task properly, potentially leading to more issues further down the road.
You might have to go to a specialist supplier to get the right tools and equipment that you need. However, there is a chance that you will be able to build a professional relationship with this supplier. If you know that you will regularly need to purchase disposable equipment as part of your business, finding a supplier to work with could mean that you are able to score a discount on bulk orders in the future.

The Shop Floor

You need to think carefully about how you decorate and arrange the public sections of your business that your customers will be able to see. This needs to be a good space that is welcoming and perfectly describes your branding. It can be more difficult than you might imagine to get this right. Ultimately, you need to make sure that you have a space that flows well, that naturally encourages your customers to browse.

It is incredibly important that you think about how the shop looks from the customer’s perspective. You might like your initial set-up and design, but it could be overly cluttered from the point of view of a customer. Likewise, you might want to go for a more minimalist look, but to a customer the store could appear to be very bare.

Don’t worry if it takes you several attempts to arrange things how you would like them. Consider taking a course in visual merchandising to learn more about how to arrange your shop floor in a more pleasing manner. You would be surprised to learn about how much this could help with gaining traffic and other interested parties.

Social Media

Even if you do not operate an ecommerce business, having an online presence of some variety is incredibly useful. If you want to be able to find new customers who can be converted into loyal ones, you should turn to social media. You cannot expect to rely on foot traffic alone.

Make sure that you have social media accounts across the big platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and make sure that you post on them regularly. These are key places where you can reach out to your customers and they can get in contact with you if needs be. It is also the perfect environment for you to show off your new deals and products that might be launching. Learning the best tips and tricks for social media will hopefully help you to push ahead and attract a new audience who are interested in what you have to offer as a business.

Opening a retail unit can be more work than people might realise. However, there are plenty of things that you can do to create a fantastic environment that many are happy to visit. From the tech and equipment you are choosing to include in your operations to the design of the shop floor and your choice of social media, opening a retail unit can be very complex. Make sure that you have everything that you need on your side, and take this challenge head on.

How to Become a Successful Property Developer

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Property Developer|How to Become a Successful Property DeveloperProperty development is an exciting way to start your business. Thanks to popular TV shows, developing property is often seen as a get-rich-quick scheme. However, making money from property is demanding and may take more time than expected.

It takes a bit of risk and lots of hard work to break even in the real estate market. But the good news is that starting a property development business can be relatively exciting. It offers flexible working hours, and no formal qualifications are needed.

If being a property developer appeals to you, then this article will help you. We have outlined tips on how to become a developer with a decent income.

1. Choose Your Path

Property development comes in all shapes and sizes. Hence, you must choose the route you want to take. You may have plans to grow in the future, but you must have a place to start.

Do you want to develop residential or commercial properties? Will the final project be for rent or sale? Or do you want to renovate run-down properties and give them a new resale value?

Knowing what you want helps you in making strategic decisions. You can also understand the kind of loans to take or where to get funds.

2. Develop a Plan

After choosing your path, come up with a business plan. The plan will help you get the funding for the success of your business. It also helps break down finances, potential income, and costs.

Creating a business plan gives you a map of how to start your business and its growth projection.

There are several business plan templates you can download based on your goals and business type.

3. Get Your Finances in Order

Developing properties, whether from scratch or renovating old houses, is a hefty investment from the start. To get a sufficient amount, you need to assess how extensive the project is, the costs involved, how long it will take to complete it, and the projected income.

Due to uncertainties, create the best and worst-case scenarios and set aside at least 30% contingency if the cost spirals.
You may choose to get a mortgage based on your property plan. Buy-to-let mortgages are easy to get, though you’ll have to deposit 25% or more. When seeking finances, research the local market and pay attention to inflation, interest rates, and employment rate in the area.

4. Choose the Right Location

When it comes to property development, location plays a crucial role. Look for an upcoming community as the property will be cheaper with a great potential to deliver good ROI. You may hire a general contractor to advise you on what to avoid when developing property in a specific area.

Some places might need more work on ground leveling. The type of soil will also determine the location of developing a property.

5. Don’t Get Personal

Remember, this project is for a property and not your home. You should develop a property that suits the market and not your taste.

The Bottom Line

Property development is a lucrative business for both long and short term goals. Approach it with care and a good strategy, and you’ll thank yourself for starting it.

How To Choose The Right Premises For Your Business

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Business Premises|How To Choose The Right Premises For Your BusinessThe (growing) trend right now is for people to work from home, and for entrepreneurs to start businesses from their spare bedrooms or garages. Although this can certainly work for some, and it does have a vast number of benefits, it’s not going to be ideal for everyone, and sometimes an office space or storefront is essential to the success of the business. If you need to work away from your home either because you don’t have enough space or because the business calls for it, then you are going to need to think carefully about the premises you choose.

The issue with business premises is that they can be expensive, and this is why you need to choose the right one so that you don’t waste any money, and so that you can maximize your business as much as possible. Read on to find out more.

Location

Anyone who works in property will tell you that location is extremely important. It could be the difference between happiness and misery when it comes to your own home, and when related to a business premises, it could be the difference between success and failure.

Although you might be able to spend less in one location compared to another, there could be a big reason for this. Make sure you research all the potential areas for your business thoroughly first. Some things to consider include:

  • Footfall– will many people pass by (assuming this is important, of course)?
  • Public transport and parking – how will you or your employees get to the office, warehouse, or store? Will it be easy, or will it be a chore? If it’s the latter, you might have trouble attracting the right people to work for you.
  • Competitors – are you close to your competitors? It can often be best to be a little further away.

Price

Of course, once you have determined where you want to have your business premises, you’ll need to consider how much you can pay for it. Whether you are buying or renting, there is the monthly cost to think about, as well as a potential down payment. You will also need to factor in costs like heating, electricity, and broadband. How much is it really going to cost you each month to run your premises? Can you afford it?

In some cases, especially if the location you are looking at is a more expensive one, you will need to look at smaller properties or those that need more work than others. This can be a good thing; it allows you to put your stamp on things and design the layout just how you want it; glass polishing for the windows and floor polishing for the tiles and a fresh coat of paint could transform a run-down building into a beautiful one, for a bargain price.

Usage

Finally, it’s wise to determine what the property you are considering paying for is allowed to be used for. Some will have restrictions on them that mean, no matter how perfect they might be for you, you can’t turn them into a store, or they have to remain a store and you can’t use them for offices.

There are dozens of clauses like this, which is why when searching for a business premises it is best to use a professional; you won’t find somewhere only to be disappointed, and they will know just what will work for you.

How to Become a Successful Landlord in the Property Business

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Property Business|How to Become a Successful Landlord in the Property BusinessLandlord is an occupation that gets a lot of negative attention. According to popular opinion, they simply own a lot of buildings, charge other people to live in them, and make a great deal of money without much in the way of effort.

This is overstating things a tad. Acquiring property is far from easy – especially if you don’t have a sizeable amount of capital to begin with. We’ll look at some of the steps you might take to become a landlord. But first, let’s ask why you might want to do so!

Why Become a Landlord?

The category of ‘landlord’ is broader than you might think. If you own several properties, and you’re renting them out, then you certainly qualify. But, as far as the rules are concerned, you also qualify if you’re just temporarily letting out the house you’ve been living in, because you’re staying elsewhere for a longer period of time.

Landlords can make a sizeable income, if they’re competent. But it’s easy to understand and account for all of your potential costs ahead of time, and to set aside a fund that can act as a buffer if you find yourself overstretched.

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How to get there

A buy-to-let mortgage is an easy way to become a landlord. You fund the purchase of a property through borrowing, and pay back the debt over time. The difference between the amount you charge your tenants in rent and the cost of repaying the mortgage is your profit. Factor in the cost of maintenance, wear and tear, and the fact that the property might not always be occupied, and you might find that this margin shrinks considerably.

For years, lenders have been suggesting that the Bank of England’s base rate could rise, and thus variable-rate mortgages are inherently risky. The coronavirus depressed rates even further, and thus this advice rings truer than ever. Bear in mind that your rate of repayment will be more generous depending on how much you’re putting down as a deposit.

The first property is among the most important you’ll buy. Choose the right location and your career as a landlord will get off to the best possible start. Don’t rush into a purchase, and always be ready to walk away. Look at the amount you need to not only pay off the mortgage, but to expand into a second property, and then a third.

Insurance

When you have many properties, the risk of wear and tear and sudden damage is spread. When you only have a few, the danger becomes that little bit sharper. You can protect against sudden losses through landlords’ insurance.

Renovating

If you’re buying a property in need of renovation, then factor in not only the cost of the actual work, but the time it’ll take (during which you won’t be able to rent the place out). If you have the time to spare in daily life, then you might commit to overseeing the renovation personally. If this isn’t something you can commit to, then outsource the work to a professional project manager.

Managing Tenants

As your empire expands, you may have difficulty in handling all of the day-to-day problems which will inevitably arise. If you have half-a-dozen properties, then it might be only once in a while that a tenant phones up with a problem. If you have several hundred, then the administrative workload will become unworkable. If your margins allow, you might consider outsourcing your responsibilities.

A Checklist for Entrepreneurs Considering Their First Business Premises

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Business Premises|A Checklist for Entrepreneurs Considering Their First Business PremisesAs a startup business, choosing your very first business premises is a crucial choice. Getting the right location and building for you can help jumpstart everything you have been working towards and put your key business plan into action.

While setting up your first business premises can be an exciting (albeit nerve-wracking) time, it’s important to plan ahead and be sure that you’re realistic about what you require.

Deciding to Buy or Rent

This is possibly the biggest question in terms of wants and needs and will primarily depend on your budget and position. As an entrepreneur, it may be that you don’t have the required funds to fall back on for making huge deposits in order to buy a property, so renting may be your only option. Or, it may be that you do have enough to either buy or rent, so you will need to weigh up the pros and cons fairly. Think about your long-term goal and the flexibility each option could afford you.

Stick to Your Budget

Always be very strict about what you can afford. If you’re viewing properties and find what you believe to be the perfect option but it’s far out of your budget, don’t try and stretch your funds and don’t risk getting into debt before you’ve even begun. You can always work up to a bigger or better property in the future, but for now, make sure you have a strict budget and stick to it.

Consider All Security Extras

When considering your business property, you should also factor extra necessities into your budget and planning, particularly in the realm of security measures. You will need to think about installing CCTV systems and relevant alarms, and professional suppliers and fitters like Jackson Fire can help you do that, as well as provide quotes ahead of time.

Think About Commutability

It’s naturally important to think about the building itself — and the interior of it. However, have you also considered its location regarding accessibility and commutability? Not only do you need to ensure that all employees can easily get to your business building, but if you’re planning on having a lot of visitors, whether consumers or otherwise, you need to ensure that your location is easy to get to.

Think about being close to transport links and in the thick of it where necessary. Or, if you do need to be a little more remote for the right building, at least provide car parking facilities and clear directions for visitors.

Think About the Company Growth

You should always be thinking about the future when developing your startup, and this includes the potential for growth. If your future plans see you growing your business in a way which won’t affect your physical premises, then you may be able to stick with your first choice long term. However, if your growth plans see you needing bigger premises to grow along with you, then factor that into your location plans.