Ronald L. Bond, a seasoned retail vet offers these pitfalls to avoid for small retailers that often lead to business shut-downs. (From entrepreneur.com via smSmallBiz.com)
1. Failure to plan effectively and objectively -A solid business plan is imperative. Consider not only start up costs, but rent, location, market demographics, and product line.
2. Focusing on products and not the market - "Don't become married to your products." If the market or trends change, you must be prepared to update your offerings to reflect the change.
3. Failure to change with the market environment - While this is similar to #2, it also means considering sales, marketing, and media trends. If new techonology is changing the way people do business, you should find a way to adapt too.
4. Underestimating the demands of retailing - Running your own retail business takes A LOT of time. You will have to dedicate a good portion of your life to all of the elements of running your operation, even after "business hours."
5. Neglecting customer service - Your customers are critical to your success. A respectful, friendly attitude can go a long way. But also consider things like business hours, location, and employee knowledge to make your customers' experiences easy and positive.
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If you're looking to start a business in the Trail Towns, contact us. We can offer technical support as well as market information. If you need assistance with your business plan, The Progress Fund offers entrepreneurial coaching and capital to start or expand your business.