When I lost my apparently safe job in a bank I didn’t know what to do with my life. I was so used to working for other people that it took a suggestion from a friend for me to seriously consider branching out on my own. I had noticed a while ago that there was a gap in the market for a shop in my street so I finally decided to give it a try and then learned some important lessons along the way.
Do Your Homework
I started off with a big selection of stock but I soon realised that there are only certain things which people want from a local shop like mine. My neighbours stock up on most of their essentials at the supermarket and come to me for the little items which they forget or run out of during the week. Each shop is probably different and so it is worth doing some research to see what local needs you can meet.
Work Out Your Opening Hours
When you run your own business it is tempting to work every single hour of the day. I started off with really long opening hours but soon worked out that this wasn’t necessary. People visit me mostly these days either first thing in the morning or late at night. I therefore have come to the conclusion that I can close the shop for a good few hours when they are all at work. As long as you make your opening hours clear and stick to them you can choose the times which best suit you and more importantly, your customers.
Get the Right Equipment
There are some things which you only learn from experience. For example, I bought a cheap till and one of those price sticker guns and it turned out that both broke within a few weeks. I then decided to do some research and get products of a better quality which would last me for years. I found a big selection of tills online which were of a high quality so I knew that they would be unlikely to break. Occassionally my daughter works in the shop for me and she recommended we get a fancy scanner. However I believe that we only require something which is within our means and something which quite simply, will do the job well. Therefore we settled on a rather classice looking shop which has succeeded in making me feel like a shopkeeper at last.
Running a shop is a fantastic way of getting to know your neighbours. I have lived in this street for about 10 years but it is only since I started the shop that I got to know everybody’s names. I even take our youngest child along in the evenings and she gets to hear all the customers tell her how pretty she is.
If you are planning to open a shop of your own then a visit to the site at http://www.tills4change.co.uk will get you sorted out and feeling like a real shopkeeper.