Top 5 tips for setting up a small retail business


There is so much to think about when starting a business – especially a retail based one, so here, we list a few of the most important considerations.

Starting your own business can be daunting, and with so many aspects of a business to consider it can take some time to work through the imperative elements needed for your business to thrive. Here is a breakdown of what every small retail business needs to prosper.


As the business creator, you will no doubt have an idea on your shop and what you’re going to sell. Whether it be children’s clothing or fishing equipment, your brand is so important. Your logo/shop sign is usually the first thing a potential customer will see, whether it is on a high street or on the internet, your brand tell your customers everything they need to know (subconsciously) about your brand, unfortunately as a new retailer good first impression are essential. This is usually a good time to employ a graphic designer and/or brand consultant to help you realise your ideal branding.

Shop Interior

The second thing your new customer will usually see is your premises. Retail environment plays a huge factor in helping or deterring a customer from making a purchase.  Consider carefully your layout depending on your product and the space you have available. For example, in a small shop where you are selling clothes, you need to consider the types of clothes rails and shelving you can have. Perhaps consulting an interior designer or a carpenter experienced in retail would be advantageous. Therefore ensuring your fixtures and fittings suit your product and space, ultimately encouraging customers you spend time in your shop browsing stock and making purchases!


This is part of shop interior, a huge part – hence, we’ve listed it as a separate concern. Lighting impacts massively on our environment and our emotions, within a retail environment this is not only important, but you should also consider carefully the lighting needed to best show off your products. The best option usually is to have a variety of lighting where possible. Task lighting is needed for product display, for example spotlights aimed downward or upward towards a shoe display or over a till point.

Stock – Buy in bulk

By now you probably have a good idea on what you are going to sell and where the best quality, best priced items are for purchase. One thing that plays on retailers minds can be, should I buy in bulk, is it worth it! Well the short answer is, yes! Buying in bulk has generally always provided the buyer with the best value for money. If you are confident of the product(s) then it really could save you the hassle.

Storage for stock

A shop space with storage is most likely your dream space! But this can be very hard to come by. Do you move out of town to gain a bigger storage volume or stay within easy reach of customers in town, but with less space for your stock. One solution could be external storage at a self storage facility. With flexibility in terms of the size of the unit you choose, it could work by providing you with that much needed shop storage without the hassle of larger premises.

Considering all of the above points will be certain to ensure you’ve all bases covered.

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