The fashion industry is tremendously diverse, and, according to Zippia, is worth an astonishing $1.7 trillion. With such an incredible landscape in front of them, many small businesses are working to enter this lucrative sector, opening brick-and-mortar stores up and down the country. However, as e-commerce continues to grow at a similar speed, many clothing stores are struggling to keep up. But, with the right resources, even the smallest clothing stores can see exponential levels of success. Fortunately, this article will discuss everything you need to know about how to successfully open a new store.
7 Things You Need to Consider When Opening a New Clothing Store
1. Find a Location
Whether it’s Fifth Avenue in New York or Oxford Street in London, high-end shopping districts are loved and admired all over the world. Yet, when it comes to opening a new store, you may have to lower your expectations a little bit. But, that doesn’t mean that small business owners shouldn’t strive to find the best location possible. You must start by considering your target audience and thinking extensively about where these people typically live. For example, if your clothing store focuses on outdoor gear, it’s best to place your store in a rural location rather than on a bustling high street. Entrepreneurs should also ensure that their location is accessible to large streams of potential consumers. As such, you may benefit from moving into a more metropolitan area or fitting a wheelchair ramp outside your store to help disabled guests browse through your items. Once you’ve discovered your dream shopfront, it’s time to get it in the best condition possible. If your building is teeming with mold and other signs of wear and tear, it’s good practice to get in touch with a rot repair service as quickly as possible. During this process, an experienced contractor will survey the quality of the wood and prevent it from showing further signs of decay. In turn, this is a very valuable resource for shop owners who have recently purchased a relatively old building and are keen to give it a touch of TLC. Fixr.com notes that this service typically costs $500-$2,000, depending on the extent of the damage. Though this may seem like an excessive cost for new store owners, it can be a great way to extend the overall longevity of your shop’s location.
2. Hire a Cleaner
Business Wire explains that 93% of US adults would not return to a retailer if they experienced hygiene-related issues whilst in the store. These issues include stained surfaces, bad odors, and unkept dressing room conditions. Although many shop owners don’t mean to uphold a dirty store, they may let some maintenance activities slide as they continue to focus on other areas of the business. Thus, if you’re looking for a better way to keep on top of your errands, without sacrificing the rest of your business, consider hiring a cleaner to help you out. These professionals are trained to complete a series of everyday tasks such as sweeping the floors, dusting the counters, and organizing the clothing stock. As a result, this is an excellent service for business owners who want to elevate their new store, but don’t want to spend too much time completing these tasks themselves. But, if your store is in dire need of maintenance and is showing signs of decay deep within its foundation, you may be better off hiring a grout cleaning service. This service relies on an experienced professional and encourages them to use a wealth of specialist cleaning products to ensure that your grout is left flawless and sparkling. They also use a selection of unique tools to help them clean every aspect of your grouting. Angi notes that this service can cost anywhere from $238-$668, with the median average sitting at $475. Thus, this is a relatively affordable way to keep your changing rooms and bathrooms in good condition, ensuring that customers are more inclined to return to your store time and time again.
3. Ensure the Plumbing is Up to Date
Although you may not give your plumbing system a second thought when trying to open a new store, it’s actually an imperative aspect of any building. A suitable plumbing system offers both your staff and customers access to clean drinking water and bathroom facilities, ensuring that they feel comfortable enough to work and shop as they please. However, if you notice a slow drain in your sink or frequently hear weird noises coming from your pipes, it’s good practice to reach out to a local plumber as soon as possible. These experts will usually work to survey your entire plumbing network, keeping a close eye out for any glaring issues that could impact the rest of your waterworks. If you’re lucky enough to only struggle with some minor plumbing issues, the contractor will likely be able to fix them with ease. Yet, if you are in need of an entirely new plumbing system, this could cost $3,000-$16,000, according to Forbes. Therefore, although you may be forced to cough up thousands of dollars to repair your plumbing system, you can rest assured that your customers and staff have easy access to essential services.
If your plumbing network is up to scratch, but you’re still looking to upgrade your facilities, you may benefit from using a commercial drilling service. This process involves using a selection of industrial drills to form holes that are suitable for extensive plumbing work. For example, these services may be used to add additional water pumps so that you can add more washrooms to your new store. Though this service may not be suitable for inexperienced business owners, it can be a great asset for those looking to extend their clothing store portfolio and defeat the competition that surrounds them. Home Advisor explains that business owners can expect to pay $10 to $25 per foot for these immense drilling services. Therefore, this can be a suitable excuse for owners to invest in their business and reap a high return on investment in the long run.
4. Ensure the Electricity is Up to Date
Just like plumbing, electricity is also a crucial element of any functioning clothing store. Whether it’s used to power the cash registers or to keep the lights on, this element allows your staff to complete their daily tasks with ease. Yet, your electrical system can falter over time, leaving your new store vulnerable to harmful shocks, blackouts, and even fires. Thus, if you feel concerned about the overall condition of your electrical network, ensure that you reach out to a collection of registered electrical contractors immediately. These workers can help to assess the performance of your system and conduct any vital repairs. Thus, this is a fantastic service to make use of if you wish to keep your inhabitants safe, whilst also striving to keep your business moving at all times. The cost of this service can vary greatly, but This Old House states that business owners can expect to pay $40-$120 for small projects and a further $120-$150 for medium-sized projects. Therefore, clothing store owners can work to keep their shops up and running, without having to fret about potentially losing power at any moment.
Businesses thrive on connectivity, which is why it’s so important that clothing store owners are equipped with suitable access to phone lines and the internet. If your business is without these amenities, you may need to get in touch with a local cable contractor. These individuals work to install a plethora of cable networks, allowing businesses to stay connected to valuable assets at all times. Accu-Tech highlights that the average hourly rate for a cable contractor is $15.66, making this a pretty expensive service for most small business owners. Yet, for many modern businesses, connection to the internet is a necessity, so it may not seem overly exorbitant to some. Plus, the internet can give your business an added edge, giving you the chance to connect with customers on social media and form a stronger relationship with them.
5. Install New Flooring
Footfall is a prime asset to all businesses, so it only seems right that you give your customers an upgraded floor to use as they enter your store. If your building is teeming with dirty, cracked floorboards, it can affect the overall look and feel of your store. In turn, this can lead to some customers turning away from your business and deciding to shop elsewhere. Since flooring is available in a number of off-beat styles and designs, you’re sure to find something that really adheres to your new store’s charming atmosphere. As such, consider getting in touch with some local flooring services, so you can discuss these options in more detail with an experienced professional. Home Guide mentions that a new set of flooring typically costs $1 to $50 per square foot for the materials and an additional $2 to $8 per square foot for the labor. As a result, this process is a great way to help your new store stand out from the crowd and also offers you the chance to draw in an abundance of lucrative customer bases.
6. Upgrade Your Heating and Cooling Service
There’s nothing worse than when you’re completing a bit of holiday shopping, and you’re forced to browse through a freezing cold shop. The same could be said for shopping in the summer months and traveling into a new store that doesn’t have an air conditioning unit yet. Thus, in order to keep your customers as comfortable as possible during their shopping experience, you should ensure that your HVAC system is in good working order. If your AC unit or furnace is not producing adequate air flow or is making some very uncomfortable noises, you should reach out to a plethora of local HVAC companies. An HVAC technician can help to examine your heating and cooling system, checking for any issues or glaring complications. If your systems are beyond repair, the technician may advise that you invest in a brand-new system. Although the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) notes that this service could cost $5,000-$12,000, it could help you save a ton of money in the future. Modern HVAC units tend to use far less energy than their older counterparts, which can also help to reduce your overall energy bills. Thus, business owners are free to use this extra cash to fund other areas of their business such as additional stock or payroll.
7. Start Marketing Your Business
Once your new store is up and running, you need to start marketing your business to wider audiences. Standard practices such as attractive website design, effective social media marketing, and unique product placements can all help to bring awareness to your business. As such, these techniques can help you attract new customers, ensuring that you can continue to earn high levels of revenue and profits all year round. Since fashion is such a visual medium, it’s good practice to work alongside an experienced corporate photographer to help you capture the nuances of each garment. These photographers typically use a selection of high-end camera gear and editing software to ensure that your work comes out flawless each and every time. Bark.com explains that these services normally cost $300 to $500 per day. Thus, business owners can showcase the intricacies of their new store, all whilst collaborating with a diverse and talented professional.
Clothing stores are incredibly popular, making them a great way for business owners to receive a tremendous return on their investments and expand their portfolios. Yet, even though this industry is so elusive, we cannot ignore how competitive and dynamic it can be. As such, many owners may struggle to keep up, causing them to get pushed to the sidelines. Thus, there are a number of ways that you can give your new store a new lease on life and make sure that it’s able to remain profitable. Therefore, if you’re thinking about opening a clothing store soon, consider implementing the tips and tricks discussed in this article.