This article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, employment, or tax advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.
What do you need to open a retail store?
After nailing your retail business plan, registering your business, acquiring a licence, determining your financing, and finding a location, you’re ready to take the next step and build out your space. But where should you start, and what are your options?
Having a well-equipped, connected, and easy-to-manage store is essential to set up yourself, your staff, and your business for success. According to the Square Future of Retail report, 41% of consumers say they are likely to avoid businesses that don’t have staff or employees onsite to assist them, while 72% of retailers use or plan to use automation to decrease staff members’ hands-on time.
Here is the Square checklist guide for the hardware and tools you can use to get up and running.
Retail store supplies, inventory, and stock room
Good inventory management reduces costs, improves cash flow, and boosts your business’s bottom line, especially when connected to a strong point-of-sale solution. You don’t need much to start and stay organised, but these tools will help.
Shelving: From gondolas to rack fixtures, you have multiple options here. The most important thing is being able to quickly find and track your items.
Labels with a printer and/or a pricing gun: With Square for Retail Plus, you can create and print barcode labels with multiple printer types.
- Scale: This can come in handy for your product descriptions and shipping.
- Box cutters: Consider this and similar tools that will ease any manual labour demands at your retail store
- Shipping materials
Retail back office
It can be easy to forget about these basics when you’re starting out and focused on fine-tuning your product, but planning will help your operations run smoothly while avoiding surprise expenses.
- WiFi system: Before you open your doors, ask yourself if WiFi will be used for staff only or if you also want to offer an option for customers to connect.
- Computer or tablet: While you can do plenty of business management from your phone, it’s helpful to have a computer or tablet available for larger projects.
- Office basics (pens/paper/staplers/clips): Like many of these tools, buying in bulk and budgeting ahead can help save on future costs.
- Cleaning supplies: Items such as bins, bin bags, brooms, mops, and disinfectant wipes will help your store maintain cleanliness to attract customers.
- Business bank account and necessary documentation