How to Open a Convenience Store. A convenience store can be a reasonably profitable business because many people will pay extra costs to buy items quickly and conveniently. The key to successfully opening a convenience store is the location. If you aren't centrally located in a community with the potential to spend money you can't succeed.
Prepare a market survey to determine a sales forecast. This will help you figure out the items you should carry, the spending potential of your customers and the total amount of sales you can attract when you open the convenience store.
Determine your location. Consider the parking situation, traffic density and the proximity to other businesses in the area. Don't choose your location based on just one large business in the area because that business could close and negatively affect your customer traffic as well.
Make sure the community has a large enough amount of potential customers to support the store. The economy needs to be stable. Talk to wholesale food distributors to help determine the possibility of success in that community.
Choose a building in which you can easily designate 60 percent of the store to aisles, 25 percent to checkout, 10 percent to storage and 5 percent to office space. Make sure the aisles are wide enough for many customers and wheelchairs.
Purchase wall shelving, two-sided gondolas, multi-shelved refrigerators with sliding or hinged doors, an ice cream case, dry storage shelving, counters, cash registers, baskets, hand trucks, stock carts, step ladders and security equipment.
Schedule your inspections with the Department of Health and the Fire Department. You can't open your convenience store until you have passed these inspections. If you fail you will be given time to correct these issue and schedule another inspection before you open.
Advertise the opening of your convenience store well ahead of time. You can advertise in your newspaper, phone book, direct mail and brochures. Advertise frequently to get your customers' attention so they'll anticipate the local convenience of your coming store.