How to Open a 99-Cent Store

by Evelyn Trimborn; Updated September 26, 2017
Customer buying CDs

Ninety-nine cent stores are a popular new start-up for many new business owners. Shoppers love a bargain on everyday items such as food and toiletries, as well as unique products from around the world. Opening a 99-cent store is not very different from running any small business. Your success will depend on how prepared and organized you are.

Items you will need

  • Start-up capital
  • Business loan or line of credit (optional)
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business bank account
  • Franchise agreement (optional)
  • Location
  • Store suppliers
  • Store inventory
  • Computer
  • Inventory database software
  • Bookkeeping software
  • Phone
  • Answering machine
  • Cash register
  • Credit card merchant account
  • Credit card machine
  • Store signs
  • Store displays
  • Store launch date
  • Store staffing
  • Store administrative policies
  • Employee policies
  • Price tags
  • Stockroom
  • Pre-launch checklist
  • Store promotion/advertising
Step 1

Financing Your 99-Cent Store Make sure you to have enough start-up capital to launch your business. If you are taking a loan with your bank or opening a line of credit to finance your business, make sure you understand all the terms before you sign anything.

Incorporate your business, then take your certificate of incorporation to the bank to open a separate business bank account for your new business.

Step 2

The Franchise Option Consider buying a franchise, because it costs one fixed amount up front and gives you a ready-made store in either a set location, or all the furniture and fittings for your own store location.

Compare the available 99-cent store franchise options in your area carefully to get the best deal for the best price. Supply ready cash to keep the business running on a daily basis.

Step 3

Choosing Your 99-Cent Store Location Research and decide on your location, or franchise location. Base your choice on a steady stream of traffic coming in to shop. For a franchise, go by location rather than price if possible.

Step 4

Planning Your 99-Cent Store Find three main suppliers. Order your inventory. Choose the kinds of daily items you know will be in demand. Buy small quantities of the items until you see the quality and how it will sell.

Step 5

Organizing Your 99-Cent Store Set up a special computer to run your inventory and bookkeeping software.

Get a phone and answering machine, and set up your voicemail to include store details, hours and location.

Buy a cash register and a credit card machine. Shop around for the best merchant account that will allow you to accept credit cards without charging high fees.

Buy fixtures and fittings to display the items and make the store look attractive.

Order your store signs for the outside of the building. Set your launch date.

Step 6

Launching Your 99-Cent Store Hire personable and experienced staff. Make sure copies of your store, staffing and customer service policies, and pre-launch checklist, are given to everyone.

Unpack your goods when they arrive, stock the store and price them.

Organize the remaining items in stockroom clearly.

Advertise your opening in the local paper in a timely manner, putting the ad in at least a week before the launch date. Promote around the area using flyers and leaflets. Advertise your grand opening on local radio.

Tips

  • Being organized is essential for any small business, but particularly with a 99-cent store due to inventory.

    Once the store is nearly ready, have family and friends do trial runs. Have them pretend to be difficult customers, and then report back on their experience.

    Address any problems with staff or inventory quickly.

    Budget for ongoing promotion once you have launched.

    Place several small ads rather than one huge one, to get regular traffic. You can get discounts based on frequency.

Warnings

  • Having enough financing in place is the key to success from the start. You need to supply the store with goods to sell, pay salaries and support the business until you start making a profit.

    Many of the fixtures and fittings will be included in a franchise. Read the fine print before signing any agreement. If you are not sure, ask, and make certain you get it in writing.

    Have contingency plans in place for staff illness and other issues which might arise. If the store isn't open, no one is making any money.

About the Author

Since graduating from New York University with her Bachelor of Arts in 1996, Evelyn Trimborn has written both fiction and nonfiction for many websites and blogs on health, diet, nutrition, self-help, and business and finance. Her work has appeared on Amazon and at Healthful-Goddess.com, TreatAcneToday.com, InsiderSecretsCorp.com and Career-Command.com.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images