Opening a country store can be a fun endeavor for a family or an individual. There is much to consider during the process of starting such a business. Zoning laws and other rules and regulations must be looked into, and a business plan is necessary if you are looking for a loan.
Starting this type of business takes time, from research to opening the store. Planning is important every step of the way. Keeping good records of all decisions and other important details is essential.
Plan the Business
Rent or buy a place in which to set up the store, or build it once you find the proper location. Acquire all building permits and licenses needed, and have everything inspected as necessary. Be sure that the store has a country look and feel to it.
Have a sign created in the style of a country store. Hang this above the door.
Choose a name for the business, being sure that it has a country flair. Obtain the name and any business licenses required at city hall. Ask if there is anything else needed to open the business.
Create a business plan, according to The U.S. Small Business Administration. Do a market analysis and a company description to start.
Research insurance companies for the best policy to fit your needs. This may include flood, earthquake or other types of insurance.
Hire an accountant, and meet with him to determine what sort of record keeping system should be used for the store. Find out every bit of information that should be kept for the business. Ask him any questions that you have.
Have utilities for the business turned on.
Set Up Shop
Buy what is necessary to set up the store. Consider display units, and how they should have a country feel to them. Have them built if desired. Be sure to have a main counter where the cash register will be, with glass enclosures to use as a display case below the counter.
Research what to sell, and start ordering things. Look into merchant accounts with different places. Consider what people expect to see sold at country stores, like cheap candy for children, oil lamps and fresh produce. Look for soda sold in glass bottles and handmade goods such as quilts and clothing. Decide whether you will buy items from local residents or offer their items on consignment. Advertise for this ahead of time.
Set up the outside of the store as well. Provide crates of fresh produce with bags for customers to buy. Sell ice in a cooler, or even night crawlers for fishermen. Display fishing rods or even handmade furniture from a local craftsman.
Decide on the days and hours of business. Advertise for employees if needed. Decide on hours and benefits for them, according to their experience.
Advertise for the grand opening of the business. Consider having a sale on certain items. Offer a raffle or drawing for a basket of goods from the store.
A country store may offer fresh baked foods, with a few tables outside for people to eat at.
If serving food, look for an in-state source of homemade ice cream.
- A country store may offer fresh baked foods, with a few tables outside for people to eat at.
- If serving food, look for an in-state source of homemade ice cream.
Shannon Buck is a freelance writer residing in the small town of Milford, Maine. Her work has appeared on several sites including GreenandSave.com, where she writes The Green Mom column. She has written on many subjects including home improvement, gardening, low-income living, writing and homeschooling.