How to Open a Storefront

by Mark Spowart; Updated September 26, 2017
Opening a storefront retail business is a dream come true for many people.

For many people, the idea of opening a storefront business is a dream come true. Whether the business is small niche business or a larger general store that appeals to a number of customers, both can be very rewarding, both in finances and in job satisfaction.

Step 1

Determine the type of storefront you want to open. Obtain the necessary licenses and permits for your business if you do not already have them.

Step 2

Contact a local commercial real estate agent, who can help you determine a location for your storefront based on the type of store you are opening and your budget.

Step 3

Lease or purchase the space where your business will be located. Design and decorate the interior of the space in a way that will best highlight the products you will be selling, and that will create a welcoming space for your customers.

Step 4

Purchase shelves, racks, a cash register and other equipment you will need. Also consider your sign. Will it be a simple sign that hangs outside, or a more elaborate sign with lighting? If your storefront is part of a larger community shopping plaza, the owners of the plaza will likely have certain signage requirements.

Step 5

Purchase stock and/or inventory for your store. Depending on the type of store you are opening, you may be able to enter into buying groups where a number of similar stores to yours in different markets pool their orders to purchase the same items at lower rates. If you have opened a store to promote and sell your own items, ensure that you have enough items to offer customers a good selection.

Step 6

Promote your new store front. Whether you decide to use print media or other forms of advertising, you will need to get the word out about your new store to drive customers to it. You should also contact the business editor of your local paper to let them know about a new business that has opened up in the community and see if they will run a small story about your storefront.

About the Author

Since 2002 Mark Spowart has been working as a freelance writer and photographer in London, Canada. He has publication credits for writing and/or photography in Canada, The United States, Europe and Norway, with such titles as "The Globe & Mail," "The National Post," Canada News Wire, Sun Media and "Business Edge" magazine.

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