A country feed store is a common feature on the main streets of small, agricultural towns. These small, often family-owned, stores are often a preferred alternative to large, franchised or corporate-run retailers. Starting up a country store requires one to invest a significant amount of time and money, which, if done right can prove to be a profitable and rewarding endeavor. Country feed stores can potentially attract a lot of repeat customers, so focusing on community loyalty is important.
Purchase property in a location that is in need of the goods and services your store will provide. For a feed and country store, the best location would likely be a town that has agricultural needs and that does not have a major retailer already. Land or an already established building can be purchased, depending on what is available and what would best be transformed into the store. Make sure to check with the local government office that the land and/or building can be made into commercial property.
File the legal documents required to start a new business. These include business registration, business licenses and local permits. You can inquire about the documents with local authorities such as the chamber of commerce and the state’s department of licensing.
Buy liability and property insurance on the store. It is useful to meet with an insurance agent to discuss the best possible insurance package for your country store. You can shop around with different insurance companies to find the best possible deal for your country store.
Build the store or refurbish the existing building so it becomes the country store you have envisioned. Most people work with a professional construction contractor to complete a job of this scale. Make sure the storefront fits in with the surrounding shops, as people in the community usually prefer their downtown area to look timeless.
Contact distributors of the various products you wish to stock your store with. Order your first batch of products and once the store is opened you can determine the proper quantities for future orders.
Advertise the opening of your store in a variety of ways. If possible, get the local newspaper to write an article on the opening of the store and the story behind it. This is a great way to advertise the store for free and to introduce yourself to the community. Other ways of advertising include balloons and posters outside the store, fliers posted on community bulletin boards, door-hanger coupons and word-of-mouth.
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