Starting a feed store in a suburban or rural area can be a profitable business. Large and small farms need supplies for their animals and land. Supplying them with a variety of feed and supplies in a convenient location and adding services like home delivery on large orders is an asset to a community. Like any new store the start-up costs can be large and time consuming.
Write a business plan. The business plan will define your objectives, projective sales, inventory that will be purchased as well as monthly expenses and profits. The business plan will be required if you are applying for a business loan to show the financial institution or bank that you know the business will most likely make a profit from the research that you have gathered and numbers you have run.
Research the best feeds and supplies to have available for the customers. Some customers will want the best quality and some will want the best value, so it's important to offer them several options on most items. Some vendors or supply companies will want their product to be the only one of that type that you carry. When this issue arises you have to decide if that is what you would like to do or if you would rather go with another brand and have the freedom of stocking your shelves with your own choices. Knowledge of animal feed and farm supplies is ideal when choosing inventory.
Set up the store in the acquired location. The location may need to be renovated to accommodate the large stores of feed and supplies that you will offer. For example, if you are selling hay by the bale or the ton you will need a location with ample hay storage. If you are offering horse tack, pets and pet supplies you will need to have designated areas in the store for the keeping and displaying of these items.
Advertise to attract customers to your store. Advertising can start before the store is opened to get local people excited and anticipating the opening of your feed store. Advertising can be as simple as a banner out in front of the store location with the details of the opening date and the items offered. Print, radio and television ads can also be effective tools. Offering special deals and prizes for a grand opening day will draw new customers into your store.
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