It’s no secret that Britain’s high streets have been suffering in recent years. The increasing popularity of out-of-town retail parks and internet shopping means that more and more retail chains have gone into administration. And with the increased costs of running a bricks-and-mortar store, it’s no surprise that many businesses are favouring e-commerce over selling on the high street. This means that more and more retail units in our towns are standing empty.
Can Small Businesses Succeed Where Large Chains Failed?
This is the case for chain stores, but for smaller businesses that still want to try their hand at selling from a physical store, could it be a different story? One of the reasons why large retailers are facing problems now is because they over-invested in property when the outlook was positive. Now that things have taken a downward turn, they are more vulnerable to losing money from this investment.
Small businesses still have a lot at stake, but for a retailer setting up now, the landscape is looking a lot different compared to just a few years ago. The retail industry has gone through a big change as it has migrated more towards technology and the internet, and it will probably continue to do so. Businesses that are aware of the opportunities and threats provided by this change can act accordingly to use this to their advantage. So are their chances of success higher than those of the retail giants we have seen vanish from our streets in recent years?
How Can You Plan for Success on the High Street?
As a new retailer, how can your business plan help you to pinpoint and prepare for the challenges the high street brings? The key is to know your business environment, your competition, and the opportunities available to you. Do your research – the structure of your business plan will guide you with this. Carrying out market research will help you to identify your target audience and their behaviours, while competitor research will show you who you are up against, where they are, and what they are doing to drive success. It is also important to plan your finances, taking into account all costs and making realistic sales projections based on your research.
Finally, remember that although the internet has taken some customers away from the high street, technology also offers new opportunities and will continue to do so. Mobile payments, beacon technology, self-service purchase processes, and a synergy between online and offline presences, all offer more convenience and choice for consumers.
While the costs and risk of owning a shop may be high, with some research, creativity and a robust business plan, you could make your store a success.
If you would like any help with writing a business plan for your retail business, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us online using the form on the right or call 01604 420 420.