4 Serious Considerations Before Starting a Brick and Mortar Business
Although there's no shortage of opportunities out there for web-based businesses, opening a brick and mortar shop is the ultimate dream of so many entrepreneurs, isn't it?
After all, businesses boasting physical locations have the potential to...
- Becomes staples of your local economy
- Bring you closer to your community and opens up opportunities to connect with people
- Acquire customers in your own backyard who you can get personal with
With all of these benefits in mind, starting a physical business in today's cutthroat era of entrepreneurship, it's not all fun and games. If you're serious about wanting to start a business that requires a physical location, consider the four points before getting in over your heard.
Don't Ignore the Legal Red Tape
If there's one thing that trips most new business owners up, it's legal issues.
The fact remains that most businesses are just one lawsuit or legal slip-up away from sinking their entire empire. While it may be tempting to ignore legal aspects of your business, you need to understand that “what-if's” can quickly turn ugly if don't protect yourself. This is especially true when dealing with the public, opening yourself up to a whole slew of potential lawsuits.
Make it a point to lawyer up and invest in protection such as public liability insurance. Speaking to a lawyer is essential to any business, but especially those with physical locations. From public contracts and employee issues, you need to make sure that you have all of your legal bases covered.
Dealing with Rent
Obviously the beauty of web-based businesses is that you're not tasked with paying rent on a property which almost always come with hidden fees. Between repairs and sudden hikes in rent, you need to adjust your budget and expectations accordingly when it comes time to pay up for your storefront.
Again, the legal component of running a business comes into play with your rent and location (think: while tearing down a wall might not be a big deal to you, business owners need to be 100% sure that they're following legal codes regarding their location).
Are You Riding High on a Trend?
Just because your business is raking in dough right now doesn't necessarily mean that the gravy train's going to last forever. Think about it: trendy stores such as frozen yogurt shops and oxygen bars that were once all the rage are closing to droves. Clearly you don't want to be a novelty or flash in the pan, right?
Answering objectively whether or not your business has longevity is a harsh one to answer; however, such a question is crucial to your long-term survival.
What Does Your Competition Look Like
Speaking of looking at yourself objectively, it's important to note whether or not your business realistically fills a need in your local economy. Considering that so many new businesses fail, it should be noted that this often happens because businesses copycat successful local competitors or don't fill a niche that needs to be filled in the community.
Sure, your pizza shop might make the best pies in town; however, that doesn't mean that your business is going to attract more customer than the established shop that's been around for 25 years. This is why it's crucial to scout out your competition and make sure your industry isn't already dominated by someone else.
While you shouldn't give up your dream of a physical shop, you need to have realistic expectations before you dive right in. By keeping these considerations in mind, you'll have a better idea of any potential snags before you hit them.