With the right location, a convenience store can be a profitable venture. If you're going to start a convenience store, you need to have business smarts. While you don't necessarily need to have an MBA, you should have some knowledge about how to operate a business for greatest success. The steps to opening a convenience store are easy to follow, but be thorough in your preparation to avoid any potential mishaps.
Decide whether to purchase a convenience store franchise or open an independent store. Many chain convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven or ampm, allow you to become a franchisee. This can be expensive (more than £65,000, with some franchises costing more than £0.6 million), but the brand recognition and training that you get from owning a franchise could make it worth the cost. Of course, there's no need to start a franchise. You can also open an independent store.
Search for a location. The location of your convenience store is going to be one of the most important aspects for success. You need to place it in a location that gets a lot of traffic--either by car or by foot. High traffic areas may have a lot of competition, though, so you can also seek out places with lower competition, such as small towns.
Get the funding you need. Unless you have enough money to cover all of the start-up expenses, you'll need funding. Talk to your bank about getting a small-business loan or line of credit. Small Business Administration loans are low-interest loans that have government backing. A line of credit allows you to pay interest only on the money that you use.
Register your business. Fill out the necessary paperwork to register your business with the state and federal government. You may want to hire a lawyer to help you with this step. Registering your business will allow you to purchase items wholesale.
Purchase items to stock your store. You'll need many items to stock your sore, including drinks, snacks and some basic foods for meals. Buy these items wholesale so you can make a profit.
Set up your store. You'll need shelves, refrigerators and a cash register. You may also want to consider purchasing or leasing a coffee machine and soft drink machine. Once you have the basics set up, fill your store with goods to sell.
Hire talented employees. Choose employees that are honest, hard-working and good with people. Your sales staff will be directly interacting with customers, which may affect whether or not they come back to your store. Managers need to be able to take care of customers and staff.
Offer opening-day discounts to lure new customers. Have a grand opening sale to bring customers in on your first day. Hopefully, they will enjoy their experience and will come back the next time they need something.