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LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Question :
Hello,How do I know when is the best time to open a brick and mortar store?My wife and I currently run a small custom clothing and gifts printing business we do most of our sales online through Facebook and our website but our local community (Kawerau) does not really know we exist.  We currently run everything from our home so we do not want random people just walking up so we have not dome much advertising that we exist locally in the local area – we are thinking it is a missed opportunity not having locals know we exist and think opening a shop/ store front will help with that problem.Do we just take the plunge and try it out – or are there some indicators that we can look at and gauge if it is the correct move or not?

Question submitted 13/04/21 @ 09:25am
Industry: Business Growth
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      Congratulations on the progress you are making so far with your business.

      In terms of the right time – if there was an easy answer, everyone would be doing it!

      I think there are two ways you can look a this question. The first is to develop a financial model taking into account all the outgoings for a potential store;
      – rent
      – power
      – insurance
      – staff
      – stock damage/shop lifting
      – advertising
      – etc.

      Then work out what you would have to sell to cover your outgoings, and whether you feel that is realistic with local demand. Do a bit of a best case (it all goes amazingly well) and worst case (tougher than you expected) so you can see your range of outcomes and risk in making that commitment.

      Then compare the amount of time, energy and money you would be committing and ask yourself if there is another way to generate the same return that is worth considering.
      – what if you increased your investment in your website optomisation, SEO, etc to grow sales?
      – could you wholesale into more local and around NZ retail businesses to grow your presence and sales at a lower risk?
      – could you do a pop up or local market day that trials the retail experience and gets some feedback? And maybe if not in you local town then somewhere nearby?

      That planning and investigation is sure to clarify if now is the right time for you.
      Best of luck, Vicky

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      Totally support Vicky’s advice above. I also thought – if your local community don’t know you exist, and they are Facebook users, then there must also be a lot of untapped opportunity online because Facebook doesn’t “blockout” your local market. Have you considered Instagram and influencers as a channel?

      I have realised that marketing through Social media is powerful but also complicated, so investment in social media marketing training might also be worthwhile to be sure you have maximised the platform you already have.

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