A grocery store is a retail outlet where different food and household products are sold on shelves and cabinets. People love to do their shopping in a grocery store because of the convenience it gives them to shop for everything they need in a grocery store without moving from one store to another.
Starting a grocery store is a very easy business to start and it is not so capital intensive. Getting the right products that people want to buy and good stock keeping records are the secrets of running a grocery store. A grocery store can be run offline in the conventional retail store or online on an online retail site. In this article, I will focus on discussing how you can start both offline and online grocery store.
a. Make an Entry of Products That Sell In Your Location-: This is the first step you need to take when planning to start out a retail store. You can visit other grocery stores in the area to know the products that people request more of. You can also invest in preparing a business plan for your grocery store.
Another way to get this information is to take a survey of different people on the products they are more likely to look for when they go for their grocery shopping. This will give you ideas on the products you need to start your own grocery business.
b. Apply to Get Verification for Running a Grocery Store-: In some states, you can just set up your grocery store without any form of registration or verification; but in the United States, you need to get an Employer’s Identification Number (EIN), Tax Identification Number (TIN) to be able to run your grocery store.
c. Store Space-: You need a storage space to start your grocery store. Getting a store in a populated area of the town will get you the customer base to buy from your retail store. You may need a handyman to come to make major changes in the store; like installing shelves and cabinets that you will need to display your products.
d. Purchase Your Grocery Products-: The survey you made before you started the grocery store will help you know the products to buy. You also need a supplier who will sell quality products at a cheaper price to help you maximize your profits. Arrange similar products in the same aisle or shelves where it can be easily located by customers.
Vital products you need for grocery store include dry foodstuffs like rice and cereals, fresh food like fruits and vegetables, canned foods, frozen foods like meat, poultry and fish (make plans for constant electricity for your frozen products to prevent them from spoiling). You can fix an inverter and solar panel to help your electricity remain steady. Also, you should install an electronic payment system or a POS machine for collecting payment for products ordered.
e. Maintain Excellent Customer Service-: After you set up your grocery store, try to deliver quality customer service to your customers to make them come back next time. Make your customers feel valued and well appreciated and you will be getting yourself some loyal customers in no-time.
f. Build a Brand for Your Grocery Store-: You can develop some innovative and creative ideas to make your grocery store stand out and serve as a brand on its own.
g. Make Plans For Expansion-: You can decide to expand by opening another grocery store in another location after you have grown the first one to a level of financial stability. This is how most chain stores like Walmart, Kooger and HEB got to the level they are today.
Starting an Online Grocery Store – Sample Business Plan Template
It is less expensive and easier to run an online grocery store than it is to run an offline retail store. The following steps will help you start your own online grocery store:
1. Create a Website for Your Grocery Store-: This is the first step you need to take towards starting an online retail store; to build a website. Nowadays, it is very easy to create an ecommerce store in few minutes time.
All you need is to buy a domain name relating to your grocery store, rent a hosting plan for your domain name, then download a WordPress eCommerce store, snap clear images of your products and upload it to your e-commerce site. Write as much detail as you can about the product; or get a web designer to design the site for you if you can really handle the process of setting up a website.
2. Source for Your Product-: You need to start sourcing for your products while the site is still under construction and find suppliers and manufacturers that can supply you products at a discount rate since you will be buying in bulk from them.
3. Drop Shipping-: To make it easier for you to run the online grocer store, you can introduce the drop shipping method where you stock the products as available on your site. If anyone places an order for a product, you contact your supplier to supply to the customer on your behalf. This way, you would not need to get any physical product since the supplier will send the product directly to the customer when an order is made.
4. Advertise Your Online Store-: Finally, you have to find a way to advertise your site to get customers for your products; you can place paid adverts on social networks, create pages groups and build followers, create video on Youtube and make guest posts on popular sites that offer similar products.
So far, I have explained how to run both an offline and online grocery store, and also how to simplify the whole process by using drop shipping method where the supplier sends the product straight to your customer on your behalf.
In conclusion, you may have competition from big names in the retail store industry like Walmart but that should not scare you. Maintain good quality products at discount prize and give your customers the best service they can get anywhere; your customers will always come back for more.