Hannah, principal of Hannah Nieves Consulting, helps build profitable brands through marketing, branding and PR.
As entrepreneurs, we all know how many risks come into play when launching a new business or brand. Whether it’s making your first investments, selling your first product or growing an audience, hard decisions have to be made. With the digital age and the rise of the metaverse, it can sometimes feel like businesses are only launching virtually these days. But there is still an exponential amount of value that comes with taking the leap and opening a brick-and-mortar business.
Here are my top three launch strategies for preparing and opening a brick-and-mortar business in 2022:
Finalize your product or offer.
A beautiful storefront is not the start or end of your brick-and-mortar business journey. You need to spend time thinking long and hard about what you want your business to be. Who are you serving? How can your business bring value to their life? You don’t necessarily need to be an expert, but it will be really important to have a genuine interest and knowledge in what you’re looking to sell.
Create a list of goals and objectives, assess your business’s values and mission, and do an internal audit system so you can assess what’s been working and what needs to be adjusted. While it seems in the online space anyone can start a business and begin selling, an in-person store has to be more focused.
Brick-and-mortar locations tend to have higher upfront costs compared to an online business. You’ll need to consider the cost to buy or lease the space as well as renovation costs and insurance and service fees. Do your due diligence before signing on the dotted line and put together an upfront cost analysis to see what the cost and opportunity will be once the business launches.
Once you’ve analyzed the opportunity, you can then assess your financing options. You can either self-fund the project, get financial backing from friends and family or go through a bank for a business loan. I would recommend speaking with your accountant or tax strategist to determine the best option for you and your company as each comes with pros and cons.
Remember location is key.
Similar to running your online business, when you are in person, you need to assess your ideal customer. Who are they, where do they live, where do they enjoy hanging out? What speaks their language enough to draw them in?
Opening an in-person business is limited to just one physical space, so a lot has to go into searching and committing to that location. Is it an area that gets a lot of foot traffic or is it more isolated? Business owners should also assess the demographics of the area, as well as other nearby businesses and establishments. Knowing your community is the key to finding the right location for your business.
In the end, brick-and-mortar locations will continue to require a completely different strategy compared to an online business, but if you have the heart to create a deeper connection with your community and establish an in-person impact, then a brick-and-mortar could be the right move for you.