By fbatistaEven with the rise of online shopping and grocery delivery, plenty of people still benefit from having a convenience store nearby. Running a neighborhood convenience store allows you to provide the community with the immediate purchases they need. If you decide to start a c-store, good preparation and planning can help you succeed. Think about these five aspects of business when opening a convenience store.
1. Initial FinancingBefore establishing any other part of your convenience store, you need to create a financial plan and the money to fund it. Both franchises and independent c-stores require an initial investment to get started. If you don’t have the money set aside, you can take out a loan or work with an investor. An investor’s interest in your store depends on your business plan. Creating a detailed business plan that makes sense can help you get the funding and support you need.
2. Convenient LocationYour c-store will benefit from having as much traffic as possible in the nearby area. Customers tend to stop by convenience stores on their route to and from work or as a quick trip. To appeal to this audience, you need a store location close to major roads or footpaths. The property itself should also make it simple to enter and leave. Well-lit and open entrances, exits and parking lots increase the convenience of visiting your store.
3. Food, Drink and Merchandise VendorsVendors provide the supplies, merchandise, food and drink sold at your convenience store. Depending on what you want to sell, you may work with one vendor or multiple. A full-service vendor can provide most of the items in your inventory. However, working with more than one vendor could give you more flexibility or help you save money. Consider your target audience and their priorities, as well as your business goals, when choosing how you work with vendors.
4. Management and StaffDepending on the size of your c-store, you might decide to start with a small number of staff members and add to them. As your business grows, you might expand your space or hours. You could also see an increase in business that requires more people to manage. Your involvement with the store can also affect your need for employees. Start with a team based on your expected activity and work from there.
5. Technology and EquipmentConvenience store equipment allows you to store and prepare food, clean the area and manage sales. Your c-store’s equipment might include:
- Refrigerators and freezers
- Drink dispensers
- Commercial coffee makers
- Hot food displays and hot dog rollers
- Ice machines
- Food warmers
- Cleaning tools and supplies