Convenience store is another name for supermarket really. The name convenience simply means it should be accessible to customers and stock basically everything a person would need so they don’t have to run to a bigger department store or its alternatives.
Convenience stores are mostly located around residential areas. There are so many new estates and building developments springing up, imagine servicing the needs of the people living in them. Your selling advantage would already be there, your customers would not have to pay expensive parking costs etc.
Starting a convenience store, just like starting any other business, takes money, planning, and time. With the right location, items in stock, and pricing structure, you can start turning a profit quickly after opening your convenience store.
- Develop your business and marketing plans
These documents will typically help you secure funding if you need to take out a loan. If you don't have them at all, you may run into difficulty securing the required capital.
- Create a business plan by listing the name and business structure of your store. You can then continue by listing the items and services you plan to offer and the estimated startup costs for those items and services.
- Develop your marketing plan by first analyzing your local competition and customer base. Continue your marketing plan by analyzing the overall convenience store industry and then providing a plan for advertising, signage, and retention of customers.
- Plan out details of when your business will be open, hours of operation and where it will be (if known).
2. Determine a budget for startup costs
This will largely depend on the cost of real estate in your area and what service and items you plan to offer.
3. Purchase any necessary equipment for your store
You will need software sales and security system with cameras and alarms, a cash register, shelves, and POS machine. A good software system would really help your business especially with inventory, tracking sales, profits even losses. A good software sales system will even help manage employees so your risk with theft is reduced.
4. Establish relationships with suppliers
You'll need wholesalers to supply you with the goods you will sell, which include food and drink items, cigarettes, alcohol, paper and household goods. You'll have to source where you can get the best priced items so with your mark up your prices don’t scare away customers.
5. Stock the store accordingly.
Lay out your store shelves, and stock them with items. Use a method that will make ordering and restocking easy.
6. Get Insurance
We Nigerians would typically insure our homes, cars and businesses with the blood of Jesus or any faith we uphold. Get insurance against theft, fire etc up to the value of goods and equipment you have purchased.
7. Hire employees.
You need trustworthy employees in this business as you could stand to lose both money and merchandise. Be thorough in your interview.
Consider doing a grand opening with banners and special deals to attract customers.
An alternative to starting your own store would be to buy a convenience store that is already up and running. Much of the process would be the same except the store would be transferred from the current owner to you.