How to Start a Mom & Pop Store

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Before starting the store, have an idea of what services or products you plan to sell.
Before starting the store, have an idea of what services or products you plan to sell. (Image: Heritage Barber Shop & Grocery Shop image by spi4u2 from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Before seeking out funds for your store, it's beneficial to think about the needs of consumers in your community and where you want the store to be located. If you're doing research on local consumers' needs and find out that there are a few affordable supermarkets that are lacking in the city's low-income neighborhoods, consider opening this type of store. Also examine if you have the time, commitment and support necessary to start and maintain the business because the first few years can be difficult for new business owners.

Develop unique ideas for your store. For example, if you know that there are a lot of clothing stores in your neighborhood, do something different and open a store where customers can purchase vintage toys and games for their children. Talk to relatives, friends and neighbors to gain insight and ideas. Read local business magazines to get an idea of what consumers are currently seeking.

Research your product and target market. If you plan to open a wholesale restaurant supply store, read food service trade magazines, such as Food Business News, Food Manufacturing and FoodService Director, to get the latest information in the food service industry. Speak with local restaurant owners or head chefs and ask what they look for in a restaurant supply store.

Create a well-researched business plan. Discuss your target audience, your mission for the store, your research on the industry that your business represents, the amount of funding you'll need, your future goals and any experience that prepared you to own a store. If you worked as a college professor, mention how that job prepared you to open a college textbook store.

Promote your store. If you're opening a plus-sized men's clothing store, create flyers that describe your business and include your contact information as well as the store's address. Take the flyers to local radio stations, supermarkets, hardware stores, churches, local retail trade shows, campus events and local fashion shows. Contact your public access television station and offer to do an interview on a program. Ask male relatives or friends to model some of the clothes on the program.

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