Despite the enormous impact of multi-retailers and the Internet on traditional niche retailers, I still believe that the high street offers great potential for the shrewd entrepreneur with a keen eye for niche products.
However, you need to be prepared for what will inevitably be a relatively long slog. If our experience with the Dutch Bike Shop brand is anything to go by (and I’ve no reason to believe we were any different to any other successful high street retailer) you will be looking at at least three years of effort before you see any worthwhile return on your investment.
So how do you survive these three years?
Let’s look at some of the ways you can improve your chances of surviving your first shop and going on to build a solid, successful retail business.
To begin with, your objectives, written or otherwise, must include all of the following key tasks below:
- Whatever it is you are selling it must be attractive enough for potential customers to want to buy it from your business.
- You must allow yourself sufficient time to establish your niche retail business.
- You must have either sufficient working capital or access to further funds or credit should the need arise.
- You have to be prepared for the tough slog ahead and to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to ensure that your shop establishes itself in the fastest possible time.
Let’s take a closer look at each one of these key objectives.