If you can’t keep your products on the shelves, have lines out the door, or otherwise can’t keep up with your customer demand, it may be time to open a second storefront. You want to replicate the smashing success of your first store. But, there are a few key things to keep in mind when considering starting a second retail location:
- Have a Clear Objective.
Are you opening this second store to meet existing customer demand? To enter an underserved market? To expand your product line? Before opening a second store, you need to nail down your objective for opening a second location.
- Know Your Audience.
Even if your new store is in the town over from your first one, your customer base is going to be slightly different. Be prepared to carry slightly different products, use different marketing tactics, and even have different hours at your new location to meet the needs of your new customers.
- Plan for Extra Expenses.
Of course, you will need money to invest upfront for your new space, new retail tech and hardware, and plenty of inventory. But, also keep in mind that it will take time for your second location to become profitable. Your first store undoubtedly has excellent profit margins, but it will take months, or even a year for your second store to reach healthy levels. Make sure you have the cashflow onhand to sustain the necessary expenses of your new space.
- Be Ready to Delegate.
It’s likely your first retail store is more like a second home than your job. You’re used to being in control and involved in the everyday details. It will be physically impossible to be in two places at once and involved with every decision when you have two stores. You’re going to have to hire a stellar store manager that you trust to handle one of your businesses.
- Don’t Cannibalize Your First Store.
When choosing a second location, make sure there is enough customer demand and geographic space between locations so that you don’t take away from the profits of your first store. The worst case scenario is having two stores with the same number of total customers and sales as before you opened the second one.
- Test With Temporary Spaces.
Before commiting to a full retail lease, test out different markets with pop-up shops, mall kiosks, and other temporary retail spaces. You can get a tangible feel for the customers and demand of each location.
- Advertise Like Crazy.
In order for your second location to truly take off, you have to advertise it even more than you did for the first one. Start with your current customer base, but spread to local press and social media.
Once you’ve decided to open a second location, start communicating with current, future, and potential customers to start building hype for the grand opening. To have the biggest splash, join your new local Chamber of Commerce, involve your local town government, and partner with other local businesses. Most of all, have fun!