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Five essentials when starting up in retail

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starting up in retail

Many people looking to go out into business on their own decisions that retail is the thing for them. It is hard to know why retail is so popular because it certainly isn’t easy, but the answer is probably simply because it is a field with which most people are familiar – after all everyone has been to a mall at some point and transacted, be it buying milk or buying clothes. At its heart retail is what all business is about; the simple payment by one person for an item supplied by another. But getting set up is not as easy as you might think. If you are looking to start your own retail adventure, here are five bases that you will need to have covered before you can open your doors and start trading.

Shop frontage

You can’t just find a shop and sign the rental papers. Once you have that covered you need to make sure that the shop is easily identifiable for what it is. A quick Google search for something like ‘signage installation Melbourne’ should be a good way to get started. Make contact and give them your brief. If you are operating in a mall there are going to be plenty of stores, all wanting people to come through their doors and spend money, so you need to ensure that you are locatable, and that people know what you supply.


If you are starting from scratch, then you will need to get the shop kitted out properly. We are talking shelving obviously or storage racks, but also things like flooring and the all-important counter area. You probably need an office area as well and that too will need to be kitted out. There are plenty of excellent shop fitting companies around. Find one and get cracking – it is not much of a retail experience if everything is on the floor and there is nowhere to pay! 

Point of sale

Speaking of places to pay, you need to make sure that you have a proper point of sale system in place. Ideally digital, a good system does complete stock management. It tracks what comes in from suppliers and what goes out, it tracks what you make it each day, it generates reports to let you know what stock is low and what is not moving. A proper system is critical, especially if you are moving large volumes of stock on a daily basis. If you are selling something bigger (let’s say motor cars), then it is probably easier to track.


Stores that carry cash or easy to move merchandise need to have proper security solutions for business installed. You might think that you are living in a low-crime area, but temptation has been an issue for people since the beginning of time and there is no reason to think that you will be exempt. Rather play it safe and have a security system in place. It might be something fancy and electronic or it might just be a person. Whatever you opt for, make sure that there is a plan.


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