Nearly every corner in the country has some sort of smaller convenience store. These stores help to fill the gaps in a shopping trip or aid travelers who are on their way to other locations. However, starting convenience stores requires knowledge of what people need and where they might need it.
The term convenience store denotes the idea that you are providing convenience to your customers. And the first way that you can address this need is to be in a location that is convenient. You might want to survey your local vicinity to see where people might be aided by the placement of a store. Look at the local businesses as well as traffic patterns in the area. Where are most people driving and where might you be able to place your business. And while you want to be in the most popular areas, realize that these areas can also be troublesome in terms of traffic and parking. Think of your business as though you were visiting it – where would you actually stop?
Places near highways and main roads tend to have the most success. This is because more people are driving in these areas and will generally need to stop at some point or another. You might also want to set up a small gas station as a part of your convenience store to really get your profits up – though with gas prices, this might not be the best move at this time.
The next step is to determine the kinds of products that you will sell. You want to sell basic goods that everyone uses. Things like staples – milk, bread, some medications – are always going to be necessary for people. If you’re in a large tourist area, you might also want to provide maps and small souvenirs. A large variety of beverages and snack foods will also be helpful, as well as hot coffee and tea.
You will also want to carry items that people might need at the last minute. Things like ice and cold cases of beverages come in handy when someone is having a last minute gathering. You might also want to carry things for automobile repair – oil and fuses, for example. Windshield wiper fluid and scrapers are also good items for colder climates. Batteries and camera film are also good items to carry.
Pricing is a large part of whether or not your convenience store will be successful as well. You will want to price your items slightly higher if you’re in a location where people do not have a choice for another retailer, but not so high that people will not pay the prices. Try to mark up more than you would if you were at a regular supermarket, but still slightly lower than the local gas stations and merchants.
You are offering convenience to customers that can’t find another retailer, so try to think of the things that you have run out for at the last minute. It’s think kind of thinking and planning that will make you a success.
Copyright 2006 Jorge Olson