Natural health buffs are great repeat customers and a well-located shop will do well if the shop has competitive pricing and knowledgeable help. These customers will become repeat customers for the store if they are satisfied they are getting good service and fair prices. Many of these customers are very knowledgeable about what they buy and why. Since this is the case, the staff better be very well trained, so they know what they are talking about. These stores can be part of a chain outfit or an individual store. A prospective owner can buy an existing store or open a new one. A store with a good location, fair prices and knowledge about the products will have a chance to do very well.
Your dream is to own a health food store and you are looking into how to make that happen. Two quick ways to get information is use the Internet to see what kind of stores are for sale. Also you would be wise to speak with several business brokers to see what they have available and the current pricing. Franchises are also available in this industry. You can check them out online and contact them direct for more information.
The other way to get into this business is to start a store from scratch. If you are knowledgeable about the business, you can do this by locating a shop space for rent in a high traffic mall and getting your wholesalers lined up. The problem with this idea is you need to have prior knowledge and the ability to get the store up and running with no built in cash flow. This means that you will probably not be able to take any money out of the business for a year or more. An existing shop is usually a better bet for success, as you will have some cash flow from the beginning of your ownership. The base of clients is an important asset to an existing business. Cash flow can make the difference between success and failure of a new owner.
Check out all of your options and study the advantages and negatives. A business broker is a good source for getting information for this analysis. Read the franchise literature also as they are in the business of helping their owners prosper. Any source of information may help you make a better decision for your circumstances.
If you have the cash or the credit line in place then you have resolved some of the new owner problems. If you are short of funds and need help from a current owner or from a business lender it would be wise to let the business broker know the facts up front. These brokers are pros at solving financing problems. Also the current owner of an existing business may be willing to take some of the sale price in paper. They also may be willing to stay a while to help train you and give you some on the job experience. If the two of you are compatible this can be invaluable. A new business from scratch that is not franchise related will require knowledge on your part to pull off successfully. You will have to do every thing yourself and there will be no advisors on the side. This way of breaking into the business may be only for the limited few who really know the business. A person that has worked at another store may be just the candidate for a startup store. Practical experience, ordering knowledge, product information, which is gained from this prior employment, could make the startup easy for such a person.
This business is tricky in one respect; you have to be careful what you say to a customer. Any kind of a medical claim needs to come from a source other than you. Most good shop owners in this business use references to answer customer questions. A statement in a book by an authority will give you legal cover in most instances. Let the customer read for himself or herself and do not offer your opinion even when you are sure of the answer. Leading a customer to a reputable source is good business and keeps you from practicing medicine. The fact that you knew where to find the answer will not be lost on the customer.
Read all of the time for your own knowledge and attend seminars and meetings conducted by experts is a great way to improve your personal knowledge. The more you know, the better you can help your customers.
Your knowledge will also help to gain repeat customers. These customers are critical to the growth of the business. Every customer that becomes a repeat customer almost guarantees growth over the time. Repeat customers are also likely to refer other customers to your business.
The herb, vitamin and health food businesses are a growing industry around the world. People want to stay healthy and are willing to spend their money to make that happen. They know that they can prolong good health if they take care of themselves. It is obvious that this is taking place. Look at the number of people who have quit smoking and are eating food that makes for a healthy diet. Long-term health has become a very serious desire of the population, as it grows older. The Internet is filled with websites promoting good health, as well as TV and magazines. Many of the celebrities have also taken good health to heart and are promoting the merits of it to all who will listen to them.
All of this publicity has made owning a store in this business a profitable business to own. There is a side to the business that comes to the owner that is not measured in money. That is the feeling a person gets by helping someone that needs help.