By: AmyKelly Petruzzella
Retailing is growing and growing fast. The retail sector is enormous – within the United States it includes one million stores and accounts for four trillion dollars in revenue in 2012. As one of the nation's largest sectors, the retail industry provides a wealth of opportunity to people who have the desire to forge their own path to success. The possibilities and opportunities that are associated with opening a retail business make it the backbone of the American economy.
If retail franchising sounds attractive to you, begin by taking a personal inventory. Examine your skills, interests, and financial situation. Do you like to engage with people (both customers and employees) regularly? Are you averse to retail hours (night and weekends)? Be honest with yourself. Also, do you have access to the significant amount of capital that may be required to get started? Can you afford to take on this kind of debt and risk fiscally and emotionally? These are all important questions you'll want to consider. If retail franchising still looks good to you, then proceed to examine and define the brands and concepts that you could see your self being a part of.
KEYS TO SUCCESS:
If you are going to choose a retail franchise concept, one of the keys to a successful retail operation is location. A retail franchise is driven by solid, consistent traffic. Look for locations or territories near you that could support a retail franchise. You'll want some competition, but not too much. You'll also want to choose a retail franchise concept that would fit your market.
One of the biggest differences between a service franchise and a retail franchise is the employee factor. You're going to need them - lots of them - in a retail franchise. This means you'll need to hire, train, retain, and yes, fire employees. HR is a big part of operating a retail franchise concept. Finding and keeping quality employees can be a challenge, but when you do find them, they can make your operation really shine.
Of course, brick and mortar retail locations require building, remodeling, maintenance, and updating from time to time. There's also permits, insurance, and all kinds of regulations to stay on top of.
But if you like to manage actively, work with a variety of people, and can delegate responsibilities, then retail franchising may be perfect for you. And, when you build a great location with high traffic and satisfied customers, you've built a successful business.