The Simply Business guide to starting a retail business

Retail is a changing landscape, with many shops now setting up online rather than on the high street, and digital marketing critical for every business. But the fundamentals are still the same.

When you’re preparing to launch your shop you need a solid business plan, enough start-up capital, and a strategy for getting customers through the door or to your site. Here are some top tips in our guide to starting a retail business.

Start small

Rather than ploughing lots of money into your business from the outset, test your idea first. You could start by selling a few products on eBay or Etsy, or open a pop-up shop for a short period. If things go well, you can always expand your business.

Investigate funding options

Begging for bank loans or plundering your savings aren’t your only money-raising options. Look into government funding on the website, or try the European Small Business Portal for EU grants. You could even consider using a crowdfunding website or seeking an angel investor.

Get the right cover

Whether you’re setting up on the high street or solely online, shop insurance is a good idea. Your core cover is likely to be public liability and/or product liability, which protects you against compensation claims from a member of the public for injury or damage caused by your business. You can add other covers to your policy too, including employers’ liability and stock cover.

Tell your story

When you’re launching, put together a snappy press release to send to local papers. Think of a good journalistic angle: is there a story to tell about the type of products you’re selling, your business premises, or your own journey to setting up your shop? Include a couple of good photos too.

For lots more advice on setting up shop, download our guide to starting a retail business below.

The Simply Business guide to insurance for retail buinesses

Here are our top tips for starting a successful shop in a handy PDF guide.

Download guide