How to Open a Grocery Store

To learn how to open a grocery store, you need to understand the role of grocery stores in society. Grocery stores are an integral member of suburban communities. Instead of farming the land or bartering directly with farmers and food manufacturers, most consumers turn to grocery stores. If you are looking to open your own grocery store, you must make sure you are answering a need in the community. If the community is over-saturated with grocery stores, your fledging business may not survive. However, if you follow the steps below, you may be building your own success story.

Scout The Right Location
You may have heard it before: Location is everything! When it comes to any type of retail store, location becomes the most important component to your future success or failure. Grocery stores thrive in suburban areas. Your grocery store should be located near or within a neighborhood. Convenience is often more important than prices, because only a few consumers will want to drive miles out of the way to a grocery store, especially if you factor in gas prices.

You will need to perform a market study to decide on the most appropriate location for your store. Instead of doing all the research yourself, you may be able to find a college marketing class willing to do it for free. Contact local college professors with your proposal.

For most looking to open a grocery store, it would be best to lease a pre-existent building. Find a location with high visibility, preferably near a popular area. 

Create A Plan And Secure Capital
Any successful business has a plan. Creating a business plan will help define your ultimate goals and how you will reach them. It will also clearly define your business to potential investors or banks where you may obtain a small business loan. A business plan should include an executive summary, a business description and goal, a definition of the market and a description of products and services. Your business plan should also describe how your business will be organized, managed and marketed. 

You will also need money to start up your business. Your start-up money will go to a building lease (if you are leasing a pre-existent building), purchasing furniture and products for your store, paying employees, utility bills and sales and marketing costs. Many new groceries fail within the first year due to lack of proper funding and a failure in grocery store advertising, so you need to be willing to spend to attract customers.

Find The Best Vendors
Understanding your market will help you determine what products to buy and sell in your store. Does your target market want average American fare, gourmet cuisine, healthy options or ethnic foods? Let your market study guide you in understanding the particular need in your desired location. You will then need to contact the manufacturers. Inquire about their most popular items, and invest in those products initially. Your customers will eventually inform you about the most requested products for your community.

Pay Attention To Customer Service
Although location and products may initially bring in people, a dedication to customer service will make your grocery store successful. Never neglect to pay attention to your customer's needs or problems. Train your employees in how to react to various scenarios, and encourage customer feedback so you can demonstrate an interest in the customer.

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