Taking your home-grown business to the high street
Some people who start a home business want to keep things small and simple. Often, for personal reasons, they want to be able to continue to work from home.
But the majority of business owners do want to take things to the next level. To see how far they can take their company. Partly because of the satisfaction of doing so, or to get their business to the point where they can employ other members of the family.
They also know that selling a high street business is much easier than selling one that is run from home. The higher the turnover, the higher the annual profits and the higher the sale price will be. With multiples of between two and 10 times Adjusted Net Profit (ANP) the difference in the ultimate price an owner gets when they sell can easily run into tens of thousands.
This short guide will help you to get moving from running your business from your home to trading on the high street right.
Set a budget
Don´t get carried away. Make sure that you do not inadvertently end up committing yourself to leasing premises that are too expensive for you. Work out how much you can afford to pay and stick to that budget.
Assess your cash flow to ensure you are never late paying the rent
Think about cash flow when you do this. Bear in mind that you are still going to have to find the money to pay the rent, rates, and many other overheads even during quiet times. If you have a seasonal business, this can be a big problem. You don’t want to get a couple of months behind on the rent and find yourself having goods taken or being evicted.
Make sure you have some contingency cash available
Always, have some cash reserves or a means of borrowing cheaply available to you. No matter how well you plan, inevitably, something will be missed or go wrong during the move.
Investigate the pros and cons of buying premises
Most businesses start by leasing their first shop, workshop, clinic, or salon. In many cases, this is the best approach. However, it is still important that you at least consider the idea of buying your premises outright. This short guide will help you.
When you look for premises, make sure they are in the right location. It needs to be somewhere that is easily accessible, with good parking nearby. You want it to be in an area that the kind of people you serve are likely to go. This will ensure potential customers will find you. There are other location-related factors to take into account, details of which you can find in this comprehensive article.
Make sure there is room to expand
Moving business premises is expensive, time-consuming, and very disruptive for both you and your customers. So, you want to do your best to avoid doing it too often. Making sure that you have room to expand is one way to do that.
Strengthen your brand
You are going to be relying heavily on your brand to stand out from competitors and ensure that you are memorable. The stronger your branding is the better. But try not to change it so much that your existing customers will find it confusing.
Be mindful of the needs of your existing customers
You need to take your existing customers with you on your journey of success. People struggle with change, so be mindful of this and do what you can to reassure them and keep things feeling familiar.
Create attractive and practical business premises
When you set your budget, ensure that you allocate enough cash to decorate and set up your business premises properly. You want to create a pleasant ambiance and have the equipment you need to be able to do a good job. That includes things like digital signage screens or multiscreen digital signage set up.
Digital signs for nail salons and other types of service and retail businesses are an invaluable resource. They are an excellent way to share promotions, price lists, and far more. The fact that the business owner decides what to display, and when, means that they are an incredibly flexible and effective marketing tool.
Launch your new business with a bang
How you launch your business is incredibly important. Prepare some advertising copy, a press release, and some striking images, well in advance of your opening. You won´t have time to do it while you are working to put your new store or salon together. So, prepare your advertising pack well ahead of time. A few weeks before your opening start to talk about it on social media and advertise it. This guide explains how to market a new high street business.
The above is an overview of some of the more important things you need to do when opening on the high street. Take your time, read the guides mentioned in this article and speak to other business owners who have successfully made the move to gain a deeper understanding.
Photo by Charlie Green