Guide: How to Start a Natural Goods Store

Are you looking into starting your own natural goods store? Are you personally interested in natural goods yourself, or just interested in starting a business in this growing market? Opening up a natural goods store can show great returns, and is a great business opportunity.

Opening up a natural goods store can become a difficult process as you need the proper knowledge and tools to really make a successful one. In this guide, you’ll learn what to research, prepare, and how to really open your business.

Prior Research

In order to start your shop, you’ll need a solid plan. In this plan, you have to lay out various strategies like operation costs, marketing, and product pricing. Additionally researching a company goal will help you work towards a specific path and reach a desired outcome. Some factors that you should look into include:

  • Target market
  • Industry standards
  • Competitor pricing
  • Cost and expenses
  • Local and big box competition

Creating a Financial Plan

The next step is to start putting your research into action, a financial plan is essential to finding success in any business. By creating a financial plan you factor in all the costs of opening and running your natural goods store.

Here is what you should consider in your financial plan:

  • Calculating start-up cost: The startup cost will be one of the most costly expenses for your business, and it can include things like rent or mortgage, inventory, store furniture and layout, employee salaries, technology and security, utilities, and marketing. These are just to list a few as there are more specific factors.
  • How will you fund your store: Funding your business will be one of the very first items to secure, and you’ll have to find some way to get these funds. It can either be from your personal savings, business loans, and possibly from investors.
  • Develop a cash flow, profit and loss projection: By predicting your incoming revenue and outgoing expenses it will help you better understand the store's profitability. Additionally, maintaining a profit and loss statement can ensure you are on track or can adjust projections.

The financial plan is not a one and done, it is a process that follows the success of your business, you will have to continue to reevaluate and adjust to find success with your business. The foundation of the financial plan is essential which is why we are advocating it as a first step in opening your business. Seeking an accountant or financial business advisor may be another option if you need support.

Find the Right Location

The success of your business hinges on the strategic choice of location. It is crucial to find a place with a perfect balance between high foot traffic and minimal competition. For example, consider setting up your natural goods in a busy downtown area, where many people pass by daily, but ensure that there are no other natural goods stores in close proximity. Visibility and accessibility are key factors that must not be overlooked when selecting the right location. An ideal spot would be a storefront on a main street with ample parking nearby, attracting both pedestrians and motorists. Aim to secure an area that offers both a cost-effective solution and a steady flow of potential customers. As an illustration, look for upcoming neighbourhoods or commercial districts with lower leasing costs but the potential for growth.

Pro Tip: If your customers are looking for natural goods, it is highly likely they’re also invested in physical health. Consider a location near to a fitness center, yoga studio, or massage and wellness spa. By carefully considering these factors and using examples like these, you can position your business for optimal growth and success.

Taking Care of The Business

Before getting into launching the business, there are some more considerations and ensuring that you have these covers will give your business that extra support.

Register Your Business

Consider what type of business structure your store will be. The options include being a sole proprietor, a partnership, or an LLC. Each business structure has its own pros and cons. They all can affect your taxes and day-to-day operations. There is also license and permits that may vary depending on your store that you will need to obtain.

When you do decide you must register your business, secure legal documents that will allow you to hire employees, open bank accounts, and pay taxes. If you are looking to learn more about taxes look into this blog featuring tax preparations.

Opening a Business Bank Account

Find a bank that is suitable for your business and open a business checking account. Never use your personal account for your business. Separating your business account and personal account can prevent any disorganization and ensure nothing gets mixed up. You should also consider opening a merchant account for credit card processing, having the ability to accept card and debit can boost sales in today’s increasingly cashless society.

Pro tip: The right natural goods store POS system can take care of credit card processing for you—one less thing to worry about! Furthermore to enhance your store's efficiency and ensure your finances are organized invest in a robust bookkeeping system, this is where you track all your financial transactions. This will all play a major role in taxes, financial planning, and recording profits.

Business Insurance

Insurance is another essential when running a business, protecting your store if any accidents or errors occur, and protecting your assets if anything were to go wrong. Some insurance policies that you should consider are:

  • Liability insurance
  • Business owner policy
  • Crime insurance
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Worker’s compensation insurance
  • Employment practices liability insurance

These are just a few of the insurances you can consider, but if you are looking for more exhaustive, industry-specific list further research will need to be conducted.

Choosing Your Point of Sale

Think of the POS system as your control center, it helps you operate your business smoothly, and efficiently. Choosing a POS system that is tailored to your store can drive further sales with ease.

A specialized POS system can cater to the unique nature of a natural goods store. An example of this is the products that your store may hold. Natural goods stores contain products that have expiration dates and a POS system that is capable of tracking these expiration dates can reduce the hassle of manually tracking it, ultimately reducing errors and increasing efficiency.

Some features that you should ensure that your POS system has is:

  • Real-time inventory tracking: Keep tabs on stock levels and set automated reminders for reordering products, ensuring you never run out of popular items or end up with excessive stock.
  • Expiry tracking: Safeguard your profits by preventing product spoilage. Implement an expiry tracking feature that alerts you in advance, ensuring you can sell products before expiration.
  • Convenient product subscriptions: Convert one-time shoppers into loyal, recurring customers by offering product subscriptions. Simplify the process of purchasing product refills by setting up a "subscribe and save" option.
  • Omnichannel selling with a unified product catalog: Seamlessly sell across multiple channels, such as e-commerce and in-store, by integrating all your products into a single catalog. This ensures consistent inventory management and synchronization across all sales channels.

Creating a Marketing Strategy

Even if your natural goods store is ready for the public, how can you reach your audience and let the people know that your store exists? By having an effective marketing strategy, you can define your brand and who you are as a store. Ultimately answering the question of why your potential customers choose your store.

Next is to find a platform to post your marketing, this can be traditional advertising like posters, mailers, and promotions. But some more modern strategies include social media and digital advertising. This is a great place to start as it is very cost-effective and can be done easily with limited tools.

If you are interested in learning more about marketing strategies check out one of our blogs featuring great ways to market your store.

Grand Opening

Last but not least it’s time for the grand opening. Introduce your natural goods store with excitement and offer some promotions to get your business started. By doing this you create a lot of buzz and can leave a lasting first impression on potential customers.

Try to establish your store as a go-to place for their natural goods needs and solidify your store into the community. By doing this you gain the trust of your customers and turn these customers into loyal repeat shoppers. Lastly, listen to your customer’s feedback. When customers offer feedback these can be great ways to improve your store and adjust to the customer standards.

Looking to get grand opening ready? Ensure the operation and management hub of your store is top notch by investing in the only made for natural goods store POS system: VitaHealth POS. Schedule a demo to get a guided tour of our system and speak with a retail expert prior to opening.

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