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How-To Guide | Opening a shop: some savvy secrets

Open sign on shop door

Many of us dream of opening our own shop. Our vision can be vivid, with the colours, signage, merchandise and typical clientele fully formed in the mind’s eye… where it forever remains, idealised but unrealised. If you’re one of the courageous few with the determination to bring your ambition to fruition, read on for some pointers we hope you’ll find useful.

Savvy secret no. 1: have a business plan

Although sometimes dismissed by creatives as unnecessary or too boring to bother with, a business plan is your best friend (not your foe). It anchors and supports you and helps your entrepreneurial dreams take flight. Here are some reasons why you’ll be so glad you made a business plan:

  • It’s a great communication tool to use for bouncing ideas around with mentors or colleagues.
  • It helps you and others identify potential flaws or spot opportunities you may have missed.
  • It helps you work towards your goal in incremental steps so you can start with what you can realistically do now and build on that.
  • Seeing everything in one document helps make your vision more tangible and boosts your confidence.
  • Seeing the relationship between your profit margin, your markets, your potential wage, your five-year forecast etc., helps you see how everything works together.
  • It helps you stay focused and steer a steady course when your business journey gets bumpy.
  • If you want to apply for grants or funding further down the line, a business plan will be essential.