20-08-2017 09:57 PM - edited 20-08-2017 10:17 PM
When trying to gain support as well as funding to help a business grow, what if those looking at the business don't have an interest in your idea?
Pop Culture/Collectibles is one of the biggest businesses in the world and through all the manufactures and suppliers available, there are over 100,000+ products available!
What if I wanted to scale the business from an online store to several brick and mortar stores across the country, which is of course far too much for me to take on by myself.
How could I impress anyone in backing the business, like #RichardBranson to support the business considering there is only one main competitor in the UK and several smaller retailers, some of which only provide limited availability on products and lines.
I imagine a megastore in each city providing everything in one place but this is too much for my brain to contain and would love to know who could really help!
Dragons Den perhaps?
It seems that many new businesses that get a lot of support are those with new inventions, new food and drink, restaurants, apps but what about good old fashion retail that can provide unique products from across the globe!
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on 21-08-2017 11:41 AM
@SteveFromLondonI feel the same about offering professional service rather than having a product.
My advice would be to test the market, who's your customer? where are they based? where are your competitors? What way can you test what store would be beneficial to prove there is a gap in the market, i.e. survey monkey asking questions? talking to existing customers? Also what % is your competition online sales compared to instore?
Lots of research I believe is needed to validate your ideas which would then add to your credibility for backing.
on 23-08-2017 05:19 PM
The idea needs to be solid. As does the execution. I'll talk about both in turn.
The problem with 'good old fashioned retail' is that it is just that. The state of brick and mortar retail isn't exactly ideal for new entrants. There's certainly room for innovation and new concepts in that field, but only with an online presence as well. If you're running as an online store then the first step would to be to nail that. I think an investor would want to see that, especially as online is where the growth is. I know plenty of people with high street stores. It's incredibly tough. Having a decent online presence helps them and allows them to grow sales much more quickly and effectively.
You really need to do some research into the market. A store just selling pop culture collectibles is a bit of a narrow field. A chain of them is quite an undertaking. You use the word 'megastore'. In each city? Forgive me, but my gut instinct is a huge 'no'. Feel free to prove me wrong, but that of course is where the art of detailed research comes in. Maybe there isn't much competition for a reason? Maybe the conecpt needs to be more than just that?
An idea of a shop that sells things isn't remarkable. The fact that there are over 100,000+ products available isn't a good excuse to do this. Maybe that's great for Amazon that don't actually handle the goods. For a small business owner to mention that, an investor will have alarm bells going off all over the place. I previously wrote a post about consolidation of product lines - offering loads and loads of different lines just doesn't work.
The next bit is where the execution comes in. I'd do research into the concept of the store. Yes you sell things, but what will get people in the store rather than looking online? Can you offer services? Can you create a cool environment where people would like to hang out? Could you hold events/screenings? Could you sell great coffee too? Of course it has to be relevant to your market, but those are all things that some brick and mortar stores that I know do, and they're better off for it.
In such a harsh environment being average won't do. So I would suggest that the main takeaways are:
- Do a lot of research and get a plan down. You won't impress anyone without that. If you're intimdated by the scale of things then do what you can, outline the vision and that may be enough to get someone with more experience to look at it and advise on the next steps.
- Realise that retail is tough, and there is a reason why other business concepts get more of a fanfare.
- But also realise that there is still room for brick and mortar retail when done really well. Execution is so, so key.