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6 Surprising Things About Running a Retail Business

Running a Retail Business

Many people choose to start retail businesses to help fulfill their dreams of becoming successful entrepreneurs and to help them earn a substantial income. However, despite the fact that many people take the dive into running a retail business, a large percentage of these people do not know exactly how to do it, and they do not fully understand the retail industry. Here are 6 surprising things about running a retail business. Knowing these things can help you be more prepared for your retail business endeavor.

1. Social media has become extremely important for retailers

In the past ten years, social media has gone from a quirky way for people to connect with their friends to a major avenue through which retailers communicate with their customers. Social media has become so important for retailers that 75 percent of retailers now have social media accounts. This is extremely important, and it means that if you want to keep up with other retailers while you are running your business, you too, should have a social media presence for your store.

2. You will most likely have many competitors

In America, roughly 538,000 small businesses get started every single month. This means that no matter which state you start your retail business in, or which products you will sell, there is a very good chance that you will have at least some competitors. Most likely, you will have many competitors, unless the products that you sell are very obscure.

3. E-commerce is growing steadily

Although brick and mortar sales still account for the vast majority of all retail revenue, online and mobile sales are steadily growing. In fact, for the year 2017, it is estimated that 76.5 percent of retail sales will come through stores, while 14.6 percent will come from online, and 6.5 percent through mobile. This means that if you do not already have an excellent ecommerce and mobile site for your retail store, then you should strongly consider investing in them. If not, you could risk losing ground to your competitors.

4. The name of your store need to be chosen carefully

If you have never run your own store before, then you may not be aware of how important a good name can be. However, choosing a good store name is of the highest significance when you are starting a retail business. This is because you need to first make sure that no one else in your state has the same name to prevent being sued, and you need to also make sure that your store name conveys what you sell to your customers. If your store name is too vague or confusing, then your customers may simply choose to ignore it rather than to investigate to see what you actually sell. So, choose your store name very wisely for your retail store.

5. Many retail employees steal from their employers

Employee dishonesty can be a major threat to the success of your business. In fact, one source reports that as many as 75 percent of all retail employees participate in at least some degree of theft from the retail store that they work at. If you have never heard statistics like this before, then you may find this shocking. Because of the high amounts of employee theft that occurs in the industry, you should take precautions to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you. For example, you can install security cameras in your stores to monitor both customers and employees.

6. You will have to file for an EIN

An EIN is an employer identification number. These numbers are used by the government to keep track of business entities for tax purposes. If you are planning on starting your own retail store, then you will need to get one of these to operate legally within your state. However, this only applies if you will have employees in your store. If you will be running the entire business yourself, then you will most likely not be required to obtain an EIN.


Running a retail business can be a great adventure and can be rewarding both emotionally and financially if it is done correctly. However, if it is not done correctly, then it can be very stressful. Knowing the surprising things about running a retail store that are mentioned in this blog can help you to prevent being too naïve when you start your retail store. This can save you a lot of time and money as you try to figure out how exactly to run your store to get the most out of it.

When you open your store, hopefully you will not have to deal with things like employee dishonesty or fierce competition, or being sued over the name of your store. However, if you do, then at least you know that these are things to watch out for now.

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