How to Start or Buy a Retail Business, Enjoy Running It and Make Money

The Chances Of Success Are Much Greater Than The Statistics Show

by Gordon Woolf

Many people who would like to launch themselves into small businesses are unnecessarily intimidated by figures which quote failure rates as high as 90 per cent within five years.

The chances of success are much higher than the statistics show, according to marketing consultant Geoffrey Heard who is my co-author of a book on succeeding in retail business.

As entrepreneur and adventurer Dick Smith, who made his initial fortune from a retail store, points out, when people have their own money on the line, they'll work very hard to protect it. And don;t spend it before you make it -- he was in business a long time before he could buy his own helicopter to fly from pole to pole.

Dick adds that when people have their own money on the line, they'll work harder to protect it and they also do something which very few large companies do: they talk to staff and customers "who will soon tell you what your strengths and weaknesses are".

Geoffrey Heard says the 90 per cent failure rate so often talked about applies to start-ups only, not people taking over existing businesses and it really means "businesses not still in business".

No account is taken of people who go out of business for a variety of reasons such as those who use a start-up to gain regular employment in larger businesses, some who decide to run a small business for a few years before retirement, and others who start a part-time business just to test the waters.

I would add that starting in business and closing for any reason with all your bills paid, all commitments met, and with the satisfaction of having tried what you wanted to try, is not failure.

By taking some elementary steps you can avoid the common traps new entrepreneurs fall into and change the odds in your favor.

People can still be successful in small retail businesses despite the encroachments of the big corporations into virtually every field.

Dick Smith points out that small retailers can achieve much by making customers feel special; customers will then want to come back. They can also do something which very few large companies do: talk to staff and customers "who will soon tell you what your strengths and weaknesses are" and respond quickly to customers' needs.

Top retailer Gerry Harvey urges young people to consider a career in retail. He has been quoted as saying "People have traditionally said to their kids 'don't go and work in a shop'." His response is: "you're wrong" adding that kids "should work in a shop because there is more opportunity there" than in many high status professions such as medicine or the law.

Work in retail for a while, then start on your own. You have a much greater chance of success than in most other fields.



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About the Author

Gordon Woolf started working on market stalls and in retail shops before he left school. He went on to a career in newspapers and magazines but detoured back into retail several times and says that's where he really achieved success. He now owns a book publishing company and recently co-authored a book "Success in Store: How to Start or Buy a Retail Business, Enjoy Running It and Make Money". Details are at http://www.worsleypress.com/successinstore



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