How to select the perfect shop for business

You’ve got a thriving internet business that’s selling more collectible Beanie Babies than Amazon, and you don’t have anywhere to keep your mounting stock, clamouring customers and piles of cash. And, realistically, you didn’t expect to find yourself in this situation. And you’re not alone.

There are plenty of internet business superstars who are stymied by their sudden success, their meteoric rise stopped dead by a lack of knowledge of the real world.

In a lot of ways, the entrepreneurs of the web aren’t equipped for the bear pit of the high street, where only a few years ago a shop was shutting its doors, on average, every minute. When you live in a post-high street world, what’s the use of purchasing a brick-and-mortar shop? After all, you’ve got and Etsy account and a pocketful of dreams.

But without an appropriate place to set up shop, you’ll never be taken seriously as a retailer. So we’ve come up with a few ways for you to overcome your fear of the real world and invest in shops for sale.

Shop for rent

Image: Kevin Dooley

Find the right provider

A lot of estate agents are about as trustworthy as Iago once he’s been passed up for promotion. They’ll bend the truth more than a serial philanderer planning a night out with his mistress and, before you know it, you’re signing on the dotted line for a shop that’s rattier than a homeless hovel.

To prove this point, here’s an illustrative example of a conversation between a dodgy estate agent and a quizzical customer:

Quizzical Customer: So, does the property have central heating?

Dodgy Letting Agent: Well, as you can see, this is a sun-facing property that maintains large levels of solar heat that will radiate the property nicely.

Quizzical Customer: Well, right, maybe, but does it have central heating?

Dodgy Letting Agent: Erm, no, not really.

See that? Slipperier than a snake on an oil slick. But there are agencies you can trust. To find out who you can let handle your purchasing affairs, check plenty of customer review sites before you set your sights on a letting agent. That way, you’ll know who you can rely on.

Know your customers

While the internet gives you a global audience who can order your products from almost anywhere (postage and packaging permitting), a brick and mortar premises has to be situated close to your prospective audience.

If you’ve already got a solid customer base, ask them what they might expect from your physical premises and centre your search around their requests. You’ll be reeling in customers in no time!