For many entrepreneurs owning a liquor store can be perfect. Alcoholic beverages are always in demand, regardless of the season, or the economic conditions. This means that there will always be customers and that owning a liquor store can undoubtedly be a profitable business.
Moreover, running a store that sells something that’s in high demand, opens up the opportunity for repeating customers, as consumers tend to find one place that they like and always buy from there.
However, whether you go for a brick-and-mortar store or an online liquor store, there is a lot of work to be done before you can start making a profit. To help you go through the process and start a liquor store that has potential for success, here are some key things you should do.
Create a Business Plan and Follow It
Just like with starting any other type of business, the first thing you should do is create a liquor store business plan, which will help you understand every aspect of this type of business—the market, the possibilities, the risks, etc. More importantly, this document will allow you to better conceptualize your business so that you can start strong, and eventually run a successful store.
Although, technically you can start a business without this document, having it can make a huge difference. It can be the difference between starting strong and turning into a success story in no time and struggling to manage your store, always looking for ways to fix some mistake that could have been avoided.
While working on your business plan, you will essentially create a guide about all the activities you must take. It’s a living document – one that can be edited constantly, as things progress – that will give you a clearer picture of what your business will be like, and after you have started, it will become your guide to grow your business. Finally, a liquor store business plan can help you get funding if you aren’t starting your business with your own money.
Look for Potential Locations
For many businesses across industries, especially those working in retail, a good location can be one of the main reasons why they succeeded or failed. So, unless you decide to start an online liquor store, finding a good location for your business should be a priority.
When you are looking for a potential location, you should take several things into account, such as whether there are many other liquor stores in the area, whether there are any restrictions regarding alcohol sales, the foot traffic, the neighborhood, the accessibility, and so on.
Once you select the area where you want to start your liquor store, you should also think about the space. Whether you are buying, building, or renting a place, you should make sure that it’s suitable for a liquor store. Owning a place is always a better option, since moving to another location will come with a lot of challenges, and may affect your business.
Take Care of the Business’s Legal Aspects
There are several steps you have to take to make a liquor store legal. After you’ve chosen a name for your store, you have to register your business. The steps for this process will depend on your location and on the business structure you choose for your store.
To be legally allowed to work with alcoholic beverages, businesses need certain licenses and permits. The law requirements to get them may differ from state to state but the process always takes time and is never easy. Furthermore, there are different types of licenses and permits, depending on the business you are starting.
Prepare a Financial Plan
The financial plan is crucial for starting a business, whether you are investing your savings or you get a business loan or a partner. The initial investment will include the expenses for the legal requirements, everything you need for the store, including a cash register, any furniture pieces (shelves, counter, chairs, tables, etc.), computers and refrigerators, the lease payment, or the price of the property if you are buying or building the store, and so on.
Also, keep in mind that before starting you will have to invest in the inventory. And your financial plan doesn’t end there. You should also account for the ongoing expenses, including insurance, taxes, rent, and utilities, and make sure that you can cover them at the beginning until your business takes off.
If you want to start a profitable business, a liquor store is a great idea. But to give it a chance to be successful, you must be prepared to do a lot of work. Make sure that you learn everything you can about the industry in advance and follow these tips to start strong.