How Do I Start a Brick and Mortar Business?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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While many people focus attention on starting an Internet-based business today, brick and mortar businesses are still a viable option, especially if there is a strong market for the goods and services offered in the local area. Depending on the type of products you plan on selling and the regulations that apply in the area, the process for starting up a brick and mortar business is fairly straightforward. By starting with a business plan, securing a location, obtaining the necessary permits and registrations and finally stocking the establishment with the goods you wish to sell, your new company can be up and running in very little time.

Before attempting to launch any type of brick and mortar business, it is essential to draft a workable business plan. Many people are somewhat intimidated by this process, but it is important to remember that plans of this type are nothing more than a working document that helps keep you on track. Various elements can be included in a business plan, but for the most part the document will state the purpose and goal of the business and include specific steps that will be used to set up the company and prepare for the opening. Most plans will also include sections that deal with how you plan on making the business profitable over time, making the plan essential not only for keeping you on track but also demonstrating to potential investors that you do know what you are doing.


Once the business plan is established, you need to think about a physical site for your brick and mortar business. Focus on locations that are easily accessible to your type of clientele and likely to attract attention. If you plan on opening a new lunch counter, a downtown location near several office buildings may be viable, since people can easily walk to your establishment. Bookstores that are located near college campuses often do well, while comic book stores may do well if located near schools. The idea is to find a location that makes it easy for customers to notice you and to patronize your business instead of going elsewhere.

Securing the proper business license and other necessary paperwork is also key to opening your brick and mortar business. Check with local municipalities to determine what type of inspections you must pass as well as the operating licenses you must obtain. Keep in mind some will require that your business be incorporated before the license can be purchased. If you plan on serving food of any type, be prepared for an inspection of the kitchen and dining areas of your brick and mortar business. Obtain a breakdown of the qualifications in advance and make sure you comply with all criteria before the actual inspection. This will make it possible to obtain approval and open with a high rating.

Just before the grand opening of your brick and mortar business, stock the operation with all the essentials necessary to the function of the company. For retailers, this means filling the shelves with goods that are likely to sell at a steady pace. In an office environment, make sure there are plenty of supplies, working computers and essential services like telephone and Internet connectivity, allowing you to begin soliciting and processing customer orders at once. The idea is to make sure from the very first day, your brick and mortar business is able to generate revenue and begin to recoup the investment made in the business venture.


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