Brick-and-Mortar Startup Costs: 8 Important Line Items
Picture your small business’ grand opening.
Customers are lined up outside your doors, and your attractive storefront invites them to come in and take a look around. Your displays highlight your excellent selection of the highest-quality items, all arranged neatly on your shelves. Your sales floor and checkout counters are staffed by friendly faces, ready to guide your shoppers on their journey through your store.
Making this dream a reality and launching a new brick-and-mortar store is an exciting and rewarding endeavor, but it takes careful planning, hard work, and a significant financial investment.
To help you put your best foot forward on your small business journey, we’ve created this list of the eight most common brick-and-mortar startup costs.
1. Brick-and-Mortar Location Costs
One of the first brick-and-mortar startup costs that you’ll need to calculate is your location. Your small business’ success depends on you choosing the right space that’s accessible to your potential customers and that can be transformed into a pleasant shopping environment.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the more specific costs associated with securing the perfect location.
Purchasing or Leasing a Location
One of the most significant expenses for a brick-and-mortar business is the cost associated with leasing or purchasing a physical store.
These costs can vary depending on the location, size, and condition of the space. For example, a small storefront in an urban area with high foot traffic might be more expensive than a larger but less accessible space.
When calculating your brick-and-mortar startup costs, don’t forget to budget for one-time line items like security deposits and down payments alongside the monthly rent or mortgage.
Unless you're lucky enough to find a space that's already perfect for your needs, you'll likely need to invest in renovations.
Creating a clean, welcoming environment for your shoppers is essential for keeping your sales and customer satisfaction high. Make sure your space has pleasant lighting, appropriate decor, and an easy-to-navigate layout.
Whether your space simply needs some cosmetic updates or a complete overhaul, make sure to include these items in your brick-and-mortar startup cost analysis.
Shelving and Signage
Now that your space is a blank canvas, it’s time to get it retail-ready! Some essentials to account for as you estimate your brick-and-mortar startup costs include:
- Shelving units
- Clothing racks
- Display cases
- Checkout counters
- Shopping baskets and carts
Your equipment needs will depend on your store’s niche, so set aside some time to draft a list of other potential items that you might need.
2. Brick-and-Mortar Business Essentials
Now that your space is ready for retail action, it’s time to budget for some other critical line items in your brick-and-mortar startup cost analysis.
Licenses, Permits, and Insurance
Before your grand opening, you’ll need to secure all the required licenses, permits, and insurance.
Licenses and permits give your store the green light to operate, and staying compliant with the relevant regulations will protect your small business from any fines or penalties. Make sure to research your state and city’s guidelines regarding business permits, and start the process early to avoid any delays.
Insurance is your business’ safety net, guarding against unexpected circumstances and giving you peace of mind. Spend some time learning about all the different types of business insurance, determining your needs, and searching for the right policies.
A Point of Sale System
The next major line item in your brick-and-mortar startup cost analysis is your store’s point of sale (POS) system. A POS system is a vital business tool that processes all of your sales, tracks your stock levels, manages your customer loyalty program, and provides you with insightful sales reports.
Choose a POS system that can grow with your business and help you attract more customers, streamline your operations, and make more sales. Here are a few essential features to shop for as you evaluate POS solutions:
- Real-time inventory tracking
- Customizable touchscreen and button layout
- Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
- Built-in customer loyalty program
- Support for multiple payment methods
- Detailed reporting and analytics
3. Getting Ready for Your Grand Opening
The big day is almost here! It’s time to start budgeting for the brick-and-mortar startup costs associated with your grand opening. Let’s dive into some specifics.
Stocking your store for the first time is a significant expense. You’ll need to choose the highest quality items in an adequate variety of sizes and colors, and source quotes from several different vendors to get the best deal on your inventory.
To make the most of your investment, you need to establish an excellent inventory management strategy. Our recommendation is to rely on your POS system to keep track of every single item in your store.
With this tool, you’ll be able to access an accurate overview of your stock levels at any time, make adjustments to your inventory on the fly, and get detailed reports on your best and least-selling items.
Your employees will be the face of your small business, and a great team is an essential part of your brick-and-mortar startup costs.
Depending on the size of your store and your expected foot traffic, you’ll want to hire at least a few cashiers, stockers, and possibly a manager to keep your operations running smoothly when you’re not able to be there.
Along with providing competitive pay and benefits to your team, you’ll also need to invest time in training them on how to provide top-notch customer service, how to use your store’s POS system, and the products you carry.
Marketing is crucial for a successful small business launch.
In your brick-and-mortar startup calculations, you’ll need to include costs for your grand opening and ongoing marketing expenses.
For example, if you’re planning a celebration for your first day of business, you might need to budget for a special banner, balloon arch, or special gifts for your first customers.
Keeping the momentum going with paid advertising and social media campaigns after your grand opening is also essential. After you’ve developed a marketing strategy that’s tailored to your store’s unique offerings and your target customer base, research the associated costs with your planned campaigns and include them in your startup cost analysis.
Crush Your Brick-and-Mortar Goals With Comcash
Congratulations! Now you’ve calculated your brick-and-mortar startup costs, and you’re ready to get to work to make your small business dreams come true.
Launching a brick-and-mortar business can seem like a daunting task, but we’ll be here to help you every step of the way. Comcash has all the tools you need to start your store off on the right foot, including robust inventory management features, a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) tool, advanced reporting and analytics, and more.