How to Open a Convenience Store: Your Questions Answered

Even with more than 153,000 convenience stores across the United States generating about $650 billion in sales in 2018, there is still room in the convenience store retail industry segment for growth. Chains and privately owned operations continue to proliferate into new neighborhoods across the country, vying for their share of a market segment driven by customers’ need for speedy service throughout everyday part and across a diverse product mix. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to get in on the action and want to know how to open a convenience store of your own, consider taking these five steps in your journey towards ownership.

Compile Your Business Plan, Set Your Goals

Whether you’re stepping into the convenience store arena as an independent or buying into an existing franchise, you’ll need to draw up a business plan and secure the required funding. In this process, you’ll also identify and secure a location where your store will be built. It’s vital at this stage that you have a clear understanding of your financial performance requirements in order to meet the needs of franchising costs or the costs of building out your operation on your own. Whichever route you take, you want to make sure the demographics and potential volume of traffic of your chosen location support your vision.

Laying the Foundations

Before you break ground on your store, you’ll have to secure the normal insurance and licensing requirements for business ownership. With the array of products and services you’ll be offering in-store, such as tobacco, alcohol, or lottery products,  there will likely be a number of special permits you’ll need to acquire as well.

Vendor and Supplier Relationships are Crucial to Run a Convenience Store

While this step is a little bit easier if you’re buying into a franchise, you’ll need to identify and secure your relationship with the necessary vendors. You’ll need them in order to secure the equipment and tools necessary to do business, including point of sale hardware as well as the convenience store management software you’ll need to effectively manage inventory, labor, financials, and other business tasks. You’ll also need to establish delivery schedules with product suppliers that support your anticipated flow of business. If you’re going to be including fuel sales as part of your operation, you’ll need to establish a strong organizational plan to support fuel supply and sales tracking.

Staff Up

The people that you bring into your operation to take care of customers are your most important business resource, and it’s vital you take the time early in the process of opening your store to interview, hire, and properly train the right people. Hiring and training the right people from the start can save you time, money, and stress down the road by ensuring you’re supported by employees who understand and can execute your business vision.

Use Store Analytics to Drive the Success of Your Store

With the proper convenience store management software in place from the beginning, you’ll be accumulating retail analytics and data that can help you make key business decisions. This includes being able to make effective inventory management decisions as well as develop strong staffing plans to support your volume of sales. Further, with the right software tools in place, you’ll be able to develop and track effective promotions management plans that support building your sales over time.

How to Open a Convenience Store That is Built for Success

Success Systems understands how important analytics and metrics can be to effective labor and inventory management, as well as the impact effective promotions management can have on your bottom line. Our suite of automation tools and our hardware and software installation and support agreements provide new convenience store owners with versatile and adaptive convenience store management software solutions from the beginning in order to ensure that they’re building their convenience store with future success in mind.