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What You Need to Know to Start a Retail Business

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If you are considering starting a retail business, no doubt you’ve heard the warnings that retail is a dying industry. But the numbers, and individual success stories, say otherwise.

The National Retail Federation forecasts that retail sales will grow between 4% and 6% in 2023. And while online commerce and non-stores sales are a big and growing part of that, a whopping 70% of retail sales still occur in brick-and-mortar stores.

So, how do you grab a slice of that retail growth?

At StartupNation’s Start Here. Start Now, our mission is to help entrepreneurs move from thinking about starting a business to doing it. For those with retail ambitions, StartupNation and our partners at Main Street Nation offer insights and guidance to help you start now, start right and grow fast.

For example, did you know that a small but critical step a retailer like you can take to prove your product is credible is to obtain authentic UPC barcodes that link your product with your company?

Our article on the topic, one of more than 7,000 such articles in our content library, explains that “some barcode sellers may promise cheap and quick access to UPCs, but many startups have found those barcodes may have been used before, or they may identify the product as coming from another company.”

We help entrepreneurs navigate the product identification process by talking with four small brands that offer advice for barcoding. And we share how the system behind the barcode has benefits beyond just checking off an item on a retailer to-do list.

Of course, adopting the right tactics on barcodes is but one small step in the long journey toward retail success. At StartupNation, you will find practical, actionable information and guidance on all points of that journey.


What Are You Waiting For? Start Here. Start Now.


For example:

  • The importance of identifying and targeting a specific market:  It’s essential to understand your target audience, their preferences, and their buying habits. Knowing your target audiences will help you tailor your product offerings, marketing efforts, and customer service to meet their needs and preferences.
  • Using technology to your advantage: Stay ahead of the competition and make your business more efficient by using technology like artificial intelligence. AI and machine learning can help you streamline your operations, improve the customer experience, and make informed decisions based on data.
  • Adapt and be flexible: Retail businesses are constantly evolving, so you need to be able to pivot your strategy, product offerings, or marketing efforts based on customer feedback, industry trends, or external factors such as a pandemic. 

These topics only scratch the surface of what you need to know to be successful in a competitive retail industry. But success is in reach, with the right approach.

“In just the last three years, the retail industry has experienced growth that would normally take almost a decade by pre-pandemic standards,” National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “While we expect growth to moderate in the year ahead, it will remain positive as retail sales stabilize to more historical levels.”

For more practical help that will get you from just starting out to actually making it, join our community of entrepreneurs at Start Here. Start Now.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

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