Planning a Store Layout to Attract Customers and Drive Business

Once you have finalized the location of your new beading business, the next step is to begin thinking about the layout of your store. If you have chosen to place your store in a rented building, as opposed to basing your business at home, your challenge will be to create a location worth visiting for consumers.

Aisles should be neat and spacious.

Determining the layout for your store is a matter of trial and error, according to All Business. It can be a chore to iron out all of the small details that go into creating a location for a new business, but accepting the challenges with an open mind can make the process easier. Brainstorming is the key to getting it right through a series of bumps along the road.

When creating the layout of your small business, you should focus on four things: making products easily accessible to consumers, accurately portraying your image, boosting sales and practical concerns.
  • Product accessibility. This can be simply defined as making sure that the customers have access to your goods and services upon walking into your store. If consumers cannot easily find what they are looking for, it may deter them from returning to your small business. People should know which part of the store they are walking into, whether you are displaying products on shelves or in glass cabinets. Aisles should be well-lit and visible to avoid confusion.
  • Establishing your image. Accurately portraying your small business through the layout of your store can give customers a positive first impression of your goods and services. For instance, if you are selling beaded jewelry for young women, using up-to-date flair and promoting your products in a contemporary manner can help customers understand what you are offering. Trendiness might be a priority, depending on your target market. If your main client base consists of older women, you have the option to create a more casual, leisurely atmosphere. Pay attention to trends that affect your target market to stay current and attractive to consumers.
  • Stimulating sales. In order to make the most of your rented space, you will need to place your products accordingly throughout the store. Impulse buy items should be placed near the register, while new items should be distributed evenly in the building. Your most appealing products can be featured on fixtures or glass displays to catch attention. By having fresh products in most of your aisles, you will give customers a reason to visit every section.
  • Practical concerns. This consists of making sure that your customers are comfortable and you have the proper security in place for your store. Mirrors in blind spots can be helpful in corners of the store where all activity may not be monitored. Surveillance cameras are also an effective way to reduce theft. Make sure your aisles have enough room for customers to browse around and shop. An uncomfortable amount of space may deter consumers from returning to your store.
Although these four components are a good starting point, you will need to think outside of the box to make sure you have everything covered when it's time to open your small business. Try to incorporate safety into your plans when developing a layout for your storefront. Aisles should not only be big enough for customers, wheelchairs or storllers but for employees who need to maneuver around crowds.

The goal is to be able to move products around the sales floor without bumping into people and existing fixtures. If your aisles are cramped, it may be worth redesigning your layout before finalizing your plans. Having to rearrange the design once you have opened may be time-consuming and hurt your overall profit.

Remember that you will be subject to fines if you do not comply with regulations in regards to emergency exits. You must follow local ordinances in accordance with your property. As a small business owner, you will be required to purchase fire extinguishers and smoke alarms for your property.

If you are having difficulty envisioning your ideas, consider jotting them down on paper. Nothing beats a pencil and a blank sheet of paper when it comes to brainstorming. Because the process is a series of trials and errors, it may be less frustrating to see your ideas come together in front of you.

Many manufacturers have also developed software for budding entrepreneurs. If you have never looked into computer programs for assistance before, this may be the perfect time to do so. A software program dedicated to creating store layouts may be just what you need to turn your dreams into a reality.

The U.S. Small Business Association has branches located across the country with professionals who can help you as well. Don't hesitate to seek mentoring from an expert entrepreneur to get your company up and running.