Looking to start an organic store on your own? A wise decision I would say!
With a growing awareness on healthy living, grocery chains carrying organic store food products, are coming up everywhere. With the Indian organic food market anticipated to grow over 25% in the next 3 years, there is huge scope for venturing into the business of organic food.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning to start an organic store:
#1 Licenses and Permits
As with any store, there are certain legalities and formalities which must be fulfilled to make your business legally acceptable. In particular, there are nationally set organic standards that must be met to qualify.
– Become familiar with these rules and have your shop officially certified as organic by the Organic Trade Association.
– Apply for any in-state required licenses and food permit from the health department.
– File for an employer identification number, or EIN, via the IRS website.
– Select one of the main operating structures for your business, such as a corporation, limited liability company, partnership or sole proprietorship.
– Open a bank account under the name of your business.
– Use the business ATM card to make business purchases. This is to establish credit for your business for accountability.
#2 Store Location
The location plays a huge role in its success. Even though the market for organic food is everywhere, it is important to know that everyone may not be a potential buyer.
Although a great location may not guarantee success, a bad location will almost always guarantee failure.
A location with a reasonable degree of security, access to public transport. Also, adequate parking is recommended.
Also look out for the competitors in the area. Lesser the competition, easier is the sales.
The best location combines visibility, affordability and lease terms you can live with. In particular, a departmental store is more successful in newly developed areas.
Rent for a place can be as small as Rs 10,000 to Rs 10 lac depending upon the city, location and size of the departmental store. Well, it shouldn’t be more than 4% of sales on the safer side.
#3 Hiring Employees
To run a store, you will need to hire employees—everyone from sales associates to cashiers to bookkeepers. Of course, you can run most of the official “behind the scenes” business yourself if you so desire. But, you will need at least minimal help attending to your customers.
#4 Customer Experience
Undoubtedly, a pleasant in-store customer experience increases the chances of return customers. This can be achieved by educating your staff well on natural and organic food products.
Staff training is a key part of your marketing strategy. Your people are talking about your products in your store every day.
Educate your staff on organics and naturals to make your efforts feel authentic to your customers.
#5 Upfront investment
Get ready for high start-up costs.
Organic goods tend to be more expensive than non-organic goods.
Stocking your shelves the first time is a costly process than you realize.
#6 Set reasonable selling prices
Given the high-cost price of organic goods, it is very obvious to expect the price of goods to cost more than the price of goods in a non-organic store. In spite of which, if demand for your goods is too much for your customers’ ears, they will buy from someone else.
Fix prices by looking at the prices set by other nearby organic stores.
If no other organic stores exist nearby, then know how much profit a non-organic store makes on each item it sells. Now, roughly base your pricing on that.
Setting your prices too low may put you at loss.
Pricing too high may turn off price-sensitive customers.
You may have to shift prices back and forward until you find the optimal pricing points for your merchandise.
#7 Advertise your organic store OFFLINE!
Think about how you want to advertise your organic and natural products.
Word of mouth, local advertising and promotion are ways to drive traffic to your store.
Particularly, focus your advertising efforts on drawing in people who are interested in buying organic
Advertise in print. Place an ad in the newspaper, distribute flyers around town.
If possible, consider passing around a limited number of coupons to draw potential customers into the store.
In fact, you can dedicate a flyer or brochure to your natural and organic products.
Tell your customers about the naturals and organics in your store and where they can find them.
Explain why your store is selling naturals and organic. Include the benefits of organic food versus non-organic foods.
#8 Advertise ONLINE!
It is important to realise that, consumers of this generation have huge buying potential. They are increasingly relying on the Internet for information.
Firstly, utilize your store’s website and social media platforms to market your organic and natural food products.
Secondly, mark your store on Google Maps.
Alongside, use Social media like Facebook to reach the growing online consumer population.
#9 Track and manage your organic store well
Starting any business is the easiest part. Running it successfully efficient is the big deal.
Firstly, know how to track down inventory that you sell in your store.
Managing business single-handedly or with a bunch of people without any confusion is the next biggest challenge. Consider a business software like Vyapar to help you run business, manage inventory and ease up accounting stuff. Most of the businessman out there use business accounting software like Vyapar to ease up their life.
As a matter of fact, organic foods is one of the few categories that fall into the high–scale, high–margin opportunity bracket. As consumer consciousness of natural, and healthy foods is on the rise, they are willing to pay for organic foods. With health becoming a priority, MRP has taken a backseat when buying organic. On the whole, with better spending power and with growing awareness, these products are not just becoming popular but are finding a sure place in the buying baskets.