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Convenience Store Business Idea

Learning how to start a convenience store and making it successful can become a reality for those who work hard and have the determination to succeed. Convenience stores offer customers the flexibility to shop at all hours in their local neighborhoods. Many convenience stores also sell gasoline and food items along with a variety of grocery and snack items.

In 2007, there were 145,000 convenience stores in the United States. A large portion of the gasoline bought in the country was purchased by convenience store customers as they traveled to work, school, or other destinations.

How to Start a Convenience Store

Convenience stores typically stock about 500 products. Supermarkets, on the other hand, stock up to 50,000 or more products. Supermarkets offer a wide variety of products, while convenience stores have a much smaller line. Convenience stores cater to neighborhood customers and travelers.

A neighborhood convenience store typically offers a variety of snack foods and beverages as well as necessities, such as toilet paper. Often, a traveler looking for a quick lunch can purchase a hot dog or slice of pizza. Prices in convenience stores tend to be higher than those at traditional grocery stores. Customers are willing to pay more for convenience. These are important differences to keep in mind as you go about learning how to start a convenience store.

Where you locate a convenience store is extremely important. People do not like to travel huge distances to shop for basic items, such as food, snacks, cigarettes, and other convenience items. The store should be close to a residential area of at least 1,500 people.

Locating close to major establishments such as hotels, schools, universities, and movie theaters can bring customers in. For example, people often pick up items on the spur of the moment while heading home after an evening of bowling or seeing a movie.

Obtain start-up capital to rent or purchase retail space. Small business loans are available at your local financial institutions. Collaborating with an investor is another financial option. Apart from the rent and parking space, you will also need to invest in product, interior furnishings, office supplies, credit card machines, and additional pieces of equipment, if you plan to offer quick lunch menus.

Owning a Successful Convenience Store

Many mom and pop stores faded away because they could not match the prices, facilities, and product ranges offered by supermarkets. Make sure that your convenience store does not suffer a similar fate. Locate it away from supermarkets, if possible, and, if there is a mall or similar service nearby, diversify into different product categories that allow you to compete.

Be smart about the products you stock. If your store is close to a university, stock plenty of snacks, soft drinks, magazines, and milk. A variety of vending machines will increase sales as well. Offer ice cream, health products, cookies, and groceries if your convenience store is near a residential complex. Choose your suppliers carefully. You can save money by joining an association of grocery store owners and buying collectively at wholesale prices.

Expanding Your Convenience Store

Some convenience stores deal in produce, such as fruits and vegetables. Others emphasize packaged goods, such as toothpastes, soaps, and beauty products. Still others sell magazines and comics as their offerings. Slowly branching out into other areas will let you know how interested your customers are in other products without spending a great deal up front.

By understanding how to start a convenience store and planning meticulously, you may be on the road to a greater income and a better lifestyle for your and your family.

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