How to Set Up Your Own Convenience Store Business in the Philippines
You might have probably noticed it already, but there are people still awake even way past midnight. They might be looking for a place where they can buy small things – snacks, cigarettes, probably batteries, cooking oil and a can of tuna perhaps, or some eggs, up to even small electronic devices. Some of them might even be working on night shifts, them being the product of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) office boom.
These are some of the reasons why convenience stores are heaven sent. There is a growing number of Filipinos out on the streets looking for a store where they can conveniently pick up small things they need and their changing lifestyles are helping convenience stores mushroom in just about any nook and cranny in the metro.
Having a convenience store means anticipating a round the clock activity. Here are some guides you must keep in mind to help you achieve and set up your own convenience store:
While location seems to be the starting point people think about when they start their businesses, it might not necessarily follow suit when you start planning where you will place your shop.
Technically you should be at a center of a diameter where people would come from. A radius could be a short walk from a condominium unit perhaps, and across that radius would be a subdivision where more people would be coming from. Another radius would be from a BPO site. You can check a map to show where your potential public may be coming from.
Your store might just as well be a few blocks away from people, but they will still be reaching you once the sari-sari store or any other store closes and they have no other option but to walk or even ride to where you are.
Be Service Oriented
What sets convenience stores apart from the sari-sari store, or even those big grocery stores, is customer service. This is one add-on value that you will be offering.
Your staff and the customer will mostly interact at the counter where products for “impulse purchases” are displayed. Some merchandise like cigarettes, lighters, batteries, up to even toys will be placed near or on the counter table.
Your staff should then be aware of your customers’ needs. Small technical knowledge can be of help -- how well will you be able to answer their queries when they ask for cellphone load, for example. Most of the time, or virtually EVERY time, you will be needing to deal with people coming in and out of your shop for a variety of differing needs.
Get ready too to have occasional promotions and offers. These too will be a nice add-on value, while at the same time attracting even more potential customers. You are even encouraged to do this on your opening day.
Remember that this is not just a business that sells products, you are also providing services. Having a quality service entails you to be quick and efficient, as well as having a savvy line up of personnel that will cater to your customers’ needs. Your revenue will start trickling in once you master this approach.
Stock Up Conveniently
You do not have to need to stock up with everything a grocery has. Just about the barest of peoples’ essentials is what you will need to keep your store stocked. Your primary mission is to provide your customers mainly basic commodities, to select food products, and other needed goods.
Also, keep eyes on customers buying patterns. This will help you evaluate what wares you should be focusing upon.
Having said these, the core of the matter is providing access to basic needs, and making your customers comfortable. Your costumers will be more willing to spend money when they feel they can grab what they need conveniently from your store.
Shifting Schedules of Employees and Managers
As the business needs to be open virtually non-stop, you must keep track of your personnel schedule as well as the turnout of your inventory.
Our labor rules state a basic eight-hour working schedule. Dividing the day by it, and you will need three shifts. You will need a flat hierarchy to keep your overhead for workers’ wages down. Your personnel will have to be flexible enough to handle most of the work and chores needed in your store operation.
Concurrently you need to take into consideration when you stock up. The best way to handle your inventory would be the time where you notice the least number of customers going in. This way, your staff will have little worries and more time to focus on tallying merchandize going in and out, as well as balancing the cash in their cashier machines.
By the time you consider these things, other matters as setting up the store, designing its interior, procuring stocks and pricing your merchandise will be a breeze. But keep in mind that the most important thing to consider is how much convenience you will offer to your market.