If you are interested in opening your own convenience store, add another location or simply be more successful with your current store then please read on. From being as knowledgeable about the industry as possible to understanding your customers, we have 4 tips to help you on your way to success. Get ready to have merchandise flying off your convenience store shelving.
- Stay on top of industry trends. It is important to know what is growing in popularity amongst convenience stores, what is dropping in popularity and where common struggles lie. For example, credit card fees and an increase in food costs have been a pretty big concern for a lot convenience store owners. Additionally, as far as trends go, more and more convenience stores are almost operating as small delis with eat in areas and food stations.
- Know your audience. You could be marketing mainly to men when really, women offer a lot of opportunity. Part of knowing your audience is also knowing your competition. While other convenience stores are going to be your biggest rivalry, the next two on the line-up are food shops. This goes back to the growing trend of convenience stores also selling fresh and premade food.
- Be aware of the many different markets that visit your store. Take a deeper dive into understanding your audience and go beyond your local customers. Your convenience store might be near a busy business center and people that live 30 minutes away stop in a regular basis during their lunch break or after work. Or if you are right off the highway you could get sporadic visits from all different kinds of people. You can find your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) office here and schedule an appointment with a business advisor to order a free customer demographics report. This should really help with insight into who your customers are.
- Know where your competition is. Because other convenience stores are your number one competition, you should be aware of where they are and what they are doing. You should especially keep an eye on bigger box convenience stores and look to them to find the latest trends. Since they likely have a bigger budget, they won’t hesitate to pull out all the stops. Your SBDC can also pull together a list of competitors for you.
Know your audience, always refresh your convenience store knowledge and awareness of the latest trends, and be aware of your competition.