How Long Does It Take To Establish A Storefront?
A considerable amount of time goes into starting a business. You will need to identify all the activities that will have to be completed and how long each will take, and determine the sequential nature of them. The general overview should include the date you plan to open your business and the schedule of activities that are prerequisite to that target date.
The timetable usually starts with a period for identifying market problems. It will be followed by a period for the analysis of each problem to determine if it represents an opportunity. Another block of time will need to be allocated to select the opportunity that will serve as the “core” of your new business venture. These three steps could take from three months to a couple of years.
Your timetable will need to reflect numerous other activities. Some of them will only take a couple of days. Other activities may take weeks or months. Your timetable will include: (1) finding the right target market and geographic area to serve, (2) determining the optimal type and size of your facility, (3) identifying potential locations, (4) selecting the appropriate site, and (5) negotiating the terms of the lease or building the facility.
If you will be making your own product, then you need to contact machinery vendors and allow sufficient time for delivery and installation. The same applies if you will be a retail business. You will need to determine which brands to carry, contact the suppliers to see if they will do business with you, place your orders, and allow enough time for the orders to be delivered before you open your doors to the public. You will also need to advertise for any employees, interview people,check their backgrounds, and train them before they come into contact with your customers.
The timetable also needs to reflect the time it takes to have your sign, letterhead, business cards, etc., made and shipped. Your grand opening advertising will also be planned and scheduled. If your promotion plan includes any “teaser” advertising that lets potential customers know about your business months before it opens, then your timetable will have to include this too. Teaser advertising can make a big difference in your first few months’ sales and cash-flow.
Anyone who is thinking about starting a business should keep Murphy’s Law in mind at all times. According to Murphy, “If anything can go wrong, it will.” Suppliers will not ship items on time. If they do, they may send the wrong type or number. Employees may quit after you have trained them but before you open for business. Construction of the “perfect” new building you leased may be delayed three weeks, thereby allowing you only one week to move in before opening day.
Starting a business may take more time and work than managing a business. You will need to identify what will need to be done, how long it will take, how much money you will need, and when you will need to pay for each facet of the business.