By Gina Obert on August 19, 2021

How to Open a Retail Store: 5-Step Checklist

This year, we expect to see more first-time business owners than ever before.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has released plenty of attractive retail business loans for new entrepreneurs. These kinds of special incentives will undoubtedly encourage new business owners to set up shop in cities across the country.

However, these first-time business owners can’t hope to open a successful business without following a growth path.

This begs the question – what path must your new retail business follow to improve its chances of success? Fortunately, as an industry-leading retail point of sale (POS) system provider, we know a thing or two about building a high-growth business.

In this article,  we’ll discuss the five mission-critical steps all retail business owners follow to build and scale their retail shops.

How to Open a Retail Store in 5 Easy Steps

Before we begin, we should let you in on a little secret.

The most successful business owners share one commonality.

They invest in the right tools and systems.

POS Nation offers a powerful, all-in-one POS system that delivers on all the features and capabilities that you need to grow and manage your business. The best part is that our POS system is built specifically for your unique industry. In fact, our software comes equipped with all of the features you need to be successful right from the start!

Beyond investing in an industry-specific POS system for your retail business, here are some of the steps that you should follow when opening.

1. Choose a Name for Your Business

First, choose a name for your business. It’s a relatively easy step, but one that will affect your business now and years in the future. 

How do you choose a name for your business?

We recommend that you run a quick search on the internet. Has anyone else claimed your business name? Next, conduct a trademark search. This will help you determine whether or not you can get a trademark or service mark for your business name. As a best practice, try to get feedback from friends or trusted colleagues. What does your target audience think?

Remember, you’ll have to live with the business name for a long time, so make sure that you’re happy with it! 

2. Cover the Legal Basics

Next, complete local, state, and federal paperwork.

Here is a checklist of required documents/procedures:

  • Apply for Employee Identification Number (EIN)
  • Select business structure
  • Select tax year
  • Pay taxes

It’s important to note that each state has additional requirements for operating a business. In this scenario, refer to your state's website.

RELATED READING: Small Business Tax Preparation Checklist

3. Create a Personalized Experience for Shoppers

Creating a personalized shopping experience should be one of your top priorities when opening a new retail store. The best way to create a personalized shopping experience is to learn from customers’ habits.

What items do they buy repeatedly? An advanced POS system should make it easy for you to track customers’ purchases and preferences. Use this information to create personalized shopping experiences.

For example, if a customer buys a certain brand of clothing, you might consider offering a discount or special offer for every fifth purchase. It’s a great way to show customers that you value their business!

Retail POS System Buyers Guide

4. Explore Marketing Opportunities

Personalization isn’t the only marketing opportunity that you should consider during the early stages of your business’ growth. There are plenty of other high-value marketing tactics that you should deploy to drive sales. 

And the best part is that most of these marketing tactics are relatively easy to activate and manage! Here are a few easy marketing tactics to try:

  • Email marketing campaigns for new products
  • Sales promotions on seasonal items
  • Social media advertising
  • Print marketing and in-store signage

RELATED READING: 5 Top Digital Marketing Solutions for Small Businesses

5. Partner With a Point of Sale System Vendor

Finally, be sure to invest in an industry-specific POS system. 

Unfortunately, not all POS systems are created equal. Some vendors even overcharge for features that you’ll never even use. Over time, these unnecessary features could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars!

Additionally, many POS vendors aren’t as transparent as they should be on pricing. Unexpected line items on your monthly invoice are a surefire sign that you’re probably overpaying!

POS Nation’s solution comes with every feature included out of the box! Our system is free from hidden fees and long-term contracts, making it an attractive and affordable solution for first-time business owners nationwide.

POS Nation Powers Retail Stores Nationwide

Unfortunately, success in the retail space is never guaranteed. It takes serious work and a strong commitment to your financial goals. Even then, success isn’t necessarily guaranteed! 

Of course, you can increase your chances of success by following the steps listed above. Additionally, we recommend investing in a modern retail POS system like POS Nation’s.


Gotta Have It offers a full range of sports memorabilia. Peter uses POS Nation’s powerful retail POS system to manage his business from home and on the road. Is POS Nation the right retail POS system provider for your business?

To find out, download our free guide: The Retail POS System Buyers’ Guide.

Don’t overspend on a POS system that doesn’t deliver the features and capabilities that you need to succeed!

Retail POS System Buyers Guide


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Whether you decide to do business with POS Nation or select another provider, knowing what questions to ask can help you get past the sales pitch, and to a solution that works for your business.

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