A lot of people think running a liquor store is tough. It is what makes them back off from starting on such a fruitful business. It is true that policies differ from one area to another but that is the case with most businesses. If you have all the licenses and permits are on board with the laws, and have a unique factor – investing in a liquor store will be rewarding.
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Things You Need to Know About Starting a Liquor Store
Why is it Profitable?
Think about it – do people ever need the right occasion to drink? Anyone who is into wine and spirits will stumble upon your store for whatever reason!
There’s always a promotion or birthday to celebrate and massive parties that always call for big batch orders. Don’t forget the weekend individuals that always take the bottle home. So you can say liquor stores never go out of business!
What are the Challenges?
It’s always crucial to understand the challenges that you may face.
- Laws keep changing so you always have to stay updated
- You always need to buy inventory in bulk and keep track of it
- Sometimes it’s tough to manage a cash flow
Does Pricing Matter?
We can say with confidence that no matter what rate you charge, people will pay. But, make sure you don’t overcharge too much; otherwise, they will find a new place with decent pricing.
Does the Store Location Matter?
Yes! The zone of your store matters regarding the safe distance from schools, churches, and even hospitals. Because it matters so much, you need approval from your state to set up a shop.
Write a Solid Business Plan
While starting out any venture, you need to think of the finances as much as getting all the right paperwork. Owning a liquor store means there is a lot at stake. It is not a business for everyone and requires a larger sum of investment. More often than not you might have to bring in exotic and unique drinks. So to get financed, you can either opt for a business loan, a business line of credit, or an SBA loan.
Whichever pathway you go for, you will need to earn the trust. The only way to ensure a bank or an investor to finance your business is by writing a solid fool-proof business plan.
This plan will give an outline of the steps you’ll take to make the long term goals successful. Moreover, you will also discuss the backup options of how you will overcome setbacks and possible challenges.
The biggest dive you have to take is getting the paperwork ready to run your store smoothly. It all depends on your area.
- Apply for an alcohol license and for permission to sell liquor. By registering for a legal entity, you will be able to start this business.
- Make sure to get both on-premises and off-premises license. These will allow you to meet and make connections with distributors. Sometimes you can import the unique spirits to stock up the top shelves for more attraction.
- Like we mentioned earlier that location is an important factor for the placement of your store, you need permits for that too.
- Sign up for a business account to have a better handle at keeping track of your business transactions.
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How to Increase Liquor Sales?
Special Hour Discount
Customers love a good discount. Once you introduce a carefully procured discount amount in a specific hour, people will come in. You can introduce a bottomless offer for a certain amount. Or, maybe spare a couple of bucks at an unusual hour on a Thursday.
Build a Small Bar
While customers are waiting to check out their order, let them have a quick cold beer. You can even strike up a quick conversation. If your customer welcomes the gesture, take the opportunity to get to know them, and exchange cards. People love knowing business insights, so give them a teaser detail for an upcoming opportunity or a loyalty program. Such conversations make customers feel valued.
Special Order Requests
We’ll keep hinting that maintaining a liquor business has a lot to do with gaining networks. If you accept the occasional special requests from your favorite clients, they’ll drop more cards in your bowl. You’ll quickly become the talk of the town. Who knows, you might even land a massive order for an exhibition or house tour! Even if you reach the high-end customers, never forget those who helped you reach there.
Offer Premium Liquor
People love walking into a store and finding gems on the top shelves. Not only does it up to your reputation in the local market, but it also makes the customer want to try out something different than regular.
A pro tip would be introducing versatile brands of high-end alcohol every couple of weeks. Here’s another pro-tip – train your staff to amicably suggest customers try out something fancy.
Start a Customer Loyalty Program
Take nurturing customer relationships to the next level by initiating a loyalty program. Make sure to offer unique propositions. Have a brief look around in your fellow local liquor stores.
You can easily dissect the average offers and come with something better. It should both bring you overall profit and impress the customers. Target the weekly customers and those who always trust you with large orders.
Amp up the Atmosphere
Introduce some classic music and turn up the volume. A marketing tactic to get consumers to buy more alcohol is by putting on upbeat music. Not to get too crowded, but adding a couple more chairs here and there at the bar area will keep customers hooked. Not only will people sip on a drink while waiting around, but they’ll also probably order more rounds.
Having a liquor store is no child’s play. However, it can be fun as long as you’re networking and keeping a tight rein on your inventory. At the end of the day, your one goal should be to make your liquor store the one-stop-shop.
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