How to Start a Convenience Store in the Countryside. Tips to Set It Up Right and Ensure Its Success

how to start a convenience store in the countryside

Opening a convenience store in the country is one of the most profitable business ideas nowadays. Almost half the Romanian population lives in rural areas and regularly buy food, cleaning products, as well as farming tools and materials. Moreover, if you live in the country and run your own store you have the possibility to sell your own products, such as homemade food or woven products. This is how to start a convenience store in the countryside.

How to start a convenience store in the countryside. The investment

For a convenience store in a building that doesn’t require remodelling, a minimum of approximately 25,000 euros is required. If you have to build it on your own land, you’ll need another 50,000 euros.

How to start a convenience store in the countryside. The legal terms

To launch any kind of business, you need legal forms. You’ll have to choose between the following:

  • Ltd
  • Individual business
  • Family partnership
  • Registered sole trader
  • Other legal forms

For those that sell a vast range of products with a turnover of more than 35,000 euros, it’s recommended to choose ltd.

Permits you’ll need:

  • Functioning authorisation from the city hall
  • Environment protection
  • Labour protection
  • Safety and fire protection
  • Food safety

You will also need: garbage discharge contract with a sanitation company, deratization contract, fire extinguishers and a fire escape plan, training for employees concerning labour protection, posters with phone numbers for consumer’s protection, sanitary and vet police, police, emergency number 112.

How to start a convenience store in the countryside. Employees

Theoretically, when starting the business a minimum of 2 employees is required, a cashier and one responsible for selling and supplies. In case of a running schedule of more than 8 hours a day, it’s necessary to have more than 3 employees. Subsequently, depending on the turnover, the
employee number can be increased.

Employees in a food store must have professional training in hygiene regulations. It’s ideal if they graduated in commerce.

For a small rural store, you don’t need a full time accountant, so better turn to a firm for this service.

How to start a convenience store in the countryside. Space, set-up and facilities

A food store must feature three capacities only: one for selling the products (the store itself), a storage space and vestibule/toilet for the employees.

The entrance into the store must be different from the supplies entrance.

To be competitive and to reach considerable profits, the store must be at least 861 sq ft (646 sq ft for the selling capacity, 162 sq ft for the storage and 54 for the restroom).

If you sell some other type of products, such as cleaning or farming products, you have to keep a certain distance between them and the food, according to regulations in the field.

Here are the necessary facilities for food merchandising:

  • shop-fitting furniture (cashier’s space): 500 euros
  • metal stands: 200 euros/piece
  • refrigerated display-case for drinks: 1,250 euros.
  • horizontal refrigerated display-case: 2,350 euros
  • cooling stand with brattice: 2,400 euros (optional)
  • chest freezer: 500 euros
  • meat slicer: 200 euros
  • electric scale: 100 euros
  • cash register: 150 euros
  • computer and printer: 450 euros
  • storing boxes: 200 euros
  • conveyance truck (pickup truck – second hand): 4,500 euros

How to start a convenience store in the countryside. Tips for success

The range of products, their prices, the store’s layout and seller-client relation are vital for the success of a rural convenience store. The investor should also pay special attention to the price-quality aspect.

The store should always be well stocked. Empty stands won’t bring in clients.

The range of products must fulfil the needs of the clients and be furtherly adjusted. When they opt for the convenience store, customers want a time-saving alternative to going to the nearest supermarket, but they need to find the necessary products, even if a great variety is not available.

Anyone will expect higher prices here than in supermarkets, but when the price difference is way too high, customers will prefer shopping in supermarkets.

Products display and the shop worker’s behaviour is very important. The facade, the shopfront, the signboard and the interior, lighting included, have to be welcoming, while cleanliness and attitude towards customers need to be flawless.

Credits: ruralonline.ro

Photo credits: amazingromania.eu

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