Would You Be A Good Indie Store Owner?

Behind every indie retailer is a great story about how it came to life. From following in their family’s footsteps to deciding to quit corporate America to turning a hobby into a career, every retailer has a “story”.

Whether you have a store already or are thinking about opening one, the below questions will help you identify if owning and managing your own independent retail store is right for you.

1. Do you enjoy working non-traditional work hours, such as 10 to 7 versus 9 to 5?

2. Do you have daytime responsibilities that would prohibit you from being in a store without any help for an extended period of time, even as long as long as ten hour days? 

3. Do you enjoy working nights and weekends? 

4. Do you have commitments that may keep you from working weekends? 

5. Are you able to work  select holidays, such as Labor Day or Halloween, and not care about festivities or other activities you may be missing outside of your store? 

6. Are there circumstances that would conflict with a work schedule that may be up to 7 days a week? 

7. Do you have a budget to assist in part time help for your store? 

8. Do you enjoy talking to new people on a routine basis? 

9. Is small talk easy for you? 

10. Do you mind using your hands to get physical work done, such as unpacking boxes, hanging fixtures, displaying product and cleaning a store space? 

11. Are you able to stick to schedule that includes daily store operations, cleaning, merchandising, inventory, retail math, trade show attendance and more? 

12. Are you a home-body, or do you enjoy be away from home more than at your home? 

13. Do you enjoy working within a community environment as a volunteer ir supporter of local events and activities? 

14. Are you both good at math and staying on a budget (for store buying, operations and inventory purposes)?

15. Do you have management experience – whether as your own boss or managing others? 

16. Is time allocation a problem for you, such as spending too much time on one thing and not leaving enough time for something else that needs to be done? 

17. Are you good at planning events, promotions and other activities that take place in retail stores? 

18. Do you handle conflict well, such as if a customer was causing a scene or disputing a return? 

19. Are you able to adjust your ideas and actions to accommodate changing demographics, economics and other influences on your store? 

20. Are you passionate about whatever it is you want to open a store for? 

While there is no simple strategy to identify if owning a retail store is right for you, the above questions can help kick start some thoughts for you to consider. And we didn’t even touch on the questions that pertain to an at large budget and financing for this… that is an entirely different conversation to be had!

Have tips on being your own boss? Have thoughts on owning a store? Let us know! Please comment below.


  • Heather Wingo
    January 10, 2013

    Stumbled on your site from a nail salon link via a general internet search and I was so excited to see your whole site! Just perfect! I ditched retirement for a new adventure and opened a resale/vintage store in a mountain town called Meadow Vista Mercantile. I can’t believe how useful your site has been, including this article to reaffirm that I did the right thing! Thank you for your valuable information!!! I open February 9th in time for Valentine’s Day, so I’ll be doing the holiday thing first off! Thank you!

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