Moving Day for Your Retail Store

Moving Day for Your Retail Store

Denver is often cited as the best city in which to live and work, making your decision to relocate your retail store there an easy one. The hard part is the actual move. There are numerous challenges that you will encounter, namely cost and down time. With a solid plan, you can significantly reduce the potential negative impact on your business. Useful resources, like the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center, provide tips and services for new and small businesses. A small business attorney will further see your business through from setup to success. This post will discuss four important steps to relocating your retail store to Denver.

  1. Taking Care of Inventory
  2. Minimizing Down-Time
  3. Setting up in Denver
  4. Preparing Your New Store

Taking Care of Inventory

This may be the biggest part of your move. Your inventory represents future income, but it also adds to your moving expenses. The more product you can sell before you move, the less you will have to transport. If you are not moving very far, perhaps you can use a “relocating sale” event to move inventory and promote your new location at the same time. This is also a good time to identify inventory and office supplies that are no longer used or needed. It is crucial to keep an accurate record of what you are taking and what you are tossing, especially if you are moving client files and other important documents.

Minimizing Down Time

During a business relocation, one of your primary goals will likely be to lose the least amount of sales. If your store is reliant upon electronics or other tools, be sure to pack those items just before the day of the move so that you are still operational. Target your move date for the weeks that your records indicate are the least busy. Decide what equipment, fixtures, records, and other items you actually need to move, and consider disposing of nonessential supplies in a fire-sale.

Setting up in Denver

With nearly 100 percent of employers in Colorado classified as small businesses, you are in great company. Denver is well known for its distinctive retail districts and eclectic consumer palate. There are a number of steps you must take in order to operate legally in the state, and your small business attorney will help keep you compliant. Some of the steps include creating your legal entity and establishing the Employer Identification Number (EIN) you will use. You can create your legal entity online with the Colorado Secretary of State, and you can obtain your nine-digit EIN online with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Preparing Your New Store

After all of the careful research and planning on your target market and location that have brought you to Denver, you are ready to move into your new store. If your leases for the previous and new spaces overlap, you will be able to create an almost seamless transition in your business operations. Once in your new space, you may start by setting up your displays and counters so everything is ready for the arrival of your inventory and equipment. The design and layout of your store should be appealing both inside and outside. Your products should be organized and accessible, and your marketing plan should be in place before you even open your doors. This plan will incorporate promotional, branding, and advertising ideas and determine where your marketing budget should be spent.

If you need help relocating your retail store, contact me, Elizabeth Lewis, at the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Denver Small Business Attorney. Phone: 720-258-6647. Email: elizabeth.lewis@eclewis.com

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Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.
Your Denver Business Attorney
501 S. Cherry St., Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80246
720-258-6647
Elizabeth.Lewis@eclewis.com

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Commercial Real Estate In Denver:  Business As Usual Is No More

Commercial Real Estate In Denver: Business As Usual Is No More

Denver’s growing population has led to an increase in new jobs and a demand for new space. According to the CBRE in Colorado, the city’s commercial real estate remained robust throughout 2017, gaining attention at the local, national, and foreign levels. With widespread competition among retailers to divert consumer spending, businesses large and small are having to reinvent themselves. Whether that means going omnichannel, catering to a niche market, or occupying an innovative space, business as usual is no more.

As traditional retailers, like JC Penny, Sports Authority, Kmart, and Macy’s, experience mass bankruptcies or store closures, mixed-use spaces and smaller retailers have stayed in demand. As a small business owner, you may have [or will] outgrown your home office model or other current space. Despite high demand and competition, there are less expensive alternatives when it comes to commercial real estate. A small business attorney will assist you with all of your real estate choices. This post will discuss three innovative ways to set up your small business in nontraditional spaces.

 Street Retail

Much of central Denver’s residential development has evolved to support both retail and office development, giving the area an all-in-one environment that appeals to millennials. With millennials and empty nesters alike flocking to the city’s ecclectic urban core, more retail investors are looking at street retail – retail where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic. This has led to retail and other small businesses operating out of the ground floor of apartments or office buildings. If you choose this route, be sure to situate yourself among complementary businesses that target a similar demographic as your business.

Shared Workspace

Renting a space within another business or a shared office is much less expensive than renting or leasing on your own. Another benefit is that customers, employees, and owners of the other businesses will likely become your customers. Green Spaces Denver is an all-inclusive co-working space with a focus on sustainability and the environment. This solar powered workspace offers conference rooms, phone booths for private calls, 24/7 access, high speed wifi, printing, scanning, and meeting spaces for its members.  Other shared space options include collaborative partnerships. For example, if you offer painting or cooking lessons, you could teach them at an established coffee shop in return for a fee or percentage of your revenue. That way, people attending your classes can stay for coffee while some of the coffee shop’s customers will sign up for your classes.

Popup Stores

If you are just starting out or looking to expand your product line, a popup store could be ideal for testing the market, both product- and location-wise. You may find locations that have been empty for a long time, which means landlords are likely to rent to you for a short period at a reduced rate. There are many benefits associated with a popup store, including less capital investment, instant customer feedback, seasonal marketing, and ability to go to your demographic.

Despite the current perception that online shopping is the future of retail, there is still compelling evidence that physical stores are not only more successful and profitable, but they are also more popular among younger consumers. A Forbes article illustrates this point with the following examples: all but one of the top U.S. retailers are physical chains, Amazon purchased Whole Foods, and millennials and Generation Z prefer real stores.

If you need help relocating your retail store, contact me, Elizabeth Lewis, at the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Denver Small Business Attorney. Phone: 720-258-6647. Email: elizabeth.lewis@eclewis.com

Contact Us Today

Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.
Your Denver Business Attorney
501 S. Cherry St., Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80246
720-258-6647
Elizabeth.Lewis@eclewis.com

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How to Start and Stay in the Retail Market

How to Start and Stay in the Retail Market

Starting your own retail store takes a lot of initial planning. There is so much more to it than simply choosing a place, setting up your goods, and opening your doors. After the early planning stages, it is hard work to stay at the top of the retail market. Denver has one of the most vibrant retail scenes in the nation with its lively downtown shopping district, strong regional anchors, and eclectic neighborhood businesses. So, where do you fit in and how do you stay in? A small business attorney will help you with every phase – from planning and daily operations to maintaining and expanding to helping you sell when the time is right – throughout the life of your retail business.

Start on Solid Ground

As a small business owner, you will hear again and again how crucial it is to choose the right legal structure for your retail store. Your business entity affects everything from the taxes you are required to pay to the permits and zoning laws that govern your business. Determining the right products and services as well as location are also business planning essentials. You may have a passion for your product, but you have to figure out how and where to sell it in order for it to be profitable and make sure you have the right market for the product you love. For instance, you may love meat and be the best butcher around, but a meat market in a highly vegetarian area is a recipe for disaster. Before you commit to a lease, consider if the ideal location for your product is ideal for your budget. Sometimes, second best is better. A great space that costs too much and causes you to close is a lot worse than a pretty good space that allows you to thrive. A business attorney can guide you through state and city laws as well as review and create contracts and agreements.

Establish Good Vendor/Wholesale Relationships

Once you have settled on the right product(s), it is time to find the right vendors. In order for your retail store to offer products at a price and time that suits your customers, you have to partner with vendors who understand your needs and vision. Communicate your goals and expectations at the start of the relationship. If your vendor knows that timing, cost, and consistency are important to your business, then they are likely to focus on those areas. Other areas to keep in mind when selecting a vendor include returns, defective items, credit, and payment terms among others.

Recruit the Best Employees

Hiring the best sales staff is just as essential to the success of your retail store as having the right product. With the influx of millennials who have migrated to Colorado in recent years, it may be more important to hire someone who fits the culture rather than someone with the highest qualifications. Cultural fit covers a variety of characteristics, including alignment of values, work-life balance, company mission, and customer relations. You may think a college degree is necessary, but someone who lives and breaths your products may put someone who doesn’t love your products but has a degree to shame. Once you have found the ideal staff, be sure to train them beyond their daily roles. You can avoid many costly mistakes and lost customers by ensuring your employees are well versed in your store’s policies and procedures. The better equipped they are to handle the unexpected or uncommon situation (and feel empowered to do so), the better customer service they will deliver. You may let them know that for repeat customers, they can offer an occasional small discount. Not only does this make your employee feel that you trust them, it allows your customers to feel your business appreciates them. Whether you need help hiring employees, drawing up their contracts, or [if things take a negative turn] letting them go, your small business attorney will be there.

Fine-Tune Your Marketing

Your marketing plan should be in place before you open your retail store. This should incorporate promotional, branding, and advertising ideas. Determining not only how your customers shop, but also where they dwell (e.g. social media), will point to where your marketing budget should be spent. Since retail has become an omnichannel business model, you would be remiss not to consider each way your potential customers like to do business – brick and mortar shops, mobile applications, catalogues, FAQ webpages, social media, live web chats, telephone communication, and more. Expanding your channels with a consistent brand and message will expand your reach.

If you need help starting a retail store, contact me, Elizabeth Lewis, at the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Colorado Business Attorney. Phone: 720-258-6647. Email: elizabeth.lewis@eclewis.com

Contact Us Today

Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.
Your Denver Business Attorney
501 S. Cherry St., Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80246
720-258-6647
Elizabeth.Lewis@eclewis.com

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How to Navigate Denver’s Commercial Real Estate Market

How to Navigate Denver’s Commercial Real Estate Market

There may come a time when your small business has outgrown its retail or home office space. This is great news as it means you are ready to expand. It also means you are about to jump into the competitive pool of Denver’s rapidly changing commercial real estate market. With developers scrambling to keep up with demand, every size and type of real estate – from historic manors and Beaux-Arts buildings to factories and warehouses – is being repurposed for trendy niche retailers and giant corporations alike. The average asking lease price for warehouse space in some neighborhoods jumped by more than 50 percent from 2010 to 2015. By the end of 2016, retail development hit its highest levels since 2010 with nearly 1 million square feet under construction according to the CBRE. Without a team of professionals on hand, like larger organizations have, a small business attorney can help you make decisions about location, leasing or buying, tax deductions and compliance, and protecting your assets. Whatever type of retail space, office, or other commercial property you may need for your flourishing business, consider these five helpful tips before you commit to a contract.

  1. Make a New Plan
  2. Choose the Right Location
  3. Decide Whether to Lease or Buy
  4. Have Exit and Dispute Strategies
  5. Know What You are Signing

1. Make a New Plan

Even if you have been in business for years, you need a revised plan for your expansion. Consider your needs versus your budget. Do you have the resources to close on a property or repay a loan? A solid business plan is an important factor for lenders who are considering your loan application. Within your business plan, lenders are looking to see whether you have a marketing strategy – have you considered your competitors? The habits of your targeted customers and neighborhood? A back-up plan to deal with the pitfalls? A small business attorney will help ensure your plans and real estate choices are realistic and the best for your business.

2. Choose the Right Location

When selecting the area or neighborhood for your business, there are many factors to consider. Demographics, surroundings, centrality, visibility, and compatibility with your desired image are a few of the areas you should research before choosing your location. You would also benefit by researching forecasts and trends for the district (e.g. new projects, funding, crime rates, and other public records that may affect your business). It is essential to be aware of the current and potential value of the properties you look at, especially if you are going to buy rather than lease.

3. Decide Whether to Lease or Buy

A storefront or office space can boost your business’s image. Commercial real estate not only provides a dedicated space outside of your home, but it can help with marketing. As with most real estate, buying commercial real estate is more expensive in the short term than leasing, but less expensive over the long term if you intend to stay in the location. While buying gives you more flexibility and an asset to use when financing other parts of your business, it also means you are responsible for all aspects of your property, including maintenance and additional liability. An attorney will help you decide whether leasing or buying is right for your business.

4. Have Exit and Dispute Strategies

It is important to have an exit strategy if your business does not perform as well as anticipated or your plans have simply changed. What if you can no longer afford the property? What if unexpected factors in the area are negatively impacting your business? What if you decide to sell the business? You should be prepared for these types of scenarios as well as any arising disputes. Tenants of commercial property have fewer consumer protections, and leases are binding contracts. To avoid conflict or severe penalties, be sure to have your small business attorney review any lease or purchase contracts before you sign.

5. Know What You are Signing

By this point in the process, you may be fairly familiar with the world of commercial real estate and its accompanying laws: landlord/tenant laws, disclosure laws, zoning laws, contract laws, insurance laws, etc. Leasing or purchasing agreements fall under contract law and can be very confusing. Your attorney will go over these contracts with you line by line until you fully understand what you are signing in order to prevent any surprises or compliance issues in the future.

If you need help with leasing or buying commercial real estate, contact me, Elizabeth Lewis, at the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Denver Small Business Lawyer. Phone: 720-258-6647. Email: elizabeth.lewis@eclewis.com

Contact Us Today

Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.
Your Denver Business Attorney
501 S. Cherry St., Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80246
720-258-6647
Elizabeth.Lewis@eclewis.com

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Niche Retail in Denver – The Key to Your Small Retail Store Success?

Niche Retail in Denver – The Key to Your Small Retail Store Success?

You have decided to relocate or open a niche retail store in Denver. There is an established market for your product. Financial and business plans are in place. You are honing in on your desired location, then you learn more about Colorado’s business environment. A recent 7 News Denver story (May 31, 2017) reports that retailers with a significant Colorado presence could be closing stores, citing overbuilding and a shift in consumer spending habits. Consumers have been spending more money online while moving away from traditional brick and mortar businesses. What was once considered a niche market on a product has become over-saturated. Despite this, you know Denver is the place for your retail store. A small business attorney in conjunction with a tenant-focused leasing agent can help you find the right location for your product as well as guide you toward the right channels for doing business. This post will cover some key information on location, product, and delivery.

  1. Deciding on Denver for your niche retail business
  2. Finding your niche market in Colorado
  3. Going omnichannel to expand your niche retail reach

1. Deciding On Denver For Your Niche Retail Business

With its distinctive retail districts, community-centric shopping centers, and a vibrant downtown, Denver caters to an eclectic consumer palate. Young families, artists, entrepreneurs, and active seniors alike call this pulsating metropolis home. Denver has long been ranked as one of America’s best cities and is rapidly becoming one of the hottest retail destinations. U.S. News and World Report recently ranked it #2 out of 100 best cities to live in, based on being a desirable place to live and having a strong job market and high quality of life. This all translates into confidence that you have picked the right place for your retail store. As you narrow your neighborhood search, it is important to know the zoning laws associated with any prospective location, even if you plan to operate, in any part, from a home-based business. It is also essential to know your business neighbors and protect your business from potential ones that can harm your business. A small business attorney will safeguard you and your business by helping you decipher zoning and other mandatory licensing laws as well as reviewing any contracts, such as a lease, before you sign.

2. Finding Your Niche Market In Colorado

A niche market is defined as the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. It is a targetable portion of a particular market that other businesses may have neglected or overlooked altogether. There may be several shops in the area selling artisanal foods and craft beers – a good example of what was once niche market becoming more mainstream – but, you can further establish your niche by using only locally sourced ingredients or offering additional means of obtaining your products/services, like delivery or a “product of the month” club. You could even focus on a subset of potential customers, like catering to seniors. One local brewery got very clever with their customer base and decide to cater to cyclist who love beer by opening a craft brewery where you can have your bike repaired!

Having established that your product is unique, desirable, and available, your focus will turn to marketing. Location, business structure, and ability to reach your target customers will further determine the success of your niche market business. A small business attorney will see you through each phase of opening and operating your retail store.

3. Going Omnichannel To Expand Your Niche Retail Reach

An omnichannel approach can keep you at the top of your niche market. Broadly defined as a multichannel business approach to maximizing customer experience, omnichannel marketing merges at-home, in-store, and mobile shopping into one seamless experience. It is not enough to grab the attention of potential customers or clients; you must hold onto it. How do you do this in a way that is not a deterrent and that is effective and natural to their everyday lives? According to a Forbes article, you need to track consumer behavior, deliver relevant messages, and manage your customer relationships in real time. A true omnichannel customer experience integrates all of the various channels completely. As a small retail business owner, you may not be able to broaden your presence through all of the same methods as a large corporation, but there are options, including social media advertising, in-bound marketing, Google Exchange Network advertising, and online as well as brick and mortar storefronts to name a few. A small business attorney will be there for you as you navigate the various contracts you may be presented with once you decide to expand into advertising and/or marketing your products online.

If you need help finding the key to your small retail store success, contact me, Elizabeth Lewis, at the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Denver Small Business Attorney. Phone: 720-258-6647. Email: elizabeth.lewis@eclewis.com

Contact Us Today

Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.
Your Denver Business Attorney
501 S. Cherry St., Suite 1100
Denver, CO 80246
720-258-6647
Elizabeth.Lewis@eclewis.com

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