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The Complete Idiotís Guide To Starting & Running A Retail Store

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You’re no idiot, of course. Between corporate chains, superstores, and independently run stores, the competition between retailers is at its fiercest. It takes more than low prices to attract customers—and maintain their loyalty. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting & Running a Retail Store will show you exactly how to get into the business—and stay there.


In this book, I take you through the steps of developing your idea, building your strategic plan, designing your store, picking your products, marketing and promoting your concept. Then, I give you the basics you need to run that store and the techniques and tools to analyze your business and make financial and business decisions that will make you profitable and thrive.
How I’ve Organized The Book
You’ll start your trip in the world of retail taking a quick look back in time to how retail got started, where it is today and where it is going. Then, be ready for a whirlwind tour of the basics you need from researching your customers and competition to running a store on a day to day basis. The book is divided into six parts:
Part 1: When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Retailer looks at what retail used to be, where it is today, and where it’s going in the future. Then, you’ll explore what it takes to become a retail legend focusing on the courage, talent, hard work, perseverance, and yes, luck, too, that you need to have to succeed.
Part 2: Sizing Up Your Options and Your Competition helps you evaluate your idea, research your competition and get to know the industry you plan to work in.
Part 3: What You Can Imagine, You Can Achieve helps you define your vision and develop the strategy for your store. Once you define that strategy, you’ll find tools for developing a business plan and ideas for raising capital. 
Part 4: Running the Store or Wearing Many Hats starts with how to set up store operations, review the crucial things you need to know about location and sort out how you buy the right stuff at the right price. Once you have all that in place, you’ll find information on managing your inventory, designing your store and displaying your products.
Part 5: Nuts and Bolts of Opening and Running the Store focuses on how to market your store, find the right people to staff your store and how to train and motivate those people to serve your customers and exceed their expectations every day. You’ll also explore how to pick the right technology and make use of the Internet. Then, you’ll discover how to track your store’s results. Finally, you’ll review key negotiation styles and how to deal with each type of negotiator, including vendors, the bank, the landlord and your staff.
Part 6: On The Right Track takes you through the key measures you can use to track your performance during the first year and beyond. You’ll learn techniques that will help you avoid losing your customers. Finally, you’ll learn how to mine the data of the customers you have and use that information to personalize your service and stand out from the competition.
Included in this Complete Idiot’s Guide are also a few helpers you’ll find in little boxes throughout the book:
  • Definition will help you learn the language of retail.
  • Selling Points will give you ideas for how to set up your retail store and how to find the resources you need.
  • Better Not! will give you warnings about things you need to avoid.
  • Savvy Retailer will help you explore additional information about key retail topics.
  • Learn from the Big Boys will discuss things major retailers do right that you can do, too.

"Terrific Book! 5 Stars. This is an excellent 'how-to' book that is an invaluable resource for anyone thinking about starting a new retail store. The book is insightful, humorous and full of great practical advice to help guide the reader through the necessary steps to plan for a new store. There are wonderful anecdotes sprinkled throughout the book to make the learnings more concrete for the reader. If you're thinking about opening a new store, you need this book!"

"Incredibly useful and a must read for everyone planning to start or already running a retail business, whether it is one store or a chain. I particularly enjoyed the latter part of the book titled 'On The Right Track' as it provided me with tools and knowledge on how to analyze and benchmark my retail business performance and plan for its ongoing growth. The economy has been a major challenge and yet if you use the tools and techniques recommended in the book 'religiously', you can survive and even thrive. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to grow."


"This is without a doubt the best guide around on the subject. From the author's organization of materials to the presentation of facts and anecdotal evidence, everything points to his first-hand experience and fluency in the subject matter. If for you retailing has little to do with psychology or other human behavioral principles, think again. The author explains it all in a very convincing way, which is at the heart of what makes this guide a cut above the rest: Mr Dion is not saying just trust me, this is how it goes. Instead he goes on a deep-dive on all key topics, from recruiting the right people to motivating the team, and provides the underlying principles and theories behind the strategies and tactics he proposes in the book. Amazing read, not to be missed!"

How I’ve Organized The Book
Part 1  
When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Retailer
Chapter 1: So You Want to Be A Retailer
Chapter 2: Retail Legends - Can You Be One?
Part 2
Sizing Up Your Options And Your Competition
Chapter 3: Evaluate Your Idea
Chapter 4: Know Thy Competition
Chapter 5: Know Thy Industry
Part 3
What You Can Imagine, You Can Achieve 
Chapter 6: Define Your Vision And Determine Your Strategy
Chapter 7: Develop A Solid Business Plan
Chapter 8: Raising Capital
Part 4
Running the Store Or Wearing Many Hats
Chapter 9: Operations Set Up
Chapter 10: Picking The Right Location
Chapter 11: Buying the Right Stuff At The Right Price
Chapter 12: Managing Your Inventory
Chapter 13: Designing The Store
Chapter 14: Displaying Your Product
Part 5
Nuts And Bolts Of Opening And Running The Store
Chapter 15: Market Your Store and Get Customers To Come Back
Chapter 16: Find The Right People
Chapter 17: Training And Motivating Your Sales Associates
Chapter 18: Serve Your Customers
Chapter 19: Picking The Right Technology
Chapter 20: Using The Web
Chapter 21: Know Your Numbers
Chapter 22: Negotiate Like A Pro
Part 6
On The Right Track
Chapter 23: Year One Performance - What To Measure
Chapter 24: Year Two And Onwards - Benchmarking
Chapter 25: How To Avoid Losing Your Customers  
Chapter 26: Mining The Gold In Your Customer Database
Further Readings And Resources
Worksheets And Checklists