Five Kinds of Startup: Retail

Product Line, Physical Space, Digital Space, Inventory, Logistics
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It's one of the first things we think of when we think of business. It's the mom and pop shop, the restaurant, the boutique. It's Walmart, Amazon, and Starbucks.

We've all said to ourselves at some point in our past, "Someday, I'm going to open my own… THIS." For a lot of people, THIS is a bar, usually in college and it lasts for about a week.

While all businesses are unique, there are really only a few kinds of startup. How these companies operate, grow, and succeed will depend on what kind they are. Thus, a lot of the decisions you will make and paths you will take will depend on what kind of startup you're running.

Retail is when you want to sell stuff. It could be your stuff, it could be someone else's stuff, but regardless, you're providing the place for customers to come buy stuff.

While it's much easier to set up a Retail startup these days, thanks to the Internet and distributors like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, it's much, much harder to succeed, thanks to the increased competition brought about by that very same ease of entry.

The good news is you can open an online store and be in business today. The bad news? You can fail and close it as early as tomorrow. I know. That's harsh. But Retail has never been easy. Ask anyone who has done it.

They'll tell you that you can't ignore the past ten years, and the ever-increasing pressure on retail brought about by online shopping. It impacts everything, whether you're a mom and pop shop or a big box chain.

The Retail landscape is constantly changing, and there are new models out there like subscription shopping (Dollar Shave Club, Blue Apron) to replace every trend that seems to be dying out (daily deal sites like Groupon, auction sites like QuiBids). There are even new ways to start a physical Retail presence like food trucks or pop up stores.

All that said, the basics of Retail startup are still the basics, and they haven't changed for centuries.


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