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In this day and age, there is so much more to running any business and retail is no different.


First things first: to make the most of the internet and services like Gainsmore you need broadband.

A dial up connection is just not up to the job of making any on-line task more efficient than the traditional paper, fax and phone methods of communication. So strongly do we believe in this that we have teamed up with Link-Connect to provide you with a starter service that (subject to a few conditions) can provide you with a phone line, broadband, VOIP, local and national calls for less than £10 per month


Now you are running a business, insurance is suddenly more complicated. No longer is it just about mandatory insurance for a vehicle, there's also public liability and if you have employees, employee liability.

More specifically as a retailer, you need to consider the replacement of glass and of damaged stock and worse still interruption of trade - what if someone digs up the only road through the village and all the traffic you survive on is sent miles from your door.

Because it is so complicated, you are probably best speaking to a broker who specialises in retail cover and buy what is known in the trade as a package. This will include all the different covers that a business like yours is likely to need, at a premium that is calculated on how much cover you need in each area.


It's a costly business, but there really is no getting around the improvement to your sales and eventually your profits that a solid refurbishment of your store can bring. Consumers want to shop in pleasing surroundings. They need to be able to see clearly what they are buying and with the improvements in the efficiency of chillers, there is always an excuse to upgrade something.

Now you could of course attempt to do this yourself or indeed, just get a local builder in to rustle up some MDF shelving, but in so doing, you are playing into the hands of the multiples who know full well that smart, modern decor will bring people back.

So you should be going to one of the many dedicated shop fitters serving the convenience sector. One of the easiest ways to get in touch is through a wholesaler or symbol group. They should be able to handle all sorts of things - not least of which is the colour scheme - to make things run more smoothly. You may find yourself tied in to a trading package with them, so research it carefully - price and level of investment are not the only important factors.

Failing that, there are a good number of independent specialists out there and of course you get to depreciate the investment over a number of years.