A supermarket is a typically large store that sells a broad range of groceries and household goods. It is also commonplace for the range to span to medications, clothing, and other fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). Starting a supermarket business is a highly profitable venture. Despite the state of the economy and what the status quo might be, the demand for basic goods and services never wanes. The day to day lives of everyone involves the use of grocery items and other related goods or services. The place where convenience is provided for customers who seek such things daily is the supermarket. This demonstrates to you that starting your own supermarket business is a worthy undertaking because there’s an inexhaustible, ever-growing and ever-evolving market. The global supermarket industry is currently valued at over US$3 trillion. By 2030, it is projected to be worth roughly US$15 trillion. It is no doubt a huge industry and has limitless business opportunities. The supermarket business seems to be basic on the surface but it is quite intricate. You need to understand about the supermarket business model. You must appreciate the tenets of market research and planning. You also have to conduct a competitive analysis and grasp stock management aspects. This article will outline how to start a supermarket business, and the supermarket business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.
There are still many opportunities for small and medium-sized firms to specialise in the supermarket business. The reasons are mainly to do with the fact that the larger chains have lost the personality that was once associated with shopping. They are in effect a conveyor belt of consumer goods. Some people prefer a much more intimate relationship with their grocery store and that is why supermarkets remain one of the most popular business ideas for the budding entrepreneur. Read on for more information and the grocery store business plan.
Importance of Market Research
You better not take this lightly because if you do you’ll pay dearly later when you start realising low customer inflows to your supermarket business. One of the foremost things to look at is competitors with respect to products they offer and their general appeal to the market. You market research must also focus on figuring out how you’ll make your entry into the market. During the market research processes closely study how established supermarket players market their businesses. Also take time to study their approaches and frameworks in pricing their products. The beauty of this is that you can do it clandestinely without your prospective competitors knowing what you’re up to. The crux of your market research is to figure out how you’ll brand and package your product portfolio in a way that distinguishes you from them. Supermarkets are generally plenty and customers are spoilt for choice thus the competition is fierce. So be thorough and diligent in conducting your market research.
Lots Of Segmentation
Essentially you want to understand the retail industry in general and the supermarket industry specifically. The goal is to better understand your intended target market so that your supermarket can provide what consumers really need. The general market is highly segmented. Then when you zone in on the consumers they are highly segmented as well. Segmentation looks at subdivisions of populations into segments with the same attributes e.g. sex, age, and income, amongst others. If you do not understand these segments you will not be able to know exactly what to offer and where.
Ecommerce – A Trend Worth Factoring In
There have been some noteworthy shifts in the supermarket business over the years you must consider. For instance, there has been a significant rise in ecommerce. This means you need to do a research into the demographic of online shoppers. Look into how that shift affects the traditional brick and mortar supermarket business approach. Probably you would have to find a way to blend both. These are some of the things your supermarket market research must seek to establish.
Conducting The Market Research
There are a number of options you can use in conducting market research for your supermarket business. It is wise to use more than one so as to have more comprehensive findings. The best market research methods you can use are surveys, observations, and interviews. Surveys enable you to get to know people’s opinions, attitudes, and pain points, amongst others. Observations are best for getting to appreciate people’s general customer experiences. Interviews are for engaging strategic interviewees e.g. consumers, current players, or business experts.
Make sure you have a comprehensive supermarket business plan
The failure to plan is the beginning of business failure. The supermarket business plan must be clear and succinct enough to give your potential partners, clients and investors an overview of what your objectives are. At the same time, it must be detailed enough to explain the nuances of the business that you propose. Your grocery store business plan should have financial statements which show that your supermarket business is viable and profitable.
Location of the Supermarket Business
It goes without saying that a poorly located supermarket is the death of the business. Private cars have made it fashionable for people to get out of town in order to do their shopping. However, that is not an option that is suitable for everyone since there are still consumers who hanker for the personal touch. It is best to position your supermarket business as if it were a local community center. That means building relationships with the public within that target market. It also means ensuring that your customer care never falls below their exacting standards.
Some of the common broad categories of places where supermarkets can be setup are malls, shopping centres, central business district (CBD), residential areas and standalone places. Each category comes with its own set of advantages or disadvantages so it’s up to you. If you get your location right, then there is no reason why you cannot enjoy the significant revenue streams that a supermarket business is capable of bringing. People are now used to shopping at all hours. In particular, you should take note of the resilience of the basic household shopping basket which has remained dominant even during the worst phases of the recession. The supermarket business plan should cater for the costs of purchasing or leasing the premises at your chosen location.
Premises for the Grocery Store Business
The supermarket must be setup at a location connected to a strategic road network for easy accessibility. There must be ample space for vehicle parking and there must be a semblance of security. The supermarket itself must be sufficiently spacious for customers to move around freely inside.
On another note, it’s important to have backrooms or warehouses (for administration and keeping of stock or inventory) that are accessible from the back so as to not disrupt customers. Not all customers have vehicles and might want to buy bulky items. With respect to that it would be expedient to locate the supermarket close to mass transportation. The costs of leasing the premises should be included in the grocery store business plan.
Supermarket Business Model
A business model is the description of the means and methods a business adopts to earn its revenue. In other words, it is a description of how a business makes money. In order to be successful in your supermarket business you must understand the supermarket business model. A supermarket sources its products from suppliers. These suppliers are often manufacturers or wholesalers. The supermarket then places a mark-up on those products to come up with the retail prices. This sounds simple but there are delicate balances to be struck in all this.
A Delicate Balancing Act
When customers go to supermarkets they are usually looking to get stuff at the cheapest prices possible. No wonder they tend to do price comparisons. After all, there are usually many supermarkets to consider. This means supermarkets are generally under pressure to offer low prices. This is to both push volumes and to outdo their competitors.
On the other hand you have to factor in the many operating costs which tend to surge a lot. These are things such as human resources, transport and logistics, ICTs, and several others. The selling prices you set must cater for all these many elements. You also have to factor in things like inflation or mercurial exchange rates where applicable. That is why it may seem simple but a lot goes into streamlining the supermarket business model.
The Importance Of Economies Of Scale
Economies of scale refer to the characteristics of a production process in which an increase in the scale of a business causes a decrease in the long term average cost of each unit. Increase in capacity and a reduction in costs is basically what brings about economies of scale. The reason is because the costs get distributed or spread out due to an increase in goods. Thus the goal is to expand the size or scale of your supermarket over time. It is characteristic to see big supermarkets charging less than smaller supermarkets. Yet they will still be making profit. Plus they will be pushing more volumes than the smaller supermarkets due to lower prices. This is an important angle to the supermarket business model.
Product selection criteria
The product range is quite broad and diverse making room for you to choose what to offer in your supermarket. However, remember that the supermarkets domain is characterised by fierce competition. You wouldn’t want a scenario where customers actually get in-store but leave empty-handed because they wouldn’t have found what they want. Therefore it’s in the best interest of both you and customers to have a comprehensive range of products.
Products to include are basic food and non-food grocery items, household appliances and consumables, cooked food takeaways, bakery items, fresh produce, dairy products, clothing items, toys, beauty products, toiletries, school supplies, beverages and so on. It’s wise to constantly study customer behaviours and buying patterns in order to note any areas where you’re falling short of customer expectations. Explore ways to source stock at low prices so as to competitively price your products. The supermarket business plan should cater for the costs of purchasing the supermarket products.
There are 4 core things that your supermarket stock management system must factor in. First and foremost it must be software-based – that is the most ideal. An integrated and centralized system is the most recommended. Your system must include an electronic point of sale (EPOS). This EPOS must be connected to software which updates inventory in real-time. This will make it easy to always keep tabs on your stock levels. It should also be a system that automatically provides details such as gross incomes, gross margins, and so on.
The supermarket business requires round the clock agility. You need to constantly monitor and evaluate your business processes daily. It is imperative to always be well-informed about what your competitors are up to. As always all your decisions should be data-driven.
When running a supermarket business you will contend with fierce competition. There will be both direct and indirect competitors; you must seek them out and study them. In principle, do a comprehensive analysis of each, especially the direct competitors. Check out their product offerings and overall business operations. Figure out what they are doing right and where they are missing it. Emulate and perfect the former and capitalize on the latter. There will always be something that you can take note of on every competitor.
Staff And Management for Supermarket Business
Giving you specific numbers might not be possible since human resource needs will depend largely on the size of your supermarket. However, there are key areas that’ll need to have people employed for them specifically. Some of the job posts needed are cashiers/till operators , security guards, general hands, customer attendants, amongst others. The employees you’ll need are a mixture of formally qualified and non-qualified personnel. On the management side some key service areas will be financial management, marketing and sales. In hiring employees be careful to ensure you hire people who are passionate about serving people whilst having a diligent work ethic. The grocery store business plan should cater for salaries and wages costs for your staff.
There is no end to the strategies you can employ to market your supermarket business. Broadly, there are 3 core areas you must do something in namely, digital, offline, and in-store. Set up active social media accounts and make them highly interactive. Have an active website as well for your supermarket. Do not neglect putting up physical promotional material such as banners, billboards, or posters. Have such around your target market area and around your supermarket. Build in psychological hacks in-store. Place ads wherever you can e.g. radio, television, or podcasts. One of the cardinal marketing drivers in the supermarket business is encouraging word of mouth and referrals. This is achievable via alluring strategies such as customer loyalty programmes, promotions, competitions, and sponsoring worthy causes.
Watch the wastage and sabotage
It is impossible to operate a supermarket business single-handedly. You need a significant staff of tellers, cleaners, stackers, accountants, marketers and supervisors. That variety of personnel might mean that a lot of wastage occurs during the production or marketing process. There are far too many stories of supermarkets that would have been successful had it not been for a pilfering worker or infiltration. That means from time to time you need auditors who do not just consider what is involved in the marketing process or even the money but also the activities of workers. You will need to install an appropriate security system and update it on a regular basis. The security is not only for the merchandise that you are selling but also the workers that are in the store.
Growth and development
Supermarkets are rarely static. You will find new products and new clients. The key is not to take on any product or service that you are not fully prepared for. There are plenty of incentives to earn the loyalty of your customer. For example, store cards and bonus points will encourage consumers to come to your supermarket business. On the other end of the spectrum are the small shops in small towns where the use of cash is preferred to anything fancy like credit cards. Be sure to develop partnerships with particular brands who may want to sell their products on your shelves. The profit share schemes that they propose could significantly improve the supermarket’s bottom line. Your supermarket business plan financials should show the projected growth of the business as the years progress.
Pre-Written Supermarket Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the supermarket business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive supermarket business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the grocery store business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the business, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.
The StartupBiz Global grocery shop business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your grocery store business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the supermarket business.
Uses of the Grocery Store Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The supermarket business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
- Applying for a bank loan
- Start-up guide to launch your supermarket business
- As a supermarket business proposal
- Assessing profitability of the supermarket business
- Finding a business partner
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
Contents of the Supermarket Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The supermarket business plan include, but not limited to:
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
- Industry Analysis
- Market Analysis
- Risk Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements
- Operational Strategy
- Why some people in the supermarket business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your grocery store business
The supermarket business plan package consists of 4 files
- Supermarket Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 79 Pages)
- Supermarket Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 79 Pages)
- Supermarket Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 44 pages)
- Supermarket Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)
The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the percentage markup, salaries etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Click below to download the Contents Page of the Supermarket Business Plan (PDF)
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