Wondering how to start a dairy store? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Dairy Retail Overview
On average, Americans consume more than 600 pounds of dairy products each year -- a figure that continues to rise despite changing dietary guidelines. Dairy stores and other retail dairy providers play a valuable role in the supply chain, delivering a range of dairy products into the hands (and mouths) of the buying public.
Most dairy stores are diversified retail operations. Even though dairy may form the backbone of their product lines, dairy stores also offer consumers a mix of food items, many of which appeal to shoppers looking for "down on the farm" consumables. As a prospective dairy store entrepreneur it's important to grasp the scope of products sold in dairy retail and incorporate multiple product categories into your business model.
Supply Concerns for Dairy Store Startups
Dairy store startups need to remember that dairy products are the primary reason consumers will be drawn to their establishments. Diverse product lines are important, but if your store has a problem maintaining inventories of key dairy products, it's only a matter of time before your customers transfer their loyalty to a competitor.
When it comes to dairy retail, supply needs to be fresh and local. Additionally, dairy consumers expect to be presented with product alternatives (e.g. skim milk, whole milk, organic milk). That means your startup will have to maintain a f a large variety of perishable products. If you aren't an inventory management guru yet, you will need to become one -- and the sooner, the better.
Revenue Maximization in Dairy Retail
Like other types of retailers, dairy store entrepreneurs live and die by a simple equation: store traffic equals store revenue. So to maximize your startup's revenue, you will need to prioritize strategies that maximize store traffic.
The retail sector is full of tried and true tactics for increasing store traffic. Sales, discounts, promotions, loyalty clubs and other initiatives are all part of generating additional retail traffic. But to connect with the largest possible base of customers, you will need to devise a marketing plan that leverages targeted advertising and other promotional techniques.
These days, many retailers (including dairy stores) are using technology to drive traffic. An active presence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter creates a virtual community around your brand and incentivizes consumers to visit your location(s).
Business Plans 101 for Dairy Store Startups
Startup entrepreneurs slave over the creation of their business plans, investing countless hours in the details of their startup strategy. But your business plan won't be finished until you've included material about your industry.
Industry analyses are standard chapters in dairy store business plans and are often required by lenders or investors. In this section, your readers will gain a clearer understanding of your business stacks up against the rest of the industry.
Although it sounds complicated, most entrepreneurs can create an effective industry analysis section by simply steering clear of common industry analysis mistakes.
Consider Local Demographics
No dairy store in the area? It may be for good reason. The U.S. Census data can tell you the social, economic, rage and age profile of the people in your community. That's a good starting point to learn more about your local demographics.
Don't Ignore Competitors
Prior to launching a dairy store in your area, it's worthwhile to determine how many competitors you have. Use the link below to find competitors near you. After following the link, enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of dairy stores in your area.
Gain a knowledge of how existing firms have positioned themselves in the marketplace, and then design your business in a way that sets you apart from the others.
Getting Advice from Experienced Entrepreneurs
As part of your due diligence on opening a dairy store, it's a smart move to have a conversation with someone who is in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. What's in it for them?
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started a dairy store in another town will be much more likely to talk with you, once they realize that you are not going to directly compete with them in their community. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.
Do you know how to find somebody who runs a dairy store in another city who you can speak with?
No problem! Just use the link below and try a random city/state or zipcode. Then start dialing for advice until you are successful.
Entrepreneurial Alternatives for Dairy Stores
Common sense will tell you that to enter the world of dairy store, you'll either need to start a new business or acquire a promising company on the business-for-sale marketplace. There are a lot of benefits of buying a dairy store.
In today's marketplace, buyers clearly have the upper hand, making it relatively easy to find a dairy store that meets your personal and professional objectives.
The odds of achieving your primary goal of being a successful business owner immediately improve when you choose to franchise instead of doing it all on your own.
Before starting a dairy store, you should assess whether buying a franchise could make it easy to get started.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you sell to dairy stores, this isn't the right place for you. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.