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Generally speaking, any kind of restaurant, bar, or retail store will need a liquor license to sell wine for on-premise consumption or if they are selling wines by the bottle for off-premise consumption. One common exception is salons, spas, and other similar establishments. In many areas, you can offer customers up to 12 ounces of complimentary beer or wine during business hours.
A temporary liquor license, or temporary liquor permit, allows businesses to serve beer, wine, or liquor for a specific and limited period of time. Temporary liquor permits are typically valid for 90 to 180 days, depending on the state and type of permit. They are used for special events, or by new businesses that want to serve alcohol before their permanent license is approved.
Liquor licenses can cost as little as a few hundred dollars or more than $14,000. The cost depends on your state and city. Generally speaking, licenses will be more affordable in rural areas and more expensive in competitive metro areas such as New York City and Chicago.
Getting a liquor license can take as few as four months and as long as almost a year. The average time for acquiring a liquor license is five to six months. You can help ensure a speedy application process by including all of the required documents and permits within your application. If there are any missing elements, that can drag out your liquor license application.
In order to be able to compare survey results over time with accuracy, you need to stick with the same exact survey. So, if you change the introduction to the survey, its delivery method, or any of the questions, you will be essentially starting over with your tracking. That is why it’s important to carefully plan out your customer satisfaction survey before executing.
Send out customer satisfaction surveys no more than once per transaction. Sending surveys more frequently than that can become confusing. Generally speaking, you want to send out surveys often enough to have updated information, but not so often that they annoy the customer.
You want to ask customers for feedback while the experience is fresh in their minds—ideally within 24 hours of their purchase, while they still remember all the details. For online purchases, send the survey a day or two after the customers have received their items.
Most businesses emphasize that the survey results are used to improve their products and services, which can be a direct benefit for the customer. For detailed or lengthy surveys, some businesses offer a discount code for customers who complete the survey or enter those customers into a raffle contest. For more creative ideas on collecting customer feedback, check out our list of Ways to Get Customer Feedback from the Pros.
Meaghan BrophyModerator1 month, 4 weeks ago
Are the customers not paying more than $5 per item, or are you not spending more than $5 per item when you purchase them wholesale? When it comes to pricing products, one of the most important things to consider is the profit margin. With a few exceptions, you should generally aim to have a profit margin of at least 50%. You can use our retail margin calculator to check the gross profit margin on your specific products.
A lot of this also depends on the type of products you are selling. For example, grocery stores have very low margins and rely on high-volume sales to make a profit. However, it is easier for grocery stores to do this because people always need groceries, and it is common for people to shop at grocery stores a few times per week.
Other types of retailers, such as boutiques or specialty stores, generally rely on fewer sales but with higher margins. When deciding which strategy is best for your business, think about the types of products you are selling, competitor prices, and what marketing strategies you can use to drive enough shoppers to your store or website to maintain the sales volume you need to make a profit.
- This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by Meaghan Brophy.
Meaghan BrophyModerator3 months, 3 weeks ago
This is an excellent question and one that I know many independent online businesses struggle with. In order to appear higher in Google search results for product queries you will need to have a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy in place.
Building an SEO strategy takes time and consistency. Luckily, some ecommerce platforms like Shopify and Lightspeed have built-in tools to help you do this. Shopify also has a tool to help you appear under Google’s shopping results.
If you do any local sales, you can always register with Google My Business with your location, and at least you will show up better on local searches. But, my top advice is to either use an ecommerce platform with built-in SEO and marketing tools. Or, consult with an expert who can help you develop an SEO strategy.
Meaghan BrophyModerator3 months, 3 weeks ago
That’s a great question and your instincts are correct! Place larger heavy items towards the bottom. Place the items you want to push at eye-level, as that is where shoppers eyes will naturally fall. Many stores tend to place higher-end products slightly above eye-level, and bargain options slightly below. Think of the phrase “top-shelf” liquor. People tend to associate those shelf levels with higher quality or higher price points. When shopping in a grocery store, bargain products such as store brands tend to be slightly below eye-level.
Use those ideas as a general rule of thumb. How you stock also depends on what kind of store you have and the products you sell. If you have a lot of children coming into your store, also consider what products you’re placing at their level (hopefully nothing that’s easily breakable!).
Tim also offers good advice. Group like with like, so it’s easy for customers to find products. You can also boost add-on and impulse sales with this strategy. For example, during the summer place chocolate and graham crackers with your marshmallows. And, always consider seasonal events for creating special displays and endcaps.
And, yes, you are right – always make sure your products are pulled to the front of the shelves.
Sounds like you are on the right track!
Congrats on deciding to start a power washing business! Like Melanie said, opting for an LLC structure will give you more protection than a sole proprietorship. An LLC separates your personal finances from your business finances. It requires a little more paperwork to set up, but might be a good option. We cover the differences between each business structure here.
I would check with your local government, but it is likely you will need to register your business in each state you will operate. I also recommend writing a business plan – it will help you get all of the details worked out on paper, and give you something concrete to reference.
Not sure how far along you are in the process, but I would recommend starting with writing a business plan. This will help you get all of your thoughts on paper, identify your target market, and most importantly, establish a financial plan. Having a business plan will also help you secure funding if that is something you’re looking into.
Here are some tips for writing a business plan.
That’s a great question! If you’re looking to actually place your vending machines on school grounds, I would start by negotiating directly with the school. They may already have established vendor agreements or restriction on the types of products you can sell (for example, some schools no longer sell sugary sodas and snacks).
When you’re first starting out, you may want to refill the vending machine a few times yourself before having an employee do it, so you can provide more specific and hands-on training. As far as hiring your employee, you can use a free service like Indeed – we have an article on how to maximize your free listing, how to write a job description, and how to interview to find the best candidate.
In case you haven’t seen it, we also have a guide on How to Start a Vending Machine in 5 Steps.