Running a Retail Shop

Whether you choose to buy an empty premises and start from scratch or whether you choose to purchase an existing premises there are a number of things to consider along the way. Raising Finance, cash flow forecasting, Legislation, Business planning, Marketing, day to day operations, employment law, symbol group or independent etc .

The Kent Rural Retailers service is here to help and advise on all these matters and more . But to get you started take a look at the guides below.

Before you start

A business plan describes your business and should contain objectives,marketing  and Cash flow forecasts-   The Cashflow Template

A business plan will also help you to 

  • determine any potential problems
  • define your  goals
  • help you to measure your progress

You will almost certainly need a business plan Business plan template if you want to secure investment or a loan from a bank.


When renting a property for your business, you have some responsibilities by law – but most will depend on what it says in the lease.

The Rural Shops Alliance downloadable fact sheet – Legislation affecting independent retailer’s

another good source of information is

Independent or symbol group

A “symbol group” retailer is an independent retailer that is a member of a larger organisation known as a symbol group. A well known examples of  symbol groups are SPAR or LONDIS.

Typically, symbol group affiliated retailers undertake to purchase a proportion of the goods they sell from their symbol group operator. There may also be other obligations as part of the agreement, but these will vary from group to group. In return for making these undertakings, members receive a range of benefits, including:

  • A branded shop fascia
  • Advantageous buying terms
  • Access to own brand ranges
  • IT and logistical support
  • Marketing and promotional programs

For those considering joining a Symbol Group the report will offer some guidance of  the  specific requirements, benefits and pitfalls of each. Download a copy here. For more in depth information contact the symbol group direct.

Fitting out your shop

In the current highly competitive climate it is extremely important that retail shops are presented to the highest standard. It is often at times when you as a shop keeper are so busy sorting the books, ordering stock or dealing with staff that you overlook how important the interior décor is.

When business is a bit slow and sales could be better, a fresh new look could be just what your store needs. If you are considering a refurbishment  there are a number of things to consider. Our colleagues at Oxfordshire Rural Community Council have produced an advice sheet with tips on what is needed when fitting out a local shopDownload a copy here.



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