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Independent retailers have a lot to teach each other and a lot to learn from one another. Here, David Arkin of Arancini Brothers, an independent, organic street-food retailer, is sharing some of what he’s learnt from growing his business into a budding independent chain.

Lessons for Before You Start

It’s  important to have a clear business plan, before you get started;

“when you’re working up to 100 hours per week – it’s often hard to stay focused on the end goal”

A clear business plan will keep you on track through the stormy waters that all independent businesses must navigate early on.

It’s also important to get your important systems in place early on, “at Arancini Brothers we used to waste an hour every night reconciling receipts before getting an EPOS system”. By having the right system on board before things really get going, you can save time and often money!

Do Your Research

An ancient Chinese retailer once said: ‘know your store and know your market and in a hundred years of business you’ll never be in peril’ (well, that’s what he meant at least). It’s important that you understand the circumstances of your shop:

“Invest some time in running small surveys or interviews with your targeted customer groups. We’ve learnt that our customers are very price sensitive”.

You need to learn from your customers, if you’re going to sell to them. Arkin suggests that you’ll want to research the paths your company can take. As an example is the option of delivery for food retailers.

Lessons from Organic Street-Food Masters: The Arancini Brothers. Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

Don’t be Afraid to Invest in Your Business

It might sound obvious, but it’s important to invest in your business. Don’t be afraid to put money into your business. Hiring a PR company might not be at the forefront of the average retailer’s mind. Hence investing in these opportunities could be great for growing your business. “We are working with a PR company to continue to grow awareness for arancini balls in general and The Arancini Brothers in particular”, says Arkin, explaining about his food, “new often means unknown – then it’s all about how you communicate it”.

Like most retailers, David Arkin of the Arincini Brothers clearly has a lot to teach and you can read his full article here.