Here in the Philippines, you will see a bunch of mini convenience stores in every corner. The sari-sari store or mini-marts are considered to be a successful and inexpensive business that anyone can start. Walking around busy streets, you will see multiple sari-sari stores next to each other; offering the same or even different varieties of products. Anyone can start a sari-sari store business. As a matter of fact, it’s one business that you do not need a whole lot of experience when starting. If you’re having the interest, then you should know that there are a couple of things you need in order for you to successfully manage or to operate a sari-sari store business without suffering a huge loss.
In this article, we will be giving you brief but concise ways on how you can be a successful sari-sari store business owner. We were able to gather the opinions and the techniques of some sari-sari store owners and without their help, we wouldn’t be able to provide these information we’re about to give you.
Is a sari-sari store business profitable?
Definitely. The main idea of a sari-sari store is to be a convenience store to people who need products you are offering. If your location is somewhere where access to groceries and other stuff is kind of difficult, then you can somehow adjust the price to a higher amount for the “convenience” you’re offering your market.
Depending on how you position your prices and of course, depending on what you offer would be the profit you will be getting.
Your location is key
As mentioned above, the essence of having a sari-sari store is to provide convenience to people. Where you are situated is key because if no one else is offering what you offer and you are near your market, then of course, they will choose you. Imagine if they go kilometers just to get what they’re looking for, wouldn’t it be more convenient and better if they just buy from your store even if the price is a bit high? Buying from you would save them time, transport money/gas, and effort. Therefore, your location is a big factor in starting a sari-sari store business.
It has a low capital so invest on what you offer
According to statistics, more than 90% of sari-sari store business owners operate their stores just outside their homes. Having that said, it’s safe to say that the rent or the payment of where you operate is already given, giving you more capital to spend on what you will be selling. Since that is the case, you can try to invest more in what products you will be selling and in improving the physical appearance of your store.
Adjust your prices depending on the suggested retail price
Oftentimes, the prices of sari-sari stores would be substantially higher than those of the products in groceries. The reason why is because of the proximity of your location versus supermarkets. Although this is the case, you need to carefully look at how much your pricing will be because there might be other stores in your vicinity. You need to be a bit higher than the groceries, but a bit lesser than other competitors.
For example, if you plan on selling junk food and chips, have a mark up of like Php7.00 to Php9.00 because most sari-sari stores have a mark up of Php10.00 to Php12.00 on chips and junk food. If you are to sell softdrinks and sodas, have a mark up of Php3.00 to Php5.00 since you will be ordering that in bulk which is cheaper.
In connection with your prices, find a good supplier
This tip is actually what will make you more profitable. Most sari-sari store business owners get their products and items from groceries. As mentioned, what your prices are should generally be higher than groceries, right? But what if you can get a direct supplier, say, for example, for canned goods? or for softdrinks? Instead of buying those from groceries, you can actually save more money if you directly purchase from suppliers or manufacturers because groceries already mark up their items.
Find a supplier and build a healthy relationship with them by not giving them a headache. Moreso, you can ensure a good reputation by ordering on a regular basis.
A lot of sari-sari stores close because of bad business. What is the cause? Well, credits or debts from other people or from sukis. Although it is not a bad thing to allow other people to borrow from you, if you’re starting, it’s better if you say no to that because that can grow and that can be the pathway to failure.
Another thing is that family members, relatives, and friends of sari-sari store business owners tend to look at the business as a personal grocery where they can get whatever they need for the day. That should not be the case. Everyone needs to respect the essence of the business because that too can lead to loss and worse, closing of your business.
Keep a good inventory of your products
A lot of times, sari-sari store owners just opens up their businesses without even registering it properly and without having proper inventory. This is an unhealthy practice and this can lead to you shelling out more money than gaining.
First off, you need to register your business as a legitimate business. Get business permits, register it with a name, and so on. With that, you can now be seen as a legitimate business and suppliers will now be attracted to you.
Another thing new sari-sari store business owners should consider is to have a clear and precise inventory. Keep track of what you have, how many units of it you have, what the prices are versus how much you bought it, and a clear indication of how much you will be gaining from that particular category. This would help you in budgeting, in shopping and buying more products, and the overall development and growth of the sari-sari store business.
Match what you’ll be selling with what the season is
Many sari-sari stores offer the same thing for a whole year. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, wouldn’t it be better if you offer different things for different occasions? By doing this, you are enabling your store to be flexible in current situations.
- Offer mosquito repellents,
- Insecticides; and
- Mosquito coils
Before the school year starts (after summer):
- Pencil cases
- Plastic covers
Generally, school supplies to help parents and guardians with what their kiddos need.
- Shoe protectors
- Plastic bags
Being flexible is one of the best ways on how you can gain the best profit you can. In addition, you also need to consider how much your pricing will be. Pricing it so high might not attract your market so as usual, also try to consider keeping it to a minimum.
These are just basic stuff on how you successfully run a business. A lot of people tend to forget these so this should serve as a reminder. These are not formulas for a billion-peso business but this should be enough for you to properly maintain and to properly manage your sari-sari store business.