Are you a Connecticut resident and health-conscious entrepreneur looking for your next business venture? So you have a passion for natural foods, nutrition, or delicious ingredients? Are you looking for a project that requires passion and skill? If so, why not consider opening natural food stores in CT? According to New Hope Network, natural food retail sales accounted for $166 billion in revenue in 2019. Many people refer to Whole Foods as ‘Whole Paycheck’, but it doesn’t stop them from shopping there! There are other such stores, including Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, and countless Farmers’ Markets people use to buy fresh, natural food and supplements for themselves and their pets. However, starting your own business is never easy, especially in today’s difficult market, so it’s important to be prepared. With the right plan, you can get in on the action. Read on for further insight about opening natural food stores in CT.
Have Your Space Renovated Safely
When it’s time to renovate your space, look for a local scaffolding business to make sure updates go safely. Scaffolding comes in handy when work has to be done at great heights. It’s a much safer option than a traditional ladder. According to Trionds, the 2005 Work at Height Regulations Act states scaffolding structures should only be built and deconstructed by a competent member of a scaffolding team and only under the direct supervision of a qualified supervisor.
This structure can aid other contractors who need to do roofing, window, or painting work. Do you dream of having a custom mural created? Having a scaffold ready will help your local artist get started. Taking the time to have this feature ready can avoid accidents, such as falls, as you try to beautify your store. If your natural food stores in CT consist of multi-levels or high ceilings, it’ll be easy to safely renovate them by employing scaffolding professionals first.
Upgrade Your Plumbing
You may think your natural food stores in CT don’t need to invest in plumbing if they only sell food retail items, as opposed to food service. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong since plumbing and healthy water play a major role in any business, especially in natural food stores. You must wash your hands with running hot water for at least 20 seconds, according to the CDC. Before customers pick and buy juicy apples, melon, asparagus, and kale to bring home, your employees will handle those items first. The last thing you’d want is for your employees to use the bathroom, not wash their hands properly and come back and touch the produce.
When employees don’t properly wash their hands and practice good sanitation, it could be the first step in a potential outbreak. Many natural food stores, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, often have bathrooms for their customers. In addition, you should have bathrooms in the back for employees. In both situations, investing in plumbing repair maintains functioning toilets that don’t overflow and hot water pressure at the sink.
Good plumbing makes it possible for your natural food stores in CT to have a smoothie bar or another food kiosk in the store. You can bring in additional revenue by producing green smoothies, protein smoothies, and other prepped meals for people to take with them in addition to their regular groceries. Places like Whole Foods have a pizza station, sushi station, hot food bar, and more. Let’s not forget about Trader Joe’s well-known sampling station. If your employees handle any type of food, whether it’s drinks or cold items, they need a space to frequently wash their hands and dishes.
Get New HVAC Installed
Hiring local HVAC companies play a major role in the success of opening natural food stores in Connecticut. Having a well-conditioned environment with proper humidity levels helps maintain the freshness of your produce. It’s not enough to bring in organic produce if your store is going to be so hot that your greens wilt by the end of the day.
You have to consider how comfortable your customers will be. Imagine a customer walking into a store ready to spend $100 on fresh produce that day, only to be hit with an immense wall of humidity on a hot summer day. That situation may cause them to turn around, walk out and go someplace with air conditioning. It doesn’t take long to succumb to heat stroke, especially if you’re at a certain age or already have a compromised immune system. Don’t lose customers by having a store that’s either too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer. Keep it comfortable enough to where people can come in for one item but feel the need to walk all around the store to double-check if there’s something else that they see on your shelves.
Take Care of Roofing Issues
Imagine walking into your store one morning only to come upon a collapsed roof or water streaming down the walls. Having to do emergency roof repairs may cause you to lose business for days, a week, or longer. You certainly can’t have customers walking into a store with a gaping hole in your roof.
Nip roof issues in the bud by maintaining your annual inspections. When you custom-build natural food stores in CT, you’ll start with a new roof. By taking your time to find an experienced roofer, you can have peace that your installation will be up to code and can withstand the elements, especially during those Connecticut winters. However, if you’re buying an existing building, have a roofer conduct the necessary inspections and upgrades. Don’t be afraid to replace the roof, even if it’s in good condition because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Thanks to roof technology, you have many materials to choose from for your commercial roofing. Opt for metal or slate roofing, which can easily last 50 to 70 years with maintenance, according to Bob Vila.
When doing a custom commercial build from scratch, install the best insulation possible. Hire local spray foam insulation companies to give you affordable, lasting, and eco-friendly protection. According to Bob Vila, spray foam insulation is the best way to insulate a building and saves on heating and cooling costs. So, you can keep your store as comfortable as possible for customers and employees while improving profits by saving on utility bills.
You also want to protect your produce and other items at all times, even when the store is closed by aiding in temperature regulation. Insulation also protects your building from outside elements. In other words, strong insulation can reduce the ability of pests to get into your store and wreak havoc.
Get Business Insurance
Do you remember when Mcdonald’s was sued for over a hot cup of coffee? Since McDonald’s is a multi-billion dollar corporation, it was able to get past that lawsuit and continue to pull in revenue. That’s why it’s imperative for any business, large or small, to have some form of business insurance to protect them from various forms of litigation, personal injury claims, property damage, and other problems.
Business Owners Insurance (otherwise known as BOP) can provide coverage if you have to shut your business down due to property damage or loss. Regardless of how careful you are as a business owner, accidents can happen. There may be ‘acts of God’, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and other destructive forces. Your store can be burglarized and robbed of many items that you have to replace. As mentioned, if you don’t handle roofing issues, it can result in a collapse or damaging water leaks. If your business has to shut down, the right insurance can make sure that you can cover payroll. Then you won’t lose good employees and managers after you open natural food stores in CT.
Your business insurance also covers the insurance packages you offer your employees. According to Small Biz Trends, after salary concerns, job seekers look for benefits packages that include health, life, disability, and long-term care insurance. You’ll lose a very good employee to a company that offers these types of insurance if you don’t. For more insight, contact your local attorneys office about the various types of business insurance you should have.
Maintain Your Coolers
Food recalls can happen when an outbreak of bacteria, pathogens like Salmonella, objects like glass, or unlisted allergens are discovered in your food products. According to DMNA, meat, chicken, and fish must be stored at an internal temp of 41 F or lower. Storing food at the right temperature keeps it safe, as it doesn’t provide an opportunity for bacteria to grow and poison someone.
That’s why it’s important to maintain your coolers. These coolers store your meats, seafood, milk, juices, dairy products, frozen items, and anything you can’t keep out in the open. Have existing coolers in the building inspected to see if they’re still in compliance with cooling regulations. Even if you buy new coolers, you may need to have them repaired at some point. Have the contact for a local appliance repair business that can quickly assist with updating your coolers in an emergency.
Fix up Your Parking Lot
A professional parking lot space is vital for any professional business, especially when getting your name out there. So, when you open natural food stores in CT, pay attention to the quality of your existing paving. If you notice weeds, cracks, and uneven levels, hire an asphalt paving service to shave the lot and redo the paving.
Don’t forget about the value of parking lot signage. When people drive up to your natural food stores, you want them to know they’re in the right place. So, don’t only have signs in front of the store itself. Have big and bold signs in the parking lot so people know where to go. It’s useful if your business is next to others, as you want customers to know exactly what space they can park in, especially if it requires validation. Signs should tell customers exactly how many hours they can park there and where accessible parking is. According to the ADA, you should have at least one accessible space or more for every 25.
Have New Lighting Installed
Have you ever noticed how the broccoli at Whole Foods seems to have its spotlight? Walk over to the vegetable section and notice all the various shades of green thanks to the beautiful lighting. Customers should have the same experience when you open natural food stores in CT. With so many varieties of fruit from the United States and abroad, customers should see all the textures, shapes, and colors. Keep your checkout lines well-lit so people can easily spot them, no matter where they’re in the store. Don’t have just anyone do your electrical work. Only enlist the services of a licensed electrician, so you’ll know that your wiring is safe and in compliance. The last thing you want in your business are frayed wires that can become a fire hazard. A licensed electrician knows what to look for and can make the necessary repairs to keep your store, customers, and employees safe.
Plan for Waste Removal
Trash removal is a must for any business. Even if you’re not serving hot food and sit-down service, you’ll need to discard packaging like boxes, bags, and crates your deliveries come in. If you have smoothie bars or other food stands inside stores, customers will throw out cups and other containers. Plus, employees will have trash to discard from their lunch breaks. Of course, the last thing you’d want is for bathroom trash to build up and overflow. Enlisting the services of dumpster rentals will keep your business clean and sanitary.
The time is right to make your mark in the natural food industry. Whether you want to only carry fruit and vegetables or have a range of vegan goods, holistic bath products, and pet products, you can build stores that customers love. The choice is yours when you open natural food stores in CT.