Iconic High Street Businesses: The Newsagents – How to start a Newsagent Business?
Many students have delivered the early morning papers in the sun, rain, hail, and snow to earn a few cents while at school. But in the UK your local newsagent would provide this and additional services for residents.
But how does opening a newsagent work and is it still a viable business? You may be surprised that providing newspaper delivery is still highly popular despite everything moving online.
Check out our guide to starting and running a newsagent in the UK as a profitable business.
What are Newsagents?
The first newsagent was established in 1855, and the sector has come a long way ever since. Technological advancements have assisted the evolution of the industry.
Despite the problems, news agents are still seen as crucial community shops, and they continue to be a popular choice in local areas – thanks to their friendly and personal approach to business.
Millions of British people shop at newsagents for newspapers, magazines, lottery tickets and other necessities. Newsagents and corner stores have become somewhat of a British institution.
What would happen if you didn’t go out on a Sunday morning to get your newspaper, milk, and eggs? Newsagents are usually close by, open when you need them usually until midnight, and frequently the heart and soul of small towns.
How to start a Newsagent from Scratch?
We have listed the steps it takes to open or start a newsagent in the UK so go through each and plan your newsagent business plan accordingly.
- Identify Your target MarketIt’s critical to determine whether there will be sufficient local demand for your proposed newsagent. First and foremost, investigate the competition. Check how many stores in your target area already sell newspapers, magazines, and the other products you want to trade.Identify and record the many types of possible clients who live and work in the region your business will be located. It will assist you in determining the range of items and services you will provide.Your business must be located near a residential neighbourhood and an area with a high concentration of residential properties, workplaces, and other industries. You might get good foot traffic near a popular bus station, taxi rank or in a crowded shopping arcade. In larger towns and cities, the move toward a 24-hour lifestyle may present a chance for your business to be open late at night.
- Determine The Budget
There are several options for funding an investment in starting a newsagent business. Owners can use their funds, seek a business loan, or even apply for a local business support grant.However, like house pricing, the cost of a newsagent varies by region if you want to buy a property, and rates change if you’re going to rent. The price will also vary depending on the size and profitability of the newsagent.Professional expenditures, such as solicitors or accountants who will conduct surveys and valuations, should also be factored into your budget. Then there’s the money you’ll need to cover the interest on your loan, initial overheads (telephone bill, gas, electricity, and water), damaged and missing products, wages, building repairs, advertising, and basic living expenses if you plan to live in or above the premises.
- Decide What To Sell
The size of your store primarily determines the number of products you can sell. If you wish to run a kiosk, you’ll only be able to sell a limited selection of newspapers and other products.If your space is large enough, you might be able to dedicate one entire wall to a nine-shelf newspaper and magazine display. Remember that, while newspapers and magazines are available from places like convenience stores, you’ll be establishing yourself as a specialised newsagent, so you’ll need to be able to show a diverse selection of publications to attract clients.You’ll probably have snacks and other items in addition to newspapers, magazines, and comic books. Many newsagents now sell a wide range of things, including:
- Stationery, stamps, and greetings cards
- Toys and gifts
- Bread, milk, and other grocery products
- Soft drinks and other beverages
- Snacks and sandwiches
Some may also consider offering services like an internet café or cybercafe if there is a demand.
4. Advertising Your Services
Potential clients must be aware of you and your product offerings, whatever services you decide to provide.
If you want to make a point of having long opening hours, you can advertise it on the street via signs. If your displays aren’t immediately visible through your entrance or window, make it evident that you sell newspapers and magazines.
You can also utilize your shop window to promote any upcoming special discounts or promotions and any new services or product lines you plan to offer.
You may print a brochure describing some of your company’s distinctive features and distribute it to targeted customers and businesses or you can work with other businesses like the Royal Mail.
How to buy an existing Newsagent Business?
Rather than starting from scratch with a Newsagent business as outlined above, you can also choose to purchase an established newsagent’s shop. This may be a more suitable option for someone who already has some money to invest.
Check the following points before buying an existing newsagent’s shop:
- The location, equipment, and inventory are in the proper place.
- There are regular customers.
- The business can begin earning money right away.
- Suppliers have been identified, and ties with them have been already created.
- The company has a track record and can manage its finances.
- The price and how it compares with others.
However, research any firm you’re considering ensuring that the price you negotiate with the seller is reasonable. Determine why the business is for sale, such as whether the owner wants to retire or has another personal reason for selling.
How much can I earn with a Newsagent?
It is dependent on the amount of effort you put in and the number of different revenue streams you generate. You may not meet your aim if you only sell an essential selection of newspapers, magazines, and sweets, but expanding your operations to include beverages, Lottery tickets, snacks, greeting cards, and household items could enhance profitability.
If you have a good point of sale or counter full of tiny products like stickers, Instants cards, candy, and snacks, people will buy in massive numbers. It’s a good source of profit, but you must spend to earn and keep up with new promotions and products.
You should try for a profit margin of 20% to 25%. It is a good amount, but you can raise it by adding extras like the Lottery tickets, which pay 5% of total revenue, but you must wait for them to approach you and check whether your outlet is sufficient. You can get up to a 40% profit margin on items like cards and stationery.
4 Top Tips for a successful Newsagent Business
- Spend To Earn.
Try to keep your goods up to date and develop fresh ways to make money. Invest in new and innovative ways to keep your newsagent business attractive such as collaborating with delivery services (customers collect orders from your store with pick-up options that online retailers like Amazon offer) to increase the foot traffic and attract new clients.
- Cleanliness and Presentation are Essential.
Customers often buy things in addition to what they came in for if you have the right stock in the right places. Obviously, items like cigarettes and alcohol are often picked up by costumers coming in later in the day or at weekends when most supermarkets are closed. Stocking household items that people often run out like soap, kitchen basics etc. can also be top sellers and having sweet treats or chewing gums by the checkout can add to customer’s purchases.
- Get Prepared For Long Days.
Make sure you can handle the pressures of an early start and a late finish. You may have to get used to working from dusk until dawn to offer the best service in your area, but it will pay off as customers are happy to pay for the convenience.
- Examine The Competition.
Move to an area where you believe your newsagent will thrive. Avoid areas with many supermarkets or express shops as they may be disastrous to your small business. Start in perhaps a rather new neighbourhood or an area where such services are lacking.
As a Newsagent, you are self-employed and responsible for your deliveries and orders, stock levels, wage bills, and lease agreements if you own a leasehold facility. A newsagent’s business is all about people and communities. It takes a great deal of hard work to build up and maintain a steady profit, but it can be profitable and fulfilling when done right.
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