Contact us | Membership Enquiries 0800 028 0245 | Search

Selecting the best retail business services

You’ve sorted your location and know where you want to rent/buy your shop. Next up is to spend a little time considering the operational side of your business. In this instalment of the How to Open a Shop Guide, we’ll take a look at the different services you’ll need to find suppliers for. Making the right decision now, can save a lot of work further down the line.

Yes, a fully computerised store will mean a smooth running business, but it’s important to make sure the cost is something you can sustain. A balance between the two is ideal.


When considering how your business will operate, you’ll need to think about:

  • Merchant services – this is a service provided by the banks to enable you to accept credit and debit cards. Make sure your rates are well negotiated before signing lengthy contracts. Joining a trade association like Bira (which also provides membership to NAHS) will give you access to rates that are on average £516 per year cheaper – click here to find out more.


  • Business banking – Shop around for the bank with the best rates for your small retail business. It can be time-consuming but it can end up saving you hundreds per year. Start by looking at banks that have branches nearby. If you have a Post Office, you might be able to deposit your cash here in the absence of a nearby bank branch. Banks will have a standard rates tariff for small businesses.


  • EPOS – electronic point of sale should include barcode scanning, supplier ordering and till information systems. This can come with a hefty upfront cost unless you find pay as you go suppliers like Vend.


  • Utilities and telecoms – this is another service that’s worth shopping around for the best rates for. Getting it right at the start means you’ll save time negotiating lower rates when you have a busy shop to manage. Utility Options are recommended by Bira.


Go to next section – hiring and managing employees 

Go back a section – renting vs buying a property

Go back to How to Open a Shop Guide