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28 Brick-and-Mortar Business Ideas

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David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

28 Brick-and-Mortar Business Ideas

A brick-and-mortar business is a business with an actual shop, where customers buy goods and services. It may be a bit old-fashioned in the age of the internet, but it’s still the way most business gets done. If you like meeting people in your community and creating a welcoming space, you could open your own brick-and-mortar spot and make a good living. 

The key question is what sort of business would you like to run? You could have a coffee shop or a candy store, a pet store, a shoe store, a liquor shop, a nursery or even a dollar store. The best way to succeed is to choose the option that best suits your personality, and build a brand that works for you.

To start mulling your options, review our list of brilliant brick-and-mortar business ideas below.

1. Grocery Store

How to start a grocery store business

Location and Costs: A grocery store should be located in a community with easy access and ample parking. It’s ideal to place it near residential areas. Renting a space can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 per month depending on the location and size of the property.

Setting Up: You’ll need refrigeration units, shelving, checkout counters, and a point of sale system. Investing in high-quality equipment is crucial to handle a large inventory. The design of the store should be welcoming, with clear signage inside and outside to guide customers. The exterior should have visible and attractive signage to draw in foot traffic.

2. Furniture Store

How to start a furniture store business

Location and Costs: Furniture stores require large spaces to display different setups, so look for a spacious showroom, which might cost between $15,000 to $50,000 per month. High-traffic areas near shopping centers are perfect.

Setting Up: Key needs include display racks, price tags, and a reliable inventory system. Interior design should highlight the furniture pieces, with adequate lighting and spaced-out displays that allow customers to envision the furniture in their homes. An appealing storefront with eye-catching displays can also attract passersby.

3. Coffee Shop

How to start a coffee shop business

Location and Costs: A coffee shop should be in a high-foot-traffic area such as downtown or near a university. Expect to pay between $2,500 and $7,000 per month for a cozy space.

Setting Up: Essential equipment includes an espresso machine, coffee brewers, grinders, and seating for customers. The interior should feel inviting and cozy, with comfortable seating and warm lighting. Exterior signage should be distinctive and welcoming, potentially with outdoor seating if space allows.

4. Convenience Store

How to Start a Convenience Store

Location and Costs: Convenience stores work best at accessible locations such as gas stations or busy streets. Monthly rent can range from $1,500 to $10,000.

Setting Up: Stocking refrigeration units, shelving, and a secure checkout area are necessary. Interior design should focus on easy navigation and efficiency, with clear, well-lit aisles and prominent product placement. Strong, clear signage is essential to attract impulse buyers.

5. Shoe Store

How to start a shoe store business

Location and Costs: Placing your shoe store in a mall or popular shopping street can increase foot traffic. Rent typically ranges from $5,000 to $20,000 a month.

Setting Up: You’ll need display racks, seating for fittings, and mirrors. Design the store to offer a clear, uncluttered space where customers can easily try on and compare different styles. Exterior design should be neat with clear signage that communicates the type of shoes you sell.

6. Bakery

How to start a bakery business

Location and Costs: A bakery should be in a visible location with good morning traffic, such as near a business district. Near schools, hospitals, business districts are also good locations. Rent might vary from $2,000 to $10,000 monthly.

Setting Up: Ovens, mixers, display cases, and a sales counter are essential. The interior should be warm and inviting, using displays to highlight fresh goods. Your storefront should be welcoming, with windows allowing passersby to view the baking process if possible.

7. Florist Shop

How to start a florist business

Location and Costs: Florists thrive in boutique shops within community centers or along main roads, with rents ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per month.

Setting Up: Refrigeration for fresh flowers, display stands, and a design table are necessary. The shop’s design should be clean and refreshing, highlighting the natural beauty of the flowers. Exterior design is crucial as well, with an inviting entryway that displays seasonal blooms or arrangements.

8. Candy Shop

How to start a candy store

Location and Costs: A candy shop is best located in areas with high foot traffic, such as shopping malls or busy downtown streets. Rent typically ranges from $1,500 to $8,000 per month.

Setting Up: Essential equipment includes display cases, shelves, and cash registers. Design should be colorful and fun, creating a joyful atmosphere that attracts both kids and adults. Bright, appealing signage both inside and out will help catch the eyes of potential customers.

9. Baby Store

How to start a baby store business

Location and Costs: A baby store should be in a family-friendly area, possibly near maternity stores or pediatric clinics. Monthly rent ranges from $3,000 to $15,000.

Setting Up: You’ll need cribs for display, high-quality shelving, and a play area for children. The interior should be safe and inviting, with soft colors and easy-to-navigate layouts. Exterior signage should be gentle and appealing, ideally showcasing the baby-friendly nature of products.

10. Jewelry Shop

jewelry shop business idea

Location and Costs: Jewelry shops perform well in upscale shopping districts or malls. Expect rent to be between $5,000 and $25,000 monthly, depending on location and security features.

Setting Up: Security systems, elegant display cases, and good lighting are crucial. The store’s design should be luxurious and sophisticated, with secure, well-lit displays that highlight the jewelry’s quality. The exterior should be understated yet elegant, with secure entry points.

11. Hardware Store

How to start a hardware store

Location and Costs: Ideal for a suburban area near residential neighborhoods, hardware store rents vary widely, from $4,000 to $20,000 per month depending on size.

Setting Up: Stocking heavy shelving, large bins for loose items, and space for bulky items is necessary. The design should focus on functionality, with clear signage and organized sections. Exterior signage should be straightforward and robust, reflecting the practical nature of the business.

12. Stationery Store

How to start a stationery business

Location and Costs: A stationery store often does well in a downtown area or near schools and offices, with rents ranging from $1,500 to $7,000 monthly.

Setting Up: Display shelves, storage for paper products, and a design area for custom orders are important. The interior should be creative and neatly organized to inspire customers. Bright and inviting exterior signage will attract students and professionals alike.

13. Cupcake Shop

How to start a cupcake business

Location and Costs: Cupcake shops thrive in visible areas with lots of daily traffic, such as near colleges or central business districts. Rent ranges from $2,000 to $8,000 per month.

Setting Up: You need ovens, mixers, display cases, and seating areas. The interior should be sweet and whimsical, using pastel colors and playful designs to create a welcoming environment. The shop’s exterior should be charming and inviting, with clear signage that evokes a sense of indulgence.

14. Consignment Shop

How to Start a Consignment Shop

Location and Costs: A consignment shop works well in community-focused areas or near thrift shopping zones. Monthly rent can be between $1,000 and $6,000.

Setting Up: Racks for clothing, shelves for goods, and a spacious layout are essential. The design should be clean and organized, making it easy for customers to browse. Exterior design should be welcoming and clear about the type of items you accept and sell.

15. Bookstore

How to open a bookstore

Location and Costs: Bookstores are ideal in cultured areas, near cafes and other shops, with rents typically between $3,000 and $15,000 a month.

Setting Up: Shelving for books, comfortable reading areas, and a checkout counter are needed. The interior should be cozy and inviting, with soft lighting and quiet nooks for reading. The exterior should be classic and inviting, possibly featuring display windows with eye-catching book arrangements.

16. Pawn Shop

How to start a pawn shop

Location and Costs: Pawn shops do well in areas with high foot traffic and diverse demographics, such as near shopping centers or busy streets. Monthly rent can range from $2,500 to $10,000.

Setting Up: You’ll need secure display cases, surveillance systems, and a robust inventory system. The design should be straightforward and secure, with clear visibility of items from the entrance. The exterior should have noticeable, secure signage that communicates the services offered clearly.

17. Bait Shop

How to Start a Bait Shop

Location and Costs: Ideally located near fishing hotspots like lakes, rivers, or coastal areas. Rent is typically lower, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 per month.

Setting Up: Essential items include refrigeration for live bait, shelving for fishing gear, and a checkout area. The interior should be functional with a rustic feel, tailored to the needs of fishermen. The exterior should be inviting with signs that are clearly visible from the road, indicating the type of bait and gear available.

18. Pet Store

How to start a pet store business

Location and Costs: A pet store should be in a family-friendly area, possibly in a shopping mall or near a park. Monthly rents range from $3,000 to $15,000 depending on location and size.

Setting Up: You need cages, tanks, grooming areas, and plenty of shelving. The interior should be bright and clean, designed to showcase pets and products in an appealing way. The exterior should be playful and inviting, possibly featuring images of animals and pet care products.

19. Beauty Supply

beauty supply business idea

Location and Costs: Good locations are high-traffic commercial areas or near salons and spas, with rent ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 monthly.

Setting Up: Shelving for products, display areas for promotions, and a beauty demonstration area are key. The interior should be stylish and modern, with a layout that allows customers to easily test and browse products. Exterior design should be chic and appealing, possibly featuring promotional imagery of beauty trends.

20. Pharmacy

How to start a pharmacy

Location and Costs: Pharmacies are best located near hospitals, clinics, or in community centers. Rent varies widely, usually between $5,000 and $25,000 per month, based on location and the size of the space.

Setting Up: Pharmacies require prescription counters, secure storage for medications, and customer seating areas. The interior should be clean and professional, designed for easy navigation. The exterior should be straightforward and reassuring, with clear signage about pharmacy services.

21. Vinyl Supply

How to start a vinyl cutting business

Location and Costs: Ideal for urban areas or near cultural districts, where music lovers frequent. Rent costs can range from $1,500 to $6,000 monthly.

Setting Up: You need racks for vinyl storage, listening stations, and a checkout area. The interior should evoke a nostalgic feel, with a focus on music culture. The exterior should be hip and inviting, perhaps featuring art or murals related to music.

22. Medical Supply

How to start a medical supply business

Location and Costs: Best located near hospitals, clinics, or residential areas with elderly populations. Rent can be between $3,000 and $20,000 a month.

Setting Up: Shelving for products, areas for demonstrations of medical devices, and consultation areas are necessary. The design should be clean and professional, with an emphasis on accessibility. Exterior signage should be clear and informative, reflecting the health-focused nature of the products.

23. Gas Station

How to start a gas station

Location and Costs: Ideally situated on busy intersections or along highways. Land and building costs can be high, typically ranging from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 for ownership, or rents from $7,000 to $20,000 monthly.

Setting Up: Requires fuel pumps, a convenience store setup, and possibly car wash equipment. The design should focus on convenience and speed, with easy ingress and egress. Signage should be highly visible, often illuminated for 24-hour visibility.

24. Barber Shop

How to start a barbershop business

Location and Costs: A barber shop is ideally located in a busy area with good visibility, such as a shopping strip or near other local businesses. Rent generally ranges from $1,500 to $4,000 per month.

Setting Up: Essential equipment includes barber chairs, mirrors, hair care tools, and a waiting area with seating. The interior should have a clean, professional look with a comfortable atmosphere for clients. The exterior should feature clear signage with the shop name and services offered.

25. Liquor Store

How to start a liquor store

Location and Costs: Liquor stores do best in high-traffic areas such as commercial districts or near grocery stores. Rent varies widely, typically between $2,000 and $10,000 per month, depending on the location and local regulations.

Setting Up: You’ll need robust shelving for bottles, secure storage for high-value items, and a point-of-sale system. The interior should be organized with clear signage for different types of beverages. The exterior should have prominent, inviting signage that adheres to any local advertising regulations.

26. Dollar Store

dollar store business idea

Location and Costs: Dollar stores are versatile but perform well in areas with high residential density. Monthly rents can range from $2,500 to $10,000.

Setting Up: Requires extensive shelving, checkout counters, and a stock room. The store layout should be straightforward, making it easy for customers to find products. Exterior signage should be bold and clear, effectively communicating the affordability of the products inside.

27. Comic Book Store

How to Start a Comic Book Store

Location and Costs: Comic book stores work well in urban areas or near other entertainment venues, with rents typically between $1,500 and $6,000 per month.

Setting Up: Shelving for comics, display areas for collectibles, and a space for community events are key. The interior should be colorful and engaging, inviting customers to browse and linger. The exterior should have creative and appealing signage that reflects the fun and fantasy world of comics.

28. Record Store

How to Start a Record Store

Location and Costs: Best situated in culturally rich areas or near other vintage shops and cafes. Monthly rents can range from $1,500 to $5,000.

Setting Up: You’ll need racks for displaying records, listening stations, and possibly a performance area for live music. The interior should have a vintage or retro vibe, creating a nostalgic experience for customers. The exterior should be hip and inviting, often featuring artwork or designs related to music.

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28 Brick-and-Mortar Business Ideas