How to Open a General store And general store items you must keep

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To open a general store in India is no easy business. It requires a ton of planning and research, most importantly about the items you would sell. So what all general store items are desirable in the market? Let us find out.

What is a General Store?

For your daily essentials, there is a general store, market, or shop. These stores mostly sell everyday necessities and widely consumed grocery products.

The size of any business is determined by the amount of money obtainable to a local merchant. General stores are unique business ideas found exclusively in India’s subcontinent.

Their authority has endured the test of time for ages, from monarchical eras until the year 2021.

These local general stores have outsold numerous groceries and eCommerce websites even during the pandemic. Over 15 million general stores may be found in India’s cities, towns, and villages.

Is the General Store Business worth Investing in India?

Locals and public transportation make general stores very accessible. They help in the maintenance of long-term and healthy customer connections.

You do not need to stockpile a large number of things; only the goods and commodities that are important to your customers are needed.

When you open a general store in India, you may take advantage of a number of tempting deals and credit account benefits.

You may provide free home deliveries with no minimum order need. You may include digital payment methods as well as online shopping catalogues in your services. Customers and daily buyers appreciate special or personalized care.

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Things To consider before opening a general store in India?

Size

Decide if it should be a small-scale, medium-scale, or large-scale enterprise. Think about the type of shop you have your eyes on.

Would it be a modest general store that sells basic necessities? Or would it be a huge store with a variety of items, brands, and styles upon many shelves?

Ownership

Will you be a sole proprietor? Or will you have a partner? Will your store be a corporation? Should you start the company by yourself or with others? Each sort of ownership has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Capital

How much capital will you require, and how would you go about getting it? Do you think you will need a loan?

Business loans are obtainable at affordable interest rates if you have a strong credit score. Always set aside a fixed sum of money for unexpected operational costs, and then manage your funds properly.

Related: A Guide on Starting an Electronic Shop in India

Location

When it comes to running a small business, location is key. The lesser competitors you have, the more you can set your own rates and develop your own clientele.

One of the most important topics to consider is where you want to direct your customer’s attention.

A general store shall be easier to supervise the business if it is closer to your home. It would not make sense to choose a location in the vicinity of a well-recognized brand store.

At numerous places, the rents are different. Rent is often greater in prime locations, where more customers are likely to be drawn to.

Locations with cheaper rents, on the other hand, may not have as many consumers. It is great to have a nice blend of low rent and a large number of clients.

So it is better if you do your homework first, bearing your budget in mind, and then make your decision.

Staff

The strength of your workforce will be determined by the size of your shop. A decent general shop, no matter how small or large, ought to have helpful staff members to assist consumers. The more at ease your customers feel, the higher your store’s sales will be. Staffing for a grocery shop is not difficult to come by.

Anyone with decency and politeness may be trained in product knowledge and customer service. You may also keep track of bonus plans for each person’s sales to encourage them to serve the customer.

The success of your general store is primarily dictated by the quality of your employees. As a result, choose your employees wisely.

Also Read: Tips to Start a Hardware Store in India

Licenses to obtain before opening up a general store in India

Registration of business structure

You can choose between sole proprietorship, partnership, one-person company, limited liability partnership, private limited company, and public limited company. After making a choice, you should register your business with your municipal office.

Contract of Lease

To operate a general store, one must first acquire a property. For this, the business owner must draft a lease agreement with the landlord. It should include details like base rent, terms, and conditions, usage of the property, etc.

Licenses

Licenses and documents that you would require.

Trade License

A trader is mandated by law to get a trade license before establishing his business, and as the proprietor of a general store, you are also required to obtain this license to verify that your business complies with all standards, rules, ethics, and safety guidelines.

The Shops and Establishment Act, 1953

Register your store under The Shops and Establishment Act, 1953

FSSAI licensing

Food makes up a substantial portion of the things available for purchase at general stores. Under the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India, any business in India that works with food is referred to as a ‘Food Business’.

Taxation 

Since it involves the sale of products, every business needs to pay tax and register for GST. Only if a business’s yearly turnover reaches a certain threshold does registration become mandatory. If a general store’s yearly revenue is less than Rs 20 lakh, it may or may not be required to register for GST.

Sign permit

Some municipalities have laws governing the size, position, style, and even lighting of a sign placed outside a general store.

This specific compliance may not be obvious, but owners must familiarise themselves with the local requirements on display signs.

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General Store Items

What should you stock in your general store? The list of items sold by each seller varies; they can offer everything from food and drink to wood, bags, basic tools, among other things. This is a basic product list for a general store.

Rice and Flour

  • Turmeric powder 
  • Sugar
  • Jaggery
  • Idli rice/Boiled rice/Salem rice 
  • Steamed rice or Raw rice/Sona masoori
  • High-quality raw rice 
  • Dosa rice 
  • Basmati rice 
  • Brown rice(optional)
  • Pressed rice / Poha(thick or thin) 
  • Wheat flour
  • Maida
  • Ragi flour
  • Millets varieties & oats
  • Rice flour
  • Besan 
  • Bombay Rava/ Semolina or Chiroti rava 
  • Wheat Rava / Samba Rava / Bansi Rava
  • Idli Rava 
  • Rice Rava 
  • Vermicelli / Semiya 
  • Instant rice sevai
  • Sago/Javvarisi 
  • Tamarind
  • Red chilli
  • Ready-made rice mix
  • Sambar powder
  • Rasam powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Idli powder
  • Ginger, Garlic paste
  • Tamarind paste
  • Ready to eat products
  • Vathakuzhambu powder
  • Idli, dosa batter
  • Bread packet
  • Cereals

Lentils

  • Toor dal 
  • Round urad dal
  • Yellow moong dal 
  • Chana dal
  • Split urad dal 
  • Rajma, peas, brown/white chana, green gram dal, Peanuts 
  • Fried gram dal 
  • Horsegram, flax seeds 

Spices/Powders

  • Crystal salt 
  • Powder salt
  • Red chilli powder 
  • Dhania powder
  • Garam masala powder
  • Chat masala powder
  • Aamchoor powder 
  • Cumin powder
  • Pepper powder 
  • Sambar powder, Rasam powder
  • Biryani masala powder or curry masala powder 
  • Idli powder 
  • Readymade powders 
  • Instant coffee powder
  • Tea powder 
  • ENO fruit salt
  • Yeast
  • Cooking soda / Baking soda
  • Baking powder

Oils

  • Cooking oil
  • Gingelly oil/Sesame oil 
  • Coconut oil
  • Ghee or butter 
  • Olive oil 

Spices/Nuts

  • Mustard seeds 
  • Pepper 
  • Cumin seeds
  • Poppy seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Fennel seeds
  • Fenugreek seeds 
  • Dry ginger piece or powder
  • Black or white sesame seeds 
  • Split urad dal 
  • Ajwain 
  • Asafetida
  • Cardamom
  • Cashew nuts 
  • Raisins 
  • Badam or other nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Dates 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Cloves 
  • Biryani spices packet 
  • Vanilla essence 

Others (miscellaneous ingredients)

  • Papad
  • Cocoa powder
  • Health drinks
  • Noodles 
  • Pasta 
  • Macaroni 
  • Spaghetti
  • Tomato Ketchup 
  • Jam 
  • Mayonaisse 
  • Pizza sauce/ Pasta sauce 
  • Organic Honey 
  • Bread Packet 

Dairy

  • Cheese slices
  • Cheese block – packet
  • Butter
  • Curd / Flavored yoghurt
  • Fresh cream 
  • Fresh Milk.
  • Cottage cheese 

Toiletries 

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush 
  • Bathing soap 
  • Shampoo/Hair conditioner 
  • Face powder 
  • Hand sanitiser 
  • Deodorant 
  • Body lotion
  • Kajal/Kum kum/stickers
  • Shaving lotion 
  • Shaving cream
  • Hair gel 
  • Razer blades 
  • Baby products 
  • Sanitary pads 
  • Toilet paper

Cleaning Supplies 

  • Dishwashing soaps or liquids 
  • Dishwashing powder 
  • Washing powder 
  • Washing soaps
  • Toilet cleaner/bleaching powder 
  • Floor cleaner
  • Kitchen cleaner 
  • Kitchen tissue 
  • Garbage bags
  • Car cleaner/Car refresher 
  • Antiseptic liquid
  • Mosquito liquid 
  • Naphthalene balls 
  • Rubber band 

Miscellaneous 

  • Medicines/bandages
  • Light bulbs
  • Batteries
  • Candles
  • Snacks

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How can Lio help?

Lio, being one of the most simple to-do list management applications, prefers simplicity to the flamboyant and sometimes inconvenient aspects of its competitors.

As a general store owner or manager, you can use Lio to make comprehensive lists and sort priorities, reminders, and due dates.

What’s more is that it is compatible with all major mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows, and it also works as a web app if you prefer to work from your desktop browser. 

You could also use the Lio app to automate your sales growth in the general store business and maintain track of all credit and debit operations with your consumers in a digital ledger.

This will save you lots of valuable time that you can then use to concentrate on the main tasks by reducing manual and mental demands. You can simply get rid of your traditional bahi khatas and replace them with Lio.

Lastly, you can use Lio to separate your monthly, daily and weekly general store items which will make buying not just easy but also efficient and quick. No more double trips to the wholesaler!

Not downloaded the Lio App yet? Here is how you can start with Lio App.

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Step 2: Create your account using your Phone Number or Email Id.

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Verify the OTP and you are good to go.

Step 3: Select a template in which you want to add your data.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to establish a general store?

To open up a general store, you need to:
– Have a plan in mind
– Decide on a location
– Identify and study your customers
– Think about the investments
– Obtain necessary documents and licenses
– Know your competitors

What is the difference between a general store and a niche store?

Dropshipping shops that offer items across hundreds of categories are known as general stores. These categories may or may not be connected in any way. They don’t have any branded goods and their name isn’t attached to anyone sort of product.
Niche stores are dropshipping shops in which all of the items are devoted to a specific theme or niche. These are the mid-range solution that is more targeted than a general store yet more broad than a one-product business.

What is a one-product store?

A one-product shop is designed to offer only one thing. Your mainstay product is the one that your whole business is based upon. You can still provide several options (for example, colours and sizes), but the product line is rather limited. A one-product store is generally set up so that the front landing page serves as a mini-sales funnel.

Is the general store business profitable?

Yes, owning a general store is advantageous in the long run. Launching on a relatively small market will allow you to get expertise on market circumstances while reducing your risk of failing.

How much should you invest in a general store?

In India, you may pretty much estimate your general store startup expense to hit roughly Rs. 50,000 in the early phases, including items like permits, rent, provisions, and so on.

Conclusion

Digital technology has revolutionized life in ways that were unthinkable only a couple of decades ago. Nobody would have thought back then that not owning a car would not be a hurdle in transportation as you can just hail a cab with a simple touch on a phone.

The concept of ordering items online and getting them delivered would have been absolutely bizarre to someone back then. It would have almost sounded like something straight out of a science fiction novel.

However, what has remained constant and resistant to digital transformation is your local general store. These shops have not only outlasted supermarkets and large-format retail chains in the past but have also thrived in the age of e-commerce.

So if you are thinking of investing in such a lucrative business or already have a general store of your own, it is important to keep a healthy inventory and stock backup.

Therefore, we have attempted to provide you with a complete list of items that you may display in your general store to attract more consumers and have a sound business.

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About the author

Ashutosh Bhatt

Ashutosh joined Lio as the marketing manager and has played a significant role in our growth. A traveler at heart, you might just catch him on a flight to any exotic countries around the world when he isn't busy ranking websites.

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By Ashutosh Bhatt