How To Start A Grocery Store

Scam Risk is here to help you protect yourself and fight back
By: Scam Risk - Expert Reviewer

How To Start A Grocery Store: Easy Way To Make $10K?

Grocery stores sell food as well as a wide range of household items. They are sometimes called “supermarkets.” They provide all the necessary food and other household items.

Grocery stores also sell kitchen utensils, disposable products, cleaning supplies, candy, alcohol, soft drink, and self-care items.

They are essential local resources today because they provide easy access to these products and more.

Towards the end of this article, you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on how to start a grocery business…

But most importantly, you’ll see the exact system many others have used to build their own internet marketing business to over $40,000 a month in mostly passive income.

Table of Contents

How To Start A Grocery Store In 10 Steps

After selecting a business idea you feel is right for you, it is now time to take the next steps. It is not enough to register your grocery store with the state.

Opening a grocery store involves a lot of other important steps that can’t be overlooked.

This is a simple guide on how to start one. The following steps will help ensure your business is adequately planned, legally compliant, and registered.

Step 1: Plan Your Grocery Store.

Writing a clear business plan is crucial for entrepreneurs looking to succeed in this industry. This will allow you to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your business and uncover some possible opportunities. Here are some essential points to remember:

What Are The Startup Costs Involved In Opening A Grocery Store?

If you consider startup investment, grocery store owners can expect to shell out between $70,000 and $100,000.

Another $40,000 is required to have a good point-of-sale (POS) system. A significant investment can be made in initial inventory, which is typically around $160,000. An additional $10,000 can be spent on pre-opening costs, such as rent and insurance.

When added to grand opening advertising, security checks, and working capital, these expenses easily exceed $500,000.

What Are The Ongoing Expenses For A Grocery Store?

Some states allow you to pay your employees $7.25-$10 an hour. In major cities, however, that number could be higher. In fact, there are 12 states currently with minimum wages over $10 an hour.

Grocers can spend up to $5,000 per month on utility costs, depending on the size of their freezer. Restocking food can be expensive and is a variable expense. Bulk purchases can help you save money.

Who Is The Target Market?

Locals are the preferred customers. Local grocers can thrive because of the competitive nature of the grocery business.

Many consumers prefer big-box stores like Costco, Kroger, or Target to get their food. This is why a new grocery store will have to focus on small communities, individual homes, and college campuses while still offering good, affordable food.

How Much Can You Charge Customers?

Because they have a large selection of products, grocery store prices can vary greatly. While smaller food items might cost less than $1, packaged meats can run up to $20.

Multiple-purchase discounts are a good rule of thumb. You will be able to win the local market with low-value deals.

What Will You Name Your Business?

It’s important and challenging to choose the right name for a business.

If you own a sole proprietorship, it is possible to open a business under another name than your personal name.

when registering a business identity, check out these resources to help you find the right business name for you:

  • Business records for your state
  • Federal and state trademark records
  • Social media platforms
  • Web domain availability

It is vital to protect your domain name before others do.

Step 2: Form A Legal Entity.

Some of the business structures that are commonly used include sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLC), and corporations.

If your grocery store is sued, you can avoid personally being liable by forming a business entity, such as an LLC or business corporation.

You can create an LLC independently and only pay the state filing fees or hire an LLC Service provider. Additional fees may apply.

Step 3: Register For Taxes.

In order to start a business, you must register with multiple federal and state tax authorities. To register for taxes, you must have an EIN.

Small Business Taxes

There are many options available for taxation, depending on what business structure you choose. An example of this is an LLC that could be taxed as an S Corp.

Below are a few guides to help small business owners learn more about taxes:

  • LLC Taxes
  • Sole Proprietorship vs. LLC
  • LLC vs. Corporation
  • S Corp vs. LLC
  • How to Start an S Corp

Step 4: Open A Business Bank Account & Credit Card For Your Startup.

It is crucial to protect your personal assets by opening dedicated credit and bank accounts for business purposes.

Mixing personal and business accounts places your home, car, and other assets at risk. This is known in business law as piercing your corporate veil.

Furthermore, learning how to build credit for your business can help you get credit cards. You can finance your business with other funding in your company’s name (instead of your own), higher interest rates, better credit lines, and many more.

Step 5: Set Up Business Accounting.

It is essential to record all expenses and income sources to understand your business’ financial performance. Your annual tax filings will be much easier if you keep accurate and detailed records.

Step 6: Obtain Necessary Permits And Licenses.

Failure to obtain necessary permits and licenses can lead to heavy penalties or even the termination of your business.

Federal Business Licensing Requirements

A grocer’s license is required in almost every state. Visit your state’s licensing page to learn more at US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.

You will need a liquor permit if you intend to sell alcohol at your grocery store. However, local requirements may vary.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Businesses that operate grocery stores may be interested in applying for a resale certificate. This allows retailers to buy goods for resale without having to pay sales tax.

Find out more about permits and licenses in your area:

Food Regulations

A grocery store owner will need a license from the local health department to sell food, as all establishments that serve [food] must pass a health inspection.

Federal regulations govern what food can be added to, sold, or processed. Here’s a great resource from the Food and Drug Administration and explains the steps involved in starting a food business. How to Start a Food Business.

Certificate Of Occupancy

Often, Businesses that work from a physical location need a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO verifies that all building codes and zoning laws are met.

If you want to lease a site:

  • It is usually the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
  • Before leasing, confirm with your landlord that you have or can obtain a valid CO.
  • A new CO is required for major renovations. A valid CO must be issued first before lease payments begin, as stated in your lease agreement.

If you want to buy or remodel a place:

  • You will need to get a valid CO issued by a local authority.
  • For grocery store businesses, it is essential to check all relevant building codes and regulations for the area where they are located.

Step 7: Get Business Insurance.

Insurance is essential for your business to operate legally and safely. Your company’s financial security is protected in the case of a covered event.

Many insurance policies can be used to protect different types of businesses and various risks. General Liability Insurance can help you determine the risks your business faces. This coverage is what small businesses most commonly need. It’s an excellent place for you to start.

Another crucial insurance policy that businesses require is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. In most states, workers’ compensation insurance is required.

Step 8: Define Your Brand.

Your brand is your company’s identity. Your business image also depends on how the public perceives it. A strong brand can help you distinguish yourself from other companies.

How To Promote & Market A Grocery Store

The grand opening promotion should spread widely. A successful grocery store will advertise in nearby stores, apartment complexes, college campuses, and social media.

Grocery store products are in high demand and therefore cater to a broad audience. Marketing is key to grocery store survival and growth. Word-of-mouth advertising is their best tool.

When your grocery store is known for its low-cost, high-quality food or its unique options, it will start to market itself.

How To Keep Customers Coming Back

Although customers will be attracted by your marketing campaigns, it’s more challenging to retain them.

Grocery stores need to appeal to mass customers and not just specific customer types. This means they must have a “selling proposition,” which is often low prices.

However, creativity is key to creating your own style. Add fresh meat to your menu or a hot bar and sushi station. Learn about your local competitors and create something unique.

Step 9: Create Your Business Website.

Once you have defined your brand and designed your logo, you will need to make a website for your business.

Some people may be afraid of creating a website, even though it is an important step. Although this was a reasonable concern back in 2015, it has become much less common in recent years.

These are the main reasons to build your website now:

  • Websites are a must for all legitimate businesses. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what your business is when you launch online.
  • Facebook pages, LinkedIn business profiles, and social media accounts are not meant to replace your business website.
  • Websites can be created in minutes via website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder.

Step 10: Set Up Your Business Phone System.

Having your own business phone line helps keep your personal and business lives separate.

Aside from helping you automate your business, it also gives it credibility, and it makes finding and contacting potential customers easier.

Entrepreneurs can choose from a variety of services to set up their business phone system.

What Are Some Skills And Experiences That Will Help You Start A Grocery Store Business

A grocery store must first have a competitive pricing structure. There should also be unique amenities at the store, like a fresh meat deli. In some cases, grocery stores gain competitive advantages by offering in-house craft beer stations.

Successful grocery stores will become a preferred local hotspot over time. If you want to become a hotspot in your area, you must analyze its demographics and target its most profitable segments.

What Is The Growth Potential For A Grocery Store?

In the United States, grocery stores comprise the majority of food sales. In 2013 alone, grocery stores accounted for about 90% of food and beverage sales in the country.

The food retail sector is a low profit, high volume industry. There is a lot of competition in the industry, with many of those competitors coming from established providers.

A small grocer may lose out to big-box stores unless they have a distinct selling point.


Do Small Grocery Stores Make Money?

While conventional grocery stores may make 1-2% profit at the bottom line, Whole Foods Market can generate 5-12% profit. Independent grocery stores, on the other hand, only account for 1-4% of sales. Independent grocery stores are also affected by many factors, including marketing, product costs, and shrink.

How Long Does It Take To Build A Grocery Store?

In general, it is possible to build a grocery store in 4-6 months. These factors include the size of the grocery store, whether it’s built in an existing structure or from scratch, and the friendliness of the local government towards small businesses. Food stores make up $682 billion of the total industry.

How Much Does It Cost To Open A Small Grocery Store?

When you consider startup investment, a grocery store owner can expect to invest between $70,000 – $100,000 on equipment. For an excellent point-of-sale system, another $40,000 is required. It can be costly to purchase inventory in the beginning. The average cost of which is approximately $160k.

How Do Grocery Stores Make Money?

Grocery stores generally have a profit margin of 1-3%. They make a profit by selling large quantities. They also seek to reduce shrink (theft and spoilage) and keep labor costs down. This is often done by hiring more part-time employees, who get fewer benefits.

Can Online Grocery Retailing Be Profitable?

The actual cost of packing, delivering, and picking up groceries online was not usually covered by the delivery charges. Steve Windsor, Atrato Capital’s principal, said that this has changed. Online delivery is nearly as profitable as shopping in store.

What Are The Top 10 Convenience Stores In The United States?

In the United States, there are ten largest convenience store chains. They are:

  • 7-Eleven Inc. Dallas, Texas USA
  • Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. Laval, Quebec Canada
  • Speedway LLC. Enon, Ohio USA
  • Casey’s General Stores Inc. Ankeny, Iowa USA
  • EG America LLC. Westborough, Massachusetts USA
  • Murphy USA Inc.
  • GPM Investments LLC
  • BP America Inc.

How Much Does It Cost To Open A Corner store?

Startup costs – It can be expensive to open a convenience store – between $50,000 and $100,000. This could be as low as $10k, which is unlikely, or as high as $1M for those with deep pockets. A large portion of startup expense is spent on initial inventory, deposits, and rent, as well as equipment.

How Do I Report A Grocery Store To The State Department Of Health?

1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is the number to call for USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline. You can also report your complaint online.

Starting A Grocery Store: Is This Business Right For You?

Anyone can open a grocery store if they are good at point-of-sale work, food management, and finance.

Although the grocery industry can be competitive, those skilled in making strong retail plans, capital intensive business plans, and selling plans will have a better chance.

Grocery store managers should understand food and must have a passion for providing the best local food.

Honestly, it can be a lot of upfront work and the margins are very slim. Now the supply shortage makes everything worse!

If you want something that is more evergreen, check out our #1 recommendation!

What Is Our #1 Recommendation For How To Make Money In 2021?

Our review team has come across a program in the real estate industry that is next level!

Although it’s not real estate in the traditional sense, it’s all digital.

Yup, Digital Real Estate!

With this digital real estate program, you can have the ability to completely walk away from manual labor!

Sound too good to be true?

Of course it does!

But it isn’t…in fact, business owners wish they had this skill!

All you have to do is build and rank a website and forward the jobs off to a business owner in town, you could even email it to them!

This works for literally any service based business, tree service, plumbing, towing, etc. 

How Do You Get Paid And How Much?

Simple, after you forward the jobs off to a business owner and he makes some money off of them, you simply ask to make the deal beneficial for each other.

A fair price to charge per lead, depending on the industry is 10-20%…let’s just use the tree service industry for example and go by worst case scenario.

Let’s say you build and rank the site and only 20 jobs a month come in. The average tree service job is anywhere from $500-$2000!

That means at bare minimum you have an asset worth $1000 a month!

See why they call it digital real estate now?

That’s a rent payment. 

The great thing is how easy it is to scale. You don’t have to answer the phone…all you have to do is get the phone to ring.

Unlike the passive income ideas I mentioned earlier…

This one actually allows you to collect that without working in a brick and mortar business all day.

Truly passive income!

The training program takes making money online to a whole other level. The owner of the program walks you through how to build and rank a site hand in hand, with the occasional voice over when he is sharing his screen.

You will learn the importance of keywords, website name, how to send call notifications via email, backlinking, etc.

Once the training program is completed you will also have access to a Facebook group where you can ask questions and be in a community with others on the same journey as you.

Digital real estate allows you to have passive income with most of your day being spent OUT of the brick and mortar landscape.

Now, I know you probably have tons of questions… So, check this out to learn more.

Share This Article:
1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Henry Killingsworth May 31, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    You made an interesting point when you mentioned that it is important to have the right plan when starting a grocery store. I would think that it would be important to have the right refrigeration equipment. It seems like refrigeration equipment would be one of the top things on a plan for a grocery store.

Leave a reply

ScamRisk's #1 Online
Business Recommendation:
You know deep down what you're meant for. Now they will show you how to go get it.
Scam Risk

Be first in line to read all the new Scam Risk Reports as they're published!

Select the categories that interest you the most

We don't share your information with any 3rd parties and we will never spam you.