Sari Sari Store Business: 18 Things You Need to Start

Starting a sari-sari store business requires careful planning and preparation to ensure its success. There are several key factors that must be considered, including capital, location, suppliers, pricing, and a solid business plan. In addition, it’s essential to have a storekeeper, offer a variety of products, maintain proper accounting, and obtain the necessary permits.

To give your business an edge, you should also consider offering additional products, providing seating and shade, and focusing on customer service. Overall, by addressing these 18 things, you’ll be well on your way to starting a profitable sari-sari store.

18 Things You Need to Start A Sari Sari Store Business
Credits: Brian Evans / Flickr

1. Capital

Starting a sari-sari store requires an initial investment of capital to purchase inventory, rent a location, and cover other start-up expenses.

2. Location

Choosing the right location for your store is critical. You’ll want to select an area with high foot traffic, easy access, and a large potential customer base.

3. Suppliers

Finding reliable and affordable suppliers for your inventory is key to keeping your store well-stocked and profitable.

4. Pricing

Setting competitive prices for your products can help you attract customers and increase sales. You’ll need to consider factors like the cost of goods, overhead expenses, and the local market.

5. Business Plan

Creating a detailed business plan will help you map out your goals, strategies, and financial projections. It will also help you secure financing if needed.

Creating a business plan can seem like a daunting task, but it can be done by lay people with some research and guidance. Here are some steps to get started:

  • Research the market: Start by researching the market to understand your target customers, local competition, and industry trends. This information will help you develop strategies that can set your sari-sari store apart from others.
  • Define your goals and objectives: Consider what you want to achieve with your sari-sari store, such as increasing revenue or expanding your customer base. Set specific, measurable goals and objectives that will guide your business decisions.
  • Develop a marketing strategy: Outline a marketing strategy that will help you reach your target audience and promote your store effectively. Consider tactics such as social media marketing, flyers, and community events.
  • Create a financial plan: A financial plan should outline your startup costs, projected revenue, and expenses. You may want to consult with an accountant or financial advisor to ensure your plan is realistic and achievable.
  • Write your business plan: Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information, it’s time to write your business plan. You can use online templates or software programs to guide you through the process.

Remember, your business plan doesn’t have to be perfect or written in fancy language. The most important thing is to have a clear, actionable plan that will guide you in achieving your goals for your sari-sari store.

6. Storekeeper

Hiring a responsible and trustworthy storekeeper is crucial to ensuring the smooth operation of your store.

7. Products you’ll sell

Choosing the right mix of products to sell is essential. You’ll want to offer a variety of items that appeal to your target market and reflect local demand. Here are some ideas:

  • Food and drinks: Offer a variety of snack foods and drinks, including local favorites like chips, biscuits, and soft drinks.
    • Household essentials: Stock up on items like laundry soap, dishwashing liquid, and cleaning supplies.
    • Personal care products: Include items like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and other personal care items that your customers may need.
    • School and office supplies: Offer notebooks, pens, pencils, and other school and office supplies for students and professionals.
    • Mobile phone load: Provide prepaid mobile phone load for customers who need to top up their mobile phone credits.
    • Tobacco products: If allowed in your area, sell tobacco products like cigarettes and cigars.
    • Cosmetics and beauty products: Offer beauty and cosmetic products like makeup, lotion, and hair care products.
    • Snacks and candies: Stock up on popular candies and chocolates, as well as local snacks like dried mangoes and peanuts.
    • Medicine and first aid supplies: Sell over-the-counter medicine, first aid kits, and other medical supplies.
    • Rice and other basic food items: Sell basic food items like rice, cooking oil, and canned goods to meet the daily needs of your customers.

Remember to consider the preferences and buying habits of your target market when selecting products to sell in your sari-sari store. By offering a well-rounded selection of products, you can cater to a wide range of customers and increase your store’s profitability.

8. Design

Creating an inviting and visually appealing store design can help attract customers and increase sales. Consider elements like lighting, signage, and product displays.

9. Marketing

Developing a strong marketing strategy can help you promote your store, attract new customers, and build brand awareness.

  • Offer discounts and promotions: Consider offering discounts on popular items or running promotions, such as buy-one-get-one-free deals, to attract new customers and incentivize repeat business.
  • Use social media: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great tools for reaching potential customers. Consider creating social media accounts for your store and regularly posting updates, promotions, and engaging content.
  • Partner with local businesses: Consider partnering with other local businesses or organizations to co-promote your store and build community relationships.
  • Utilize signage: Place eye-catching signs outside your store to attract foot traffic and make it easy for customers to find you.
  • Sponsor local events: Consider sponsoring local events or sports teams to build brand awareness and show support for the community.
  • Offer exceptional customer service: Providing exceptional customer service can help build a positive reputation for your store and generate positive word-of-mouth referrals.

10. Customer Service

Providing excellent customer service is essential to building a loyal customer base and promoting positive word-of-mouth referrals.

11. Business Permits

Obtaining the necessary permits and licenses to operate your store legally is important to avoid fines and legal issues.

12. Accounting

Maintaining accurate accounting records is essential to tracking your business finances and making informed decisions about pricing, inventory, and other key aspects of your operation.

13. Offer Additional Products

Offering additional products, such as mobile phone load or school supplies, can help increase revenue and attract more customers.

14. Offer seats and shade

Providing comfortable seating and shade outside your store can encourage customers to spend more time browsing and shopping.

15. Self-control

As a business owner, you’ll need to exercise self-control in managing your inventory, expenses, and finances to ensure the long-term success of your store.

16. Financial Management

Developing strong financial management skills, such as budgeting, and cash flow management, , is essential to the success of your store.

17. Store Layout

Creating an efficient and well-organized store layout can help customers find what they need quickly and easily, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction.

18. Grit

Finally, having grit and determination to persevere through challenges and setbacks is essential to achieving long-term success in the competitive world of retail.

Tips to Manage A Successful Sari Sari Store

Starting a sari-sari store business may seem easy, but it takes more than just having a few products to sell. To succeed in this type of business, you need to follow some basic rules and principles that will help you establish a good reputation and customer base. Here are some tips to help you start and run a successful sari-sari store business:

1. No to credits

Many people will ask for credit, but it’s important not to allow this in your sari-sari store. Offering credit may seem like a good way to build your business and reputation, but it can harm your business in the long run. Debts are hard to collect, and you won’t have sufficient cash flow for your next purchases. It’s better to sell for cash only.


Follow the “First in, First Out” principle. Sell the goods as you buy them, and sell the oldest inventory first. This will ensure that your products stay fresh and you won’t have losses due to expired food.

3. Customer’s buying habits

If customers are looking for something you don’t sell, say “It’s out of stock” instead of “we don’t sell it.” List down the item that they’re always looking for so you can buy it next time. This will ensure that you can better serve your customers and that they won’t look for another store.

4. Start low

You don’t need a big capital to start a sari-sari store. You can start with just a few hundred pesos and test your market first. Even if you don’t have a physical store at first, you can start by setting up something at the front of your house and go from there.

5. Maintain the quality of your goods

Keep everything in top-notch quality. If you see some of your products that have gone bad, don’t try to sell them to your customers. Also, keep everything clean.

6. Re-invest and save your profits

Re-invest your earnings into your business by buying more goods, expanding your store, or hiring a storekeeper. Keep a portion of your earnings as savings to survive on days where you are closed or are having losses.

7. Be friendly

Treat your sari-sari store as a business by establishing it as a means to serve customers, not just sell products. Greet, smile, and talk to your customers as much as you can. Train your storekeeper to be friendly as well.

8. Offer promos

Offer promos once in a while. This would encourage your customers to buy more and spread the good news.

9. Scale

As your business grows and earns more, consider expanding your store physically to accommodate more goods or set up a branch elsewhere. Be sure to choose a location with potential customers and plan for scaling as you earn more.

10. Offer Tingi Tingi

One of the reasons sari sari stores exist is to offer goods in small quantities. Listen to your customers and offer items in small packs to meet their needs.

11. Get only 10% of profits for the day

Rather than taking a set amount from your sales, take a percentage, like 10%, of your total sales for the day as profit. This ensures steady cash flow and the profitability of your business.

12. Seasonal Items

Consider stocking up on seasonal items to meet the demand during different times of the year. For example, offer more soft drinks and ice during the summer months.

13. Offer deposits

Give customers an incentive to return bottles by offering deposits or coin incentives. This will help you save money on buying new bottles and keep your customers happy.

By implementing these strategies, you can help maximize the potential of your sari-sari store business and ensure its profitability. Remember to listen to your customers and adapt to their needs to keep them coming back.

Video: Walang Budget Pero Negosyong Sari Sari Store Magpapayaman Sa Iyo

In this video, we will explore the possibility of starting a business even without a significant capital. Are you someone who dreams of owning a sari-sari store but limited by your budget? Or perhaps you already have one, but you aspire to turn it into a supermarket someday? If your answer is yes, then this video is perfect for you.

We will discuss practical tips and strategies on how to start a business even with little or no investment. This video will also provide insights on how to grow your sari-sari store into a more significant business in the future.


In conclusion, starting a sari-sari store business may seem like a simple venture, but it requires a lot of effort and attention to detail. By taking into account various factors such as capital, location, suppliers, pricing, and a solid business plan, you can increase your chances of success.

Additionally, by providing exceptional customer service, offering additional products, and creating a welcoming environment for customers, you can set your business apart from others and help it thrive. Remember to stay committed, flexible, and willing to adapt as needed to keep your sari-sari store growing and profitable.