The entrepreneurial drive forms the motivation for people to own stores. To reach their goals, store owners must complete a checklist that typically contains licenses, permits, site location and preparation, employees and inventory. With the ultimate authority over the store comes accountability for its operations and success. The store owner job description explains the duties, skills and background necessary for owners to prevail in business.

What Does a Store Owner Do?

Store owners are entrepreneurs, managers and marketers. They must ensure the store is permitted to operate, sufficiently resourced to offer goods and services and that customers buy their wares. To accomplish these functions requires the exercise of multiple business skills at a singular time.

Store Owner Job Description for Resume — Responsibilities

  • Acquire and construct or remodel buildings and space for store
  • Obtain business or occupational licenses and permits
  • Procure financing through loans or investors
  • Sign necessary agreements and contracts for loans, purchase of equipment, supplies and inventory; and services
  • Hire and train managers and employees, or delegate to managers hiring, training and supervision of employees
  • Pay or ensure payment of creditors, employees, vendors, suppliers and taxes
  • Display and arrange merchandise in store
  • Direct marketing and advertising efforts, including promotions, displays in and around store and advertising on television, radio,
  • newspaper, social media or Internet
  • Greet and assist customers
  • File required forms, such as tax returns, permit applications or renewals
  • Enforce rules and standards of franchisors

Store Owner Essential Skills

Analytical. Analytical skills help store owners understand sales figures, expenses and financial reports to determine the health of the enterprise. Lower sales, low profits or losses may signal a need to change marketing approaches, improve customer service or evaluate the quality of goods and services. The store owner may use information on sales to assess the location of or even continued operation of the business.

Customer Service. Store owners must exhibit the ability to provide quality goods and services and exemplary experiences for customers. Skills in customer service include responding courteously and promptly to customers, offering refunds or discounts and respectfully enforcing policies when necessary. Store owners may also ask customers for feedback on the experience.

Detail Oriented. Deadlines for filing tax returns and other documents, standards from a franchisor or regulations for operations and the condition of the store stand among the details to which an owner must attend. In stores that store or sell perishable foods, the owner must have awareness of expiration dates and the temperatures of freezers or containers. An orientation to details also means tracking cash flows or merchandise to track potential theft or other losses due to employee conduct.

Management. Store owners oversee the operation either directly or through managers. Where owners take the latter approach, they need to periodically review the store’s sales figures, conditions and the attitude of employees. Management skills involve clearly assigning tasks, delegating authority and ensuring the proper level of staff. Store owners also need the ability to evaluate employees and talent.

Networking. To increase the store’s visibility in a community, the owner may sponsor local sports teams or leagues, community theaters and nonprofit or charitable organizations and events. This may place owners into relationships with community and business leaders. Store owners should consider joining local chambers similar commerce groups and industry or trade associations.

Public Speaking. The ability to speak to public audiences helps store owners advertise their establishment and products. Store owners may appear on television or radio commercials. Their voices must generate excitement in and respect for the establishment. Store owners may also speak to live audiences at special events of either the store or community organizations to which the owner is a member.

Becoming a Store Owner

As a general rule, store owners need to acquire essential business, customer service and management skills. Store ownership requires access to a sufficient level of finances. Franchisors often require prospective franchisees to be able to meet minimum capital, cash and other financial requirements.

The type of store will fashion the knowledge and experience needed for a successful venture and whether the owner must possess a special license. Many jurisdictions require permits of store owners such as pawn shop owners, gun dealers, retailers of alcoholic beverages and pharmacists. Franchise owners must demonstrate the ability to conform to the franchisor’s standards for goods and services provided under its brand.

Education and Training

For the most part, store owners are not required to have formal degrees. However, a college education often equips entrepreneurs with the skills and principles essential to running a profitable retail enterprise. Typical majors for store owners include business administration, marketing, finance and accounting. Business-related courses cover sales, marketing and at least introductory business law classes that teach prospective owners how to attract customers, display merchandise and avoid violating laws related to contracts, consumer protection and the handling of credit.

Owners merchanting in specific types of goods may have educational backgrounds other than in the business field. Music majors open stores selling musical instruments and sheet music. A pharmacist runs a drug store. Computer and electronics stores have as their proprietors majors in computer science, electronics engineering and information technology.

Franchise owners usually must attend training offered by the particular franchisor. The sessions can cram significant amounts of information in less than a week. Topics cover store layouts, inventory management, point of sale systems, preparation and standards of products, customer service as it relates to the brand, pricing and marketing.

Work Experience

Store ownership does not carry a formal work experience requirement in most instances. However, lack of prior work in particular types of retail businesses may hamper the prospects of a successful store.

Prior employment may prove important where the store offers specialty merchandise or services. Auto repair or auto part stores, bakeries, fashion boutiques, tailors and jewelry stores are among those that fit the bill. In these establishments, the owner must lend expertise to instruct and train employees and recommend the right product or service to the customer.

Work Schedules

As retail establishments stay open throughout the entire week, store owners must make themselves available on weekends as well as weekdays. Many stores close at night to avoid the risk of being targets for armed robbers and other criminals. Some gas stations and convenience stores might operate on a 24-hour basis to accommodate customers traveling at late hours or those who need items on a quick or urgent basis.

Store owners can set their own hours, but whether the owner can afford or trust managers to oversee the store will shape the schedules of the owner. In smaller stores, the owner assumes much of the management tasks and must work long hours and lengthy periods without time off.

Career Prospects

Store owners face significant pressures from “big-box” retailers and technology. Stores in the former category can offer lower prices on average for many commodities. To counteract the price disadvantage, independent or small store owners may provide more personalized services.

Store owners also face stiff competition from online retailers and their ability to deliver convenience and mileage-avoidance to shoppers. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 79 percent of customers bought items online in 2016. Nearly 15 percent purchase items online weekly.

Customer demand influences the prospects for store owners in a particular retail sector. For example, IBIS World predicts growth for sandwich and sub stores due to greater awareness and demand for healthier menu items.


Retail demand for a product or service can define the prospects of the owner who offers it. Store owners must weigh the chances for profits with the financial outlay and steps required to start and run a store. The job description for these entrepreneurs calls for owners to treat their stores, not as passive investments, but assets that require their constant management and attention.