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Retail Business Loans
Guides and resources for retail business loans

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Retail small businesses

For those looking to start or expand a business, there’s no question that retail offers one of the broadest palettes on which to paint. Across food and beverages, electronics, clothing, toys and games, DIY and more, there’s plenty of room to find your own unique niche. 

Retail currently occupies an interesting space in the Australian market. While there’s no doubt that it’s a significant contributor to Australian GDP and a major employer, headlines have also been dominated by the struggles of major players within the industry, whether from online competition or via new entries to the market.

But it would be fair to say that many of these issues have not stemmed from retail itself; rather it’s been a failure to adapt to the changing nature of the modern shopping environment from legacy players within the industry. There’s still very much a place in the market for businesses who are looking to provide high-quality customer service or unique product offerings, and who are willing to adapt to the needs and wants of the modern consumer. While it’s easy to be daunted and perceive retail as being dominated by a handful of major players, it’s increasingly clear that this doesn’t have to be the case – if you can offer a better option to consumers and reach them, they’re going to be keen to snap it up.

If you’re looking to start a retail business or expand the horizons of your current one, OnDeck can help. Speak to your customer representative today.

Retail Small Businesses in Australia – the Statistics

There are close to 140 000 retail businesses in Australia [i]


Though physical retail in Australia has experienced difficulties in recent years, there has been some evidence of recovery as Australia gets COVID under control [iv]

Retail accounts for 10% of employment in Australia [ii]



November 2020 saw Australia hit an e-commerce record, with 5.5 million households ordering online during this period [v]

How can OnDeck Help?

A quick and easy loan process

Our simple application process can be completed in minutes and you'll know within hours if your loan is approved

Flexible loans to suit your needs

With loans from $10,000 - $250,000 over 6-24 month terms, we work with you to understand what best suits your needs

Dedicated Australia-based Loan Specialists

You'll get an Australia-based Loan Specialist to assist you with your application

Find out how much funding you could get for your business

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What life stage is your retail business in?

OnDeck has specialised business guides and tips for every stage of your business.

Have a look below to see if your industry is listed.

Starting Out

Learning the ropes and honing your business owner skills

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Establishing yourself

Making a name for yourself and cementing yourself as a successful business owner

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Re-Invention and Evolution

Evolving as a business to newer and better heights

Read More

OnDeck, the small business loan specialist

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OnDeck were fabulous - quick, efficient, customer focussed. Ticked every box, and I didn't have to give away my first-born to access some $$$ to tide us over the cashflow doldrums.

Tingo Pty Ltd

Retail Loan Frequently Asked Questions

The end goal is to have your retail business fund itself, but it can take years of hard work to get to that point. Most small business owners take out a loan to help finance the start up costs and investments needed to grow.

A retail loan helps business owners open and successfully run their business by providing the cash resources needed to fund and operate a growing business.

A retail facility is the brick-n-mortar store location for your customers to shop in. This is an important decision to make when starting a business, because you need to find a location that has affordable rent and is also in a convenient location for your customers.

Retail lending is when a bank or lending institution provides a loan to individuals instead of corporations, which is ideal for SMEs. Lending institutions like OnDeck can have a much simpler, quicker approval process time than traditional banks, making it a popular option among small business owners.

A retail line of credit is when a bank or lending institution agrees to lend a certain amount of money. You can take out money within the approved amount as often as the line is open and it can be repaid in increments. It’s similar to the concept of a credit card.

Interest rate varies based on the amount taken out and the repayment timeline. You can learn about OnDeck’s retail loan interest rates here.

Focus your marketing strategies on your ideal customer (not everyone) to maximise effectiveness, invest in your business and people, and grow with your company. Click here for a more detailed set of growth strategies.

Through a combination of online, offline and on-premises marketing strategies that appeal to your market segment. Clearly share your unique selling proposition (USP) so your customers know what makes you different than the competition.

It can be a challenge to improve customer loyalty, but it’s worth the effort. Provide a top-notch service with excellent customer experience; continually offer new products, promotions, or services; and set up loyalty programs.

Utilise marketing strategies such as having a strong online presence to increase brand awareness. The more people that know about you, the more customers you’ll have. Holding sales, offering discounts and setting up loyalty programs can also help you increase business.

When determining the price of products, you should factor in the wholesale price that it cost you to buy and the profit margin you need to have a positive cash flow. You should also look at similar products in the market sold by competitors to see what other people are willing to pay.

The costs can vary from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand depending on the kind of store you want to start. Online stores cost less to set up than brick-n-mortar stores. The more expensive your retail line (clothes vs antique pianos), the more expensive it’ll be to buy inventory. Headcount and paying wages right from the beginning can make a significant impact on start up costs too.

Search online for manufacturers, wholesalers and suppliers. Get referrals from your professional network and see if those who aren’t direct competitors will share their contacts.

Many businesses get off the ground because they get a loan. There are a variety of loans available, so make sure you get the right retail loan for your start up.

A retail strategy is your overall business and marketing plan to create a successful retail store. It covers business fundamentals such as inventory lists, pricing charts, budgets, display options, marketing strategies and expansion plans.

This answer depends on your location and ideal market. If you can find the perfect spot that’s close to a customer base that will value what you’re selling, then yes.

A key way to manage the pressure is to minimise unnecessary stress: have a solid business and marketing plan, invest in the right equipment, find the right employees, and use the right POS and inventory system for your needs.

You can learn all about our retail business loans here.

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