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Angela Skogen Dishes On What Retailers Should Know Before Expanding

Angela Skogen, owner of Williston, ND-based Cooks On Main, recently announced the expansion of her store. However, she told GOURMET INSIDER, that while things have been going relatively smoothly now that plans are in place, that wasn’t always the case.

“I own the building where Cooks On Main is and our original plan was to expand up,” she said. But after pulling together some ideas, it was determined that the plan wouldn’t work the way she expected it to.

“The space wasn’t able to handle the plans that we were hoping for. So, that was a little discouraging but we started looking for another way,” she said. After that she stepped back, re-evaluated and approached the owner of the building next door to figure if she could expand in a different fashion. They struck a deal and now construction on an expanded Cooks On Main is underway.

Skogen said that for retailers looking to physically expand their storefronts, there are a few things that must be taken into consideration.

“Planning is really important,” she noted. “You have to utilize every plan. You may have to stop and say, ‘What’s Plan B and how do we make that Plan A’,” she explained. And, she said, planning ahead – even if it takes a lot of time and effort – will save you time and money in the end.

“Put in the hard work up front and plan as you go,” she said. “Have a really well thought out plan and strategy and a back-up plan and strategy.”

Skogen also said that flexibility is important as well. “Sometimes things don’t work out as you want them, but you have to keep moving forward and be flexible. You have to realize that it won’t turn out the way that you expected, but it’s still going to be great,” said Skogan.

And, she suggested, knowing the difference between a must-have and something that would be nice to have can make a world of difference with time and budget.

“There are things that are must-haves and then there are things that would be nice to have. There are things you will have to compromise on, so know the difference,” she said.

She concluded, “You can do big things if you really plan.”

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