Lancashire retailer Justin Entwistle runs a fantastic shop. It has been in his family for 27 years, and he is constantly looking for new ways to grow sales. He works with other retailers and acts as an ambassador for his symbol group to raise standards across the industry.

But one particular area of retail still gives Justin sleepless nights – opening a second store. When I visited his Poulton-le-Fylde shop last year, Justin said despite being an exciting challenge, opening his new store in nearby Thornton presented many new obstacles.

No matter how much knowledge you’ve amassed, moving from running one store to two is a hard transformation that requires a steep learning curve for even the most experienced retailer, he said.

And he is not alone. Many independent retailers are looking for new opportunities to grow their business empires and backing themselves to succeed during a fourth year of recession.  For those thinking about opening a second store, help is at hand. In this issue we speak to two experts who have amassed a great deal of experience in opening 32 stores and know the business decisions you need to make inside out.

They’ve shared their tips for every step of the process, from finding the right site and creating a business plan to getting the right staff on board and maximising your return on investment.  So whether you are deciding to make the most of your existing store or are branching out into a new site, this feature is packed full of expert business principles that will appeal to the entrepreneur in you.