OPENING A RETAIL SHOP ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET
Most businesses run out of money the first year, you can prevent this from happening. I am sharing some easy to implement ideas to saving money during your first years in business. Get the word out without paying a dime, learn about unconventional ideas that lead to more sales and customers. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing my blueprint for success on a shoestring budget!
Businesses are as different from each other as they are to the personalities of their owners. The are… after all… our babies. From the business idea, conception, growth, to established and finally the exit. You can view your business like growing child into adulthood and then the exit out of business– (infant, toddler, teenager, adult hood, maturity and finally the exit).
If you have dreamed of having a retail bath and body retail shop this is for you. So today, I am going to try and help you decipher the why, what and how. But mostly how I got started.
My early career started in direct sales with a well known company who sold bath and body products through retail mall store fronts. They had a separate “At Home” division in which I brought their products to the living rooms of a few of my closest friends and family. I fell right into their branding, followed their program to the “T” and I was successful.
I did pretty good all the way up till the time they closed their “At Home” division. Then, I was left with a customer base needing a product and hoping my idea of handmade soap would transfer into sales with them. Starting off in direct sales gave me a firm foundation to launch my new business.
I began making several batches of soap with my husband learning how to make it, brand and build a new company selling it. It took me a while before I felt comfortable with my product manufacturing while learning the ups and downs of wholesale and consignments but I continued to persevere.
After my first year in business I needed to get my operation out of my home so I started looking into opening a studio. I found a location in a small shopping center within a residential area that offered a month to month lease that included all utilities. That way if I could afford to pay for it if the money was not coming in . Without losing my shirt!
This was my first studio. Rent was cheap, it was month-month and it included all utilities. But was NOT in a busy area.
I had high hopes of all my former customers and folks coming to purchase my products— Just didn’t happened they way I expected it to. Through the school of hard knocks and the blinding cricket noise I heard everyday my business was opened I figured out that I was going to need to have more than one revenue stream to keep my business doors open because my in house sales would not be paying the bills every month.
When I began including different revenue streams and it was then I noticed a difference. Which included maintaining a website, an ETSY shop and adding more wholesale accounts along with in house classes. It was then my business began to financial stand on it’s own without any contributions from my personal funds. Then things finally started coming together.
My methods of getting and staying in business are unconventional; so although these things worked for me; you will STILL have to do the foot work to find out what works for you; in your own backyard.
STAY TUNED for next installment of this series for TIP #1
Here are some links to help you get started!