NEW RETAIL STORE

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It’s been a whole year since we embarked this new venture.  I am pleased to tell you that this NEW store changed our whole business model.  It has been an interesting ride so far.  We began our small business out of our kitchen in 2009, with in a year we were looking for a place to make soap full-time. Then two years after that we were looking for a larger space, then found our current home Downtown Perry Georgia.  What a stinking cute place?! Last year we secured a spot in the main shopping district of our downtown area and open up a retail only store called Mossy Creek Natural.

Yes, I admit this is my dream place.  I have been dreaming about a store like this since 2009.  I am here to tell you that we shoestring our way to Carroll Street!

Here are some pictures of our new store at 915 Carroll Street, Perry, Georgia.

I am now the proud owner of two successful stores.  We employ about 5 people to help keep it a success. We feel blessed to call Middle Georgia our home and we want to share with you a very cool video of our local area within Houston County, Ga.

We are still offering private instruction and workshops at our studio. We are no longer offering our hands on Soapmaking 101 classes but we have chosen to offer them in a E-HANDOUT version which can be found here:  SOAPMAKING 101 E-Handout Plus Video access

We would like to extend an invitation for you to join us for our next Weekend Soapmaking Workshop in September 2016.  We will be offering all our tips and tricks to starting your own soap business the easy way.  Find out how to run a retail shop.

Good bye for now, very soon we will be offering more videos, posts and tips to making your own soap.

 

OPENING A SOAPMAKING RETAIL SHOP Part 3

Questions to ask your self  BEFORE you get into the RETAIL business

Dreaming Big in the Retail Soapmaking Business

Dreaming Big in the Retail Soapmaking Business

Welcome to part 3 of the Opening a Retail Soapmaking Shop-

So this brings to me to the HARD QUESTIONS that you  need to ask yourself before you get into the RETAIL business.

Are you using the “DREAM” of owning a retail shop to cloud your judgment?  We’ve all been here before— that’s why we got into business in the first place.  We were all dreaming of owning a cool bath and body business like “XZY” down the street and dreamed of how happy you would be once you had it.  But don’t get sold on the “IDEA” of having business, do you research and find out what the day-to-day operations will be like.  It is HARD work and involves a lot of time.

Can you afford it? Do you have enough income to cover overhead just in case?   I had a backup plan that included sales from difference resources just in case I didn’t have  sales for that month. You will need enough to include your rent/lease/utilities/maintenance expenses. Money is scarce and it’s tough getting business credit. Credit cards helped me getting started with the basic start-up costs involved with opening a retail shop. Most of my income coming in my business got rolled back into the business for a few years.  A portion of it continues to get rolled back into the business today.

A few tips: In the beginning a landline phone is not necessary, you don’t need an  internet connection in your new place either or  pay for regularly scheduled picks from UPS and FEDEX.  Save those for later on when your business is established and making money.  Use the “Square”  for all your credit card transactions and your business cell phone as your regular line.

Do you have unlimited time to invest in your retail shop?  Post your  hours and  be present/open during those times.

Competition-  This should be included in your feasibility studies and it will give you a good opportunity to scout out the competition.  I would inquire discreetly how well they are doing. You could learn from them and adjust your ideas before you get started. You could also ask your small business rep to see if they know them; maybe they could give you insight on what to expect.

Conduct your own market feasibility study to see if your idea will be supported in your community.  {A feasibility study evaluates your project’s potential for success as it examines the marketability of your product}

Your SBA office should be able to help you gather the data to support it. Find out if your “DREAM” idea will bring in the money or send you into financial ruin.

Links for you to check out!

What Is Product Marketability?

31 Days to Build a Creative Business

 

OPENING A SOAPMAKING RETAIL SHOP Part 1

OPENING A RETAIL SHOP  ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET

thedream

Day DREAMING about a BUSINESS? START HERE ——>

Most businesses run out of money the first year in business because of bad planning and choices. Most people get caught up in the dream of having a business and realized too late in the game that their planning was not funded well enough. In the next few weeks I will be sharing with you my tips for starting up a business on a shoestring budget.  I will be 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.

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 a growing child into adulthood and then the exit or death of  a 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 to 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.

After about two years into selling, the company decided to closed their “At Home” division .  I was then left with customers and NO product. That was when I decided to open my own business and soap seemed to be the next best thing. After discussing it over with my family, we decided to become entrepreneurs.

My husband  and I began the process of  making soap, while learning how to brand it and build a company selling it.  It took me a while before I felt comfortable with product manufacturing but through time and testing we preserved.

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!

soapmaking classes

Mossy Creek Soap Studio in Warner Robins Georigia 2010-2012

This was my first studio. Rent was cheap, it was month-month and it included all utilities. But was NOT in a busy area.

Things did not happen they way I expected it to. Most people believe all you have to do is open a business and your customers will be rushing in to buy your products. It’s much harder than that otherwise everyone would be sucessful.  Soon after I opened, I discovered that I needed to have more than one revenue stream coming in to keep my doors open everyday.

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 financially stand on it’s own without my own contributions. 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!

Retail.About.Com

Small Business Admin

And if you want to start your SOAPMAKING BUSINESS our next class is Sept 20-21!  SOAPMAKING BUSINESS WORKSHOP