I find it hard to believe…but it will be three years ago this spring I opened my dream store. So, I thought I would share the scoop of what I have learned….
- It takes work. It takes 24×7 work. Truly, I would not want to tell you how many hours each day I spend on social media. Every day is filled with picture taking, posting, answering. Every day is filled with junkin, fixing and repairing. Every day is filled with cleaning the store, shoveling the snow, making the outside of the store look like a place you wanted to go inside. The lists are long my friends.
- If you do not absolutely love what you are doing ….owning your own store will burn you out quickly. Yes, my passion is my vocation now, but isn’t that great!
- Set goals. It really isn’t enough to just have sales everyday. This past week I took a screen shot with every month of my sales for 2018. One of my goals this year is to BEAT every month from last year in sales. That helps me push for getting my vintage treasures OUT in the world, and getting my friends and customers IN the store.
- Compare Carefully. We should all know if you compare you lose. Someone/Something is always more….fill in the blanks. That’s why I add the word carefully. Talk with other business owners…ask questions…what is their slowest day of the week? If it is the same day as yours, ok then. If not, ask why do they think that day is the slowest. Certainly never ask for their trade secrets or confidential information…but you can certainly learn enough from asking.
- Network and Collaborate. My vintage area owners have been meeting for the past months. They have become friends, and great resources, for me. We often refer customers back and forth to each other. In the end we want our customers to find that special treasure and they will remember that we helped make that happen. We are also pooling our financial resources together for large-scale advertising.
- Budget. Stay on top of this. There are so many things coming at me – advertising, donations, underwriting, etc. I watch my budget like a hawk. I’m on my Chase Bank (shameless plug) app every single day. I know what I have in my accounts, when my charge bill is due, and what checks have been cashed. Nothing should be a surprise.
- Sales-Tax Dollars. Do not spend them. Do not make these dollars part of your budget. When I look at my accounts I am always taking out what I have collected in sales tax. Big mistake to use that as your income. When it’s time to pay you will be behind an 8-ball. And when you are behind financially it is never easy to get back in front.
- Pay for your Non-gifts. I hired a CPA about four months in to opening my store. Not my gift. Now, I give the paperwork monthly to him and my worries are done. Some of my business friends scramble and struggle and…ok, occasionally freak out. I’m over that. It is a HUGE relief.
Looks like I’m out of word space 🙂 And I have so much more to share! Email me if you have questions firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll share more ideas/thoughts/suggestion and hard-earned wisdom in the coming weeks!