Do you dream of owning your own little space of retail, with beautiful displays, and product that shoppers can’t wait to get their hands on? Your a pro at finding sweet deals, and yet you are still scared to death? Been there, and I know how you feel. I don’t have all the answers, but I tell you how I did it. It’s time to demystify this whole process; let’s get busy.
**Disclaimer**-These are my experiences, and I do not guarantee they will work for everyone.
Before you plunk down that first dollar for a booth space, we need to get serious for a bit. So you know what you want your space to look like, you have an idea what types of products you want to carry, and how you will display it all. So what’s next? For most people the next question is, where do I get the money? Assuming you have already developed a business plan, we are now ready to make a roadmap for how you will get the money to bring it to reality.
First things first. Never mix your family budget with your business budget. And never, ever, ever, put your mortgage payment or children’s food supply at risk, to build your dream! As soon as you purchase your business license, you will go directly to the bank and open a business checking and savings account.(More on this later)
So how much money do you really need?
As I told you in the previous shop post, I like to take the safe route. You may be more of a risk taker. But with current business failure rates in this economy, you might want to play it safe too.
#1. Do your research. (Don’t skip this step or you may be very sorry). If you want to open an antique mall booth, hopefully you spend a good deal of time visiting ones. I spent almost a year visiting antique malls, and discussing space square footage prices, and dealer costs with mall owners. I got a real idea of what I could comfortably afford each month (what you intend to sell minus dealer costs* and make a profit), what size space I could realistically keep stocked, and how far from my home the mall was. Once I had the ballpark figure of what the space would cost me, I then started my business budget.
Before we get to how you will get the money to open, we need to be real about how much money you need.
#2. Make a business budget. My personal rule-I would not even consider opening a booth without the money to survive 6 months with no sales. In other words if you went to get a booth today, could you pay 6 months space rent up front? They won’t ask you to, but would you be able to? If not, I wouldn’t be ready to plunk my money down quite yet. Other may disagree, but remember I am a calculated risk taker. I will explain the six month rule in an upcoming post.
In your business budget you need to include a fund for purchasing products. If you have been collecting treasures for years and you plan to sell them off first, this amount will be fairly minimal. You will also need more money for incidentals like, the business license, extension cords, printer ink, tags, gas, etc.
If you read my first couple of blog posts you will see I forgot about extension cords in the beginning, and as a result did not have lighting in my booth for the first month. Not the best way to create an exciting little shopping experience.
(She sold just days after the lighting was turned on)
#3 Put It On Paper, Add To It And Refer To It Often-
So your budget might look something like this: (Very simplified)
$1200.00 space rent ($200.00 per month rent x 6mo=$1200.00) Do not touch this money for the first 6 months for anything but rent, no matter how good of a deal you’ve found on something you want to put in your booth.
$500.00 for product (I had some on hand)
? for booth decoration and signage. This will be up to you. If you want to drape your booth in tulle by the Grand Opening you will need to add this into your budget.
$200.00 for paint, drop cloths, and brushes, cleaning supplies, silver cleaner, goof off, screws, nails, wood glue, etc. You will need to buy what you don’t already have. (If you don’t clean your products, shoppers will notice).
$200.00 for incidentals or the “oops I forgot stuff”
(Keep every single receipt)_______________________________________________________
$2100.00 for me was a safe amount to be willing to sign a lease.
Now don’t get teary eyed and think this is out of the question…Get ready…. up for the next business post?
Show me the money- How to Raise Capital for your Dream
*Dealer costs will be covered in an upcoming post
Have a Beautiful Day and Dream Big!
P.S,-Please feel free to ask questions anytime, either as comments or email me.