If I, myself, can setup and maintain a small business, anyone can. I am 20-something and I opened a store selling healthy beverages, homemade crafts, and unique items I bought wholesale. Naturally, I had a limited budget and had to think creatively. Currently, I am only local, but I am considering tackling the challenge of opening another location.
I’ve loved fixing up healthy drinks my whole life. I’ve had small gardens for years, too. I poured over and researched many books regarding how I can make a living doing what I love. Luckily, a healthful beverage and goods store is common enough and not considered a difficult-to-sell niche. I only hold a two-year degree, but I found that having a nest egg of funds and creativity to be the essentials.
Will you have employees? Do you have a pinpointed location, with a projected low risk of failure? Do you need to pursue a business loan, and do you have a highly detailed business plan? These are all questions you need to have covered as much as possible. One tip I recommend is to try to get a good dose of the reality and experience doing what it is your business will be offering. As for myself, that was starting a few days a week at local farmer’s markets. I had a chance to be offering nearly exactly the products my business plan was centered on, and I tailored it further as I went along. I was able to get just two licenses and rent a small booth for the first 6 months. It’d be good if you could start from your home or in a booth setting, if that applies to your business. This makes your commitment not too costly or serious when you first get your feet wet. Not to mention you can get your name (and business cards) out there.
I have my process worked out in a way which saves the most time and delivers high quality. I make my beverages with fruits and veggies from my garden, with roughly half being sourced from a local farm and a larger supplies. This particular supplier delivers to my store once a week. I have three superior quality juicers and blenders. I rent a 500 square foot business space on a popular street. The initial equipment, miscellaneous items such as menu boards, licenses, and decoration of the space were all my main expenses the past two years. My products over the first quarter of 2014 have not added up to even equal the cost incurred in my first two months of business. In addition to the drinks, I sale homemade crafts (headbands, jewelry, scarves, bohemian clothing and eclectic items) and wholesale fashion. My fashion sources are imported by a company I had been shopping online with for years, and I found it clever to start a business relationship with them (option was listed on their website, so didn’t take too much brain power for me to get my thinking wheels turning). I do not have employees, but that’s something that is going to have to happen if I want to become more hands-off, and is pretty much crucial if I open another location.
My bread and butter are my drink and fashion purchases. My own homemade crafts and designs sell the least, at least until I mark them down. This is because drinks and imported fashion I can sale for less. My crafts I make during my free time, and during spurts of artistic inspiration. My shop is open only four days a week. Once I hire employees I will be open six days a week. My husband is working there with me several hours daily, and it really helps me get a lot done.
My business has been more successful than I initially thought it would be. I crafted my store to be really unique, and have it’s own brand. It somewhat markets itself. My locality is also not over-saturated, mind you. People like to come in and talk to me, get a drink, and admire my crafts. Oftentimes a customer will buy a drink and then opt to buy something else too. In short, once you have a projected amount of funds, a plan, and a location picked, you just have to jump in and do it at that point. I was a nervous wreck my first few months, still am sometimes. If I can do it on limited resources, anyone can. Your location, your product, and how you will be presenting that product are the basics. Once you have the complicated stuff mostly covered, your personality will shine through your business and only the stars are your limit.