Small retail shop

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Jon Clegg, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. Jon Clegg

    Jon Clegg
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, my wife and I are looking to start a small retail store. The store uses a proven model of recycling objects as art supplies, around the country they are called Creative Reuse Centers. They range from large warehouses like Art Asylum in Houston, TX, to small workshop based shops like TinkerTopia in Tacoma, WA.

    We are looking to open the latter style store. My wife is a elementary art teacher with 13 years of experience, so she knows how to manage children and teach them art. I'm a software engineer, neither of us have any business experience.

    We built a website, collected supplies from friends and family and are now looking to lease a space. We think we can manage with 1200-1500sqft, like TinkerTopia. Around Austin the lease rates comes to about 2k a month with NNN included.

    With out combined income with have a surplus of about 3k a month, so we should be able to afford the space even if we make zero money. The goal is within a year the store can be her fulltime job and make roughly what she made as a teacher. In the meantime we may need to hire people to man the store, I work from home and have flexible hours so I can be there when no one else can make it.

    Our plan is to make most of our revenue from workshops; birthday parties and workshops during the weekends, and also try to do "Sip and Paint" classes at night like "Painting with a Twist". We plan to do almost zero advertising and market using my wifes art teacher friends, social networks like mom blogs, facebook, twitter and SEO.

    What makes me nervous are all the things I don't know, here is the short list:

    1. The market for retail space is tight in Austin, places get snapped up quickly so I'm worried about negotiating a decent lease. We don't know anything, so I'm worried about getting ripped off. Can we hire someone to represent us? We have had zero luck finding the equivalent of a buyers agent, like one does for home real estate.

    2. Insurance and liability. I don't know what kind of insurance we'll need. The plan is that the children can be dropped off for workshops, so I expect there is some liability there. Is that going to kill the bottom line?

    3. Extra costs. I know the lease is about 2000 with NNN, but what about insurance? Electricity and hidden costs?

    4. Registering the company name, etc.. What do I need to do with the government to be legal? I assume I would file for an LLC, but I'm not sure if that's the best option. We don't want to go the Non-Profit right now because of the overhead and time constraints.

    We would like to get this going before the summer so we can make some first clients and money with summer camps. We are dedicated "failure is not an option" kind of people and I'm sure we can fight to make it work and build the business. What I don't know is what I don't know, so I'm looking for some help.

    thanks,
    -Jon
     
  2. IrekJanek

    IrekJanek
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    2
    As far as registering your company I would suggest LegalZoom's web page, they should have some advice on the site. Look for things that apply to your situation, if you can't find it on the site, you should be able to contact them and get advice directly.
     
  3. atlantisrocks

    atlantisrocks
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    24
    Your desire to get involved in a creative reuse center and your inexperience at business suggest that a franchise operation might be appropriate.

    The Durham ScrapExchange (http://scrapexchange.org/) seems to have plans for developing a franchise operation. (See http://www.mcfornc.org/portfolio-view/durham-scrapexchange/)

    I suggest you contact them. You could be their initial example of a franchise operation.

    In any case, I would use some vacation time to plant yourself as a volunteer in an existing creative reuse store and watch, listen, and learn all the ins and outs of the operation -- and marketing of the business.
     
  4. Geekion

    Geekion
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    You can register your own LLC starting at 100$ in the US, but you will pay taxes.
     
    #4 Geekion, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2015

Share This Page