Part 2- My Experience as an antique store owner
In Part 1 I told you about my experience opening my antique store in Detroit, and some of the things I wasn't prepared to take on when we took the plunge.
Now I'm going to talk about some things I know now that I wish I knew then.
What do I wish I would have done differently?
1. Started with a plan. Starting with the hours of operation. How many hours would I have to put in? If I wanted dealers, what would be required of them? What about a website, business phone number, a Facebook page for the vintage store? Was I capable of taking on that work load?
2. Done the math. How much was this going to cost, on paper. Minimum. What did I need to make to support it AND make a living. This simple equation would have answered many questions. To keep a consistent flow of traffic to a store front is not easy task. As a niche market you are catering to a group that wants to see something different
3. Known myself better. Having no patience and having been diagnosed with Adult ADHD, which can often lead to impulsive decision making, I should have looked at myself harder. I was convinced a vintage store was the answer without knowing a thing about retail. I was determined to try this and no one could talk me out of it.
4. Understood the full scope of being a landlord. It seemed easy. If the tenant paid each month it would pay a good portion of our rent. Win/win right? Wrong. He knew more than I did about the laws and took full advantage. I didn't protect myself. I didn't understand what would happen in the worst case scenario.
5. I loved the idea of my name on the door and a sign out front but was not a good store owner.
I know quite a few vintage stores or malls that have been in business a long time. They work very hard at it and are great at it! You can be too, but before you even think about opening a shop you need to ask yourself a lot of questions.
An online presence and an audience that knows you is critical to your success. If you don't have one right now and you are thinking about a physical location, STOP. You need to get your property on the web first. Catch people's attention, tell your story and build your audience. It's part of all businesses today and only becoming more important.
I would love to hear from antique store owners about what you love most about having a shop and what you wish you would have known before. If you wouldn't mind sharing, please send me a message. I'd love to hear what you feel the benefits of owning a physical vintage store are: Do you get buying opportunities? Does it lends credibility? What is the biggest payoff
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