Starting this blog has been fun. It’s great to spend time putting together graphics and themes based on the clothes and designers I love, but with the new year approaching, I realized I need to be pushing towards the ultimate goal of opening that shop, right?
So here we are, back on track and trying to find some footing. Over the past three months I have done a lot of research on how to open a physical store front. What it really comes down to is having the ability to stay afloat for a year(or longer) before turning any profit. I originally thought it would take around $40,000.00 to open the doors, but it’s looking to be more around $100,000.00 (or more). Scary at first, but all this does is add another step to the journey: online vintage store on Etsy, to an e-commerce online boutique, to a physical store front.
The first step of opening an online vintage store has been taken. Frequency Vintage is on Etsy. It’s been slow going, but a great learning experience. I will be commenting more on how I plan on making improvements to the shop in tomorrow’s post, but today I would like to talk about the next step in the process: e-commerce online boutique.
Frequency Vintage took only a small financial investment to start, so although a business plan would surely make the shop more successful, I thought it was something I could skip. An online boutique on the other hand takes a much larger investment which has led me to the first my first goals of 2012: Writing a business plan.
Ever hear the saying “I went to art school and all I got was this attitude”? Well, I went to art school and as far as business goes, it is very true. Luckily, there is a wonderful website for all us beginning our path to owning a small business: www.SBA.gov. This is a really great reference site. The following is their outline for a business plan, and my jumping off point:
Elements of a Business Plan
- Cover sheet
- Executive summary (statement of the business purpose)
- Table of contents
- Body of the document
- Description of business
- Operating procedures
- Business insurance
- Financial data
- Loan applications
- Capital equipment and supply list
- Balance sheet
- Breakeven analysis
- Profit and loss statements
- Three-year summary
- Detail by month, first year
- Detail by quarters, second and third year
- Assumptions upon which projections were based
- Pro-forma cash flow
- Supporting documents
- Tax returns of principals (partners in the business) for last three years, personal financial statements (all banks have these forms)
- Copy of franchise contract and all supporting documents provided by the franchisor (for franchise businesses)
- Copy of proposed lease or purchase agreement for building space
- Copy of licenses and other legal documents
- Copy of resumes of all principals
- Copies of letters of intent from suppliers, etc.
As I start to write my plan, I will breakdown what I learned about each section and give you an inside to what to look forward to yourself.
Now for a cup of coffee and diving into finding a niche. Check out this little blurb from the SBA on finding your niche market: Finding a Niche