As some of you may know, I have been on a journey to open a new business. There was a lot of help from some friends to help determine whether or not an actual brick & mortar store would be feasible, which was what I hoped for. But after doing a lot of research, we decided that the store-front would have to wait. But I did feel that I could open an on-line e-commerce business to at least get started with the idea.
So that is what I have been trying to do for the past several months. Of course, just like that bathroom remodel job you tackle, it takes more time and money and effort to get started than anticipated. But I do think I may be on the home stretch to having the site up and running, so I thought I would do a weekly update to keep everyone informed of the status.
So the name of the business is Blue Twig Studio, and I have the logo design picked out (which turned out very nice), the web site guys are working on the site, and they will let me know when they need more info from me (pics and info and such). I have the state and city paperwork completed, resale tax license, bank account opened, credit card received. The store will be a mixed media and fiber arts supply store. So if you have any ideas about great product ideas, let me know.
I have started creating accounts with different vendors, which is sometimes trying. Some vendors won’t sell wholesale unless you have a brick & mortar store. Some vendors will sell to on-line stores, but only after the site is up and running. Nearly all vendors and distributors have a minimum order required, which sometimes is quite high and out of my price range for right now. And since I am a new account, there are no terms, so I have to pay up front. Plus it is difficult to know what I should order and how much to carry, as I am not sure exactly what products my customers will be purchasing. I will have to adjust my inventory once I see what is selling, but in the meantime I don’t want to have too much sitting around that nobody will want!
Next I need to make some decisions about other aspects of the business. Do I need a POS system or cash register? I know customers who order on-line will just go thru my web site, but what if somebody stops by and wants to buy something or pay me cash, or what if I decide to do some craft shows or events? I will definitely need something then. But maybe I can wait awhile for that? What about an inventory system? It can be very complex or very simple, but I need something to keep track of inventory and what is or isn’t selling. How do I set my prices? A lot of products come with MSRP, but many don’t, and certainly the vintage and found objects that I hope to carry won’t have that. Do I price a bit low at first to generate cash flow? But I need to be able to make money so I can’t price too low! Do I need a new camera to take better photos for the site? Do I need a new computer or can I get by with my old one? How about a new smart phone? There are a lot of nice features that would be beneficial to a new business.
These are some of the current questions and concerns I have. I’ll let you know next week how they are coming along and what new issues might be popping up.
Hope to see you when the new Blue Twig Studio web-site is up and running!