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Change of Career - Start a Business

#1
I'm asking you all for your thoughts on the following.

It looks like I could be made redundant in the next few months. I'll find out in a few weeks. I'm not worrying too much about this as it may not happen.

But if it does I obviously need to work. I currently work in the financial services and I've done this for far too many years. So at my time of life I thought, how about a career change.

I love craft, love knitting, making cards, sewing...... anyway in a moment of madness:rolleyes: I looked at businesses for sale near where I live. There is a Wool & Needlecraft shop for sale.

I think this seems a brilliant idea, but I've never done anything like this before. I worked in a shop when I first left school:eek: but nothing recent. I've never been self-employed, I am a people person, love chatting, love providing a service, very organised.

What are your thoughts????????
 
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#2
Hm, it's difficult to know! I know that running a business sounds idyllic / romantic, but is VERY hard work.

Do you have any friends who run a shop, who you could maybe shadow for a few days? That way you would get an idea of the sorts of things you need to do as a shopkeeper, and be able to make a more informed decision.

Good luck, whatever happens and whatever you decide.

SL x
 
#4
That's great that you have someone you can talk to.

I remember working in a deli when I was a student. Before I started there, I had often thought how nice it would be to run a deli / cafe / bookshop, because I have such passion for those things. And the shop I worked at was perfect, and it was doing well, in an up-and-coming area in London.

The guy who ran it had many years of experience in the food business and knew exactly how to approach running the shop. But despite this, and despite the fact that we often had queues out the door, he could only afford to keep the shop open through cash input from his wife, who worked in the City. He did not see her much, unless she came to the shop, and he did not see his infant son much, either. He was in the stock room, or on the shop floor, seven days a week, 12 hours a day. And when he was eventually brave enough to go on holiday and leave the shop in charge with us, he found himself unable to relax at all, and he phoned several times a day, checking over tiny shop-related-things that had occurred to him while on the beach. It drove his wife mad!

Much of his time was spent organising suppliers, dealing with tax, talking to his accountant: all the boring paperwork, while his shop assistants were upstairs having fun chatting to customers, making coffees and recommending fine wines / cheeses / meats.

I don't know if he regretted it or not. He definitely had a passion for his products, and clearly loved all the stuff he sold. It didn't seem appropriate to say something like: "Hey, your life seems kind of rubbish, how do you feel about having opened a shop?" ;)

This was in the early days (first couple of years) of the shop's existence. It may well be better for him now, I don't know (I moved away).

It'll be good to see what your hairdresser friend does, how she spends most her time, and how she feels about it all. But in the end I think it's something that boils down to personality: if you're an entrepreneurial kind of person, you don't mind working all the time, you're ambitious and you don't mind paperwork, you might be just right for the job.

I'm sure you will come to the right decision for you :)
 
#5
I'd just be a little weary of turning a hobby/love into a business. Firstly, will it still be something you love when your livelihood depends on it?

Secondly, is there sufficient demand for your product & service? - there may be demand, of course there will, but there may be other similar services in the area.

Temper that against the lure of being your own boss and owning your own business alied with something you want to do and more importantly something you believe in may level things up a little.

Depending on your finances, will you need to make a lot, cover costs, what about premises, would you work from home? etc.

Lots of "boring" detail which needs to be looked at as we hear on a daily basis of small business going to the wall - doesn't seem so romantic when put like that:(

I'm sure you've a good idea of the demand for your services. Hopefully the omens are good for you;) - I wish you luck if you do indeed become redundant.

Steve
 
#6
Hun, my be an idea to find out why the business is for sale in the first place? Is it because the owner is retiring after many years of a profitable business or is it the other, no business, no money and time to get out?? Keep us posted xxx
 
#7
Right Michelle, you need to research, research, research. Find out all about your catchment area. Research the competition, if any. Approach every craft club there is in the area. Offer them discount prices on production on membership cards or equivalent.

Find out who your stockists would be and your profit margin would be.

We had 4 shops until a few years ago and you do need to find out first what your overheads would be and work out what you would have to sell to meet our outgoings.

I am a great advocate of working for yourself.................... do the ground work and it could be your Utopia..............
 
#8
Sounds like my perfect dream too. I also love all things crafty and would love to run such a shop. In fact when a shop became empty in our town I thought about it.
There are loads of craft groups around us but no shop, no suppliers or stockists - we all need to travel or use the internet.
However, I wondered just how much I would need to make per day to both earn a living and cover my costs. I decided it wasn't the right time for me to take such a plunge with my daughter still at school.
I also think that most of these shops need to run an internet service too, they seem to around here anyway.

Good luck if you decide to do it - sounds perfect but a little frightening too.
 
#9
Thank you all for your replies, your comments are just what I'm looking for.

We've had a family berevement and things are a little hectic at the mo, but all being well me & DD are going to the shop tomorrow. After then I'll address all your comments, there is no great urgency on my part.
 
#10
Me & DD went to look at the shop today.

It is in a very nice part of Preston, there are no other craft shops in the area, but where it is placed there are other shops around.

When we walked in it was obvious that the stock is running low, the shop itself is clean, tidy & well maintained. The shop assistant was helpful, polite & chatty.

We didn't let her know we were there with a view to buying the business.

I've decided when I know if I am being made redundant I'll consider this more seriously. But at the moment I'm very interested.:D

Once again thanks for all you views & comments guys, it's much appreciated.
 
#11
What I would advise you look into is:
1, why are they selling ?
2, what are your overheads? (when our pub was for sale I was amazed at how many people were unconcerned about their bills and how much they needed to earn before they were in profit, just liked the idea of running a pub)
3, What is the competition?
4, What is the catchment area, and are they type of people that would want to go into your shop?
5, is the building leased? how long a lease? what are the terms for putting the rent up?

As someone said, do your homework.

I worked in corporate life and now own a pub and have another totally unrelated business. Work 16 hours a day, every day, max holidays a year is 3 seperate days and I earn less money.

Wouldn't change any of it, much happier, and will never go back to work for someone else!
 


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