Flexibility, Flexibility, FLEXIBILITY!
We are growing! Slowly but surely. We had a guest instructor and the 6 students that she led through a multi media painting had a fantastic time. We are booking private groups all over the calendar, and rearranging our calendar almost daily, another reason to be flexible for our customers. As people learn of us and what we do, they are super excited and want to come spend time with us.
Here is the best advice I can give to any person who is interested in starting a brick and mortar business. Be flexible and make sure you have checked in with every single department in your city. We have had the heartache of being shut down 2 hours after opening for the lack of checking in with the building authority. If your space will hold more than 15 people (including employees) for any length of time you MUST have 2 separate restrooms. One for ladies and one for gents. Let me tell you, the transgender argument does not get you any brownie points either (personal experience). So as I type out this blog, we are now working on a temporary permit with the understanding that we will have 2 restrooms by 90 days. Another bit of advice is, work CLOSELY with your landlord and try to not allow the little Irish girl in you to come out and be emotionally angry. Things rarely go well for my little Irish girl. Not sure about yours (whether she/he is Irish, German, Italian, Russian...so on and so on...do not let that little angry person out in these times).
We will have a second restroom within the 90 days, what that looks like is still to be determined. Hence, the flexibility again. I have had a walk in that wanted to do the Tree of Life project not the painting that was scheduled... OK no problem (flexibility).
We are having a proper ribbon cutting with the Mayor of the city on September 12th (almost 6 weeks after opening) this opens the doors to the other Chamber of Commerce members (flexibility). The best advice I received from an ambassador of the Chamber, was that you will get from the Chamber what you put into the Chamber. So be involved, be flexible, and be seen at many functions.
All in all the learning curve is still steep, we are still working on every detail. Finding what works best for you (our customers) and what works best for us. I have spent hundreds of hours sitting at either my laptop or pc researching the best programs, booking, scheduling, organizing, decorating, selling, buying, trending, and the general aesthetics of our website.
If you want to own a business of your own, I HIGHLY recommend it. I encourage you to start with doing as much research as you think you can handle, and then researching more. Go to the free SBA meetings (Small Business Association) and network network network. Begin talking about your business to the surrounding area, even before you have your store front. Find out what the Chamber of Commerce can do for you.
I am so happy that you take the time to read my rants and hopefully it inspires you to take your own leap of faith.
Hugs and Giggles,