Don't do it!
Haha just kidding.
I have learnt so much about business since opening The HMU Studio but I have also learnt so much about myself.
When I first looked at opening a shop I was looking at rent mainly and thought wow I can do that? Ha, little did I know how many other expenses there were and how hard emotionally the first 2 years were going to be...
Number 1 Tip - It will be more expensive than you think! There is even a cost for rubbish because it is a commercial property and bins are not free every week for pick up! So many hidden costs so make sure you do your homework.
Number 2 Tip - Don't work with friends. It's a bit like living with friends it can be hard and may end in disaster.
Number 3 - Get emotionally strong before opening a business. I have found that out the hard way. It's tough saying no to suppliers they can make you feel very pressured in to buying their products and it can be so expensive. Do your research and get the best deals. Also I found out that a lot of the bigger companies don't treat you the same as if you were spending a lot with them so be careful who you choose.
Number 4 - It really does take at least 2 years to build your business so don't give up without a fight. It is a bit like ground hog day sometimes but keep pushing you can do it!
Number 5 - Get systems in place from the beginning. I had no idea about financials. There is so many wonderful programs out there now so get on to it straight away. Don't let it get on top of you because it's so good to know what your business is turning over so you know if it is growing or not.
Number 6 - Trust YOUR vision. I had a good idea of what I wanted but I definitely got swayed by others along the way. So stay on track, it's your vision not theirs!
Number 7 - Pick a generic name. I am so glad I didn't choose my name for my branding because who knows where it could go and if I wanted to franchise it makes sense. So I am glad about that choice. So think carefully about the future of your business. And make sure you can get your domain, website and social media names all to match.
Number 8 - Try different forms of advertising when you open because you will learn where your best market comes from as you go. Social media works well in our business people can see our work before they even come in.
Number 9 - Have regular hours. When we first opened our hours changed a lot and we would close up early. I think that would have slowed down growth. Now we have more staff we are open longer and more regular hours. I also used to work 6 days a week to see which days were busiest but found Mondays quiet so we now close on Sunday & Mondays and that works well.
Number 10 - Just do it! You will learn as you go and everything doesn't have to be perfect to start. It can change with you as you learn and grow.
I have learnt that it takes a lot of discipline. I have learnt that momentum really is the key, so getting up everyday doing something towards growing your business. Getting in there and nurturing what you have takes energy. You never know if you never try so be brave and if it doesn't work it doesn't matter at least you tried. Every bad experience is a great lesson, one of the best ways to learn! So I can't say it will be easy but it will be worth it!! xx