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The business “by eye”, or How I profakapila business of my dreams

Back in 2012, I first tried my hand at business – I opened a store for informals, which worked offline for less than a month. The loan after this adventure paid off another 3 years 🙁

I made all the mistakes that are possible. With that approach, things were doomed to failure, but it still hurts me.

Experienced entrepreneurs, for sure, will laugh at my fakaps. But for newcomers who are now on fire with an idea and are ready to put everything on it, my story will break pink glasses and help to look at my plans more critically.

A little background
In November 2012, my friend and I were actively looking for an idea. A classic of the genre is micro-business without big investments. Then I came across the Internet on the guys from Kazan, who sold turn-key crossbow shooting ranges. It was positioned as a franchise, but in reality it was a set of equipment with an approximate business plan and documentation.

We seized on this idea, opened an IP and tried to break through with our shooting range into several Moscow parks. The tenders lost, and in one of the cities of the Moscow Region we were generally offered to purchase equipment, put it on the park’s balance (donate?), And hired workers to arrange for them themselves.

The first failure upset, but we did not give up – we sat, thought, and on the same day decided to open a rock paraphernalia store. Yes, microbusiness without investments turned into a global project, but then we did not understand this.

Everything happened very quickly – after 3 days we chose a room, and another day later I took a loan of 200 thousand rubles – a normal consumer with the corresponding interest. The fact that this is not enough for a full-fledged store, we did not think then. Another week was spent on creating 16 square meters. m. in the shopping center “informal” atmosphere. On March 7, the point opened its doors to first visitors. And in early April, we already exported the windows and goods to the girlfriend’s apartment, and that’s why.

Did not count the numbers
Marginality, net profit, financial model, breakeven point – we did not think about this at all. They just knew that there were 200 thousand. Of these, 60 for rent for 1.5 months; about 100 more – for the purchase of goods; the rest is on little things – repairs, a signboard, furniture, leaflets and Hardy rats for the atmosphere. Now I won’t even say exactly where it took — we did not keep records.

Making the store you want to come to yourself seemed more important than guaranteed profitability
Making the store you want to come to yourself seemed more important than guaranteed profitability
What do I understand? A financial plan, taking into account money for rent and purchases for at least six months, would help to avoid failure. He would have shown that with a capital of 200 thousand rubles it would not be possible to launch a store in this format. And then the options are to look for a new idea, change the format and try to meet the budget.

Now I understand that it was possible to come to the atmospheric store of your dreams gradually – to start small, gather an audience, increase the turnover. But then I wanted everything at once 🙂

Did not plan beyond the first month
The main thing is to open up. For a month, we will definitely earn money to pay the rent for the next one, and then, as trampled upon … They didn’t earn, they didn’t. After 3 weeks, it became obvious that there was nothing to pay the rent – at the checkout there was something about 20 thousand, but we needed twice as much. We began frantically to search for a new room, but never found.

Made hasty decisions
We did everything very quickly. For 3 days, they chose the premises on the principle of “convenient to get to”, for a couple of hours they found a supplier with not the most wholesale prices, an hour of loan processing. And all this in euphoria and pink glasses – how cool and successful everything is going!

What do I understand? You should not compromise and agree to inappropriate conditions to speed up the launch. It was necessary to look for a room for a month, two, three – until there was something suitable in areas with a target audience. Although, in this niche it is not divided regionally, in Moscow there are much better places for a rock paraphernalia store than an electronics shopping center on the outskirts. Any option near the concert venue would have been better. Similarly with the supplier – having devoted more time to searches, you could find a wholesaler, for example, with low prices or deferred payment.

Did not analyze the audience
Why, if we ourselves are informals and, it would seem, know and feel our client? Therefore, we just arrived at the wholesale warehouse and scored everything that we liked ourselves. We did not plan the assortment, did not think about which products would attract people and which ones – to form the main profit. Yes, we didn’t have any marginal goods – shoes, leather clothes, jackets – our budget would have been enough for a maximum of 20-40 leather jackets.

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