Amazing. The four reasons Phil Libin, founder and CEO of Evernote, Inc.’s 2011 Company of the Year, gives as 4 Reasons You’ll Fail at Entrepreneurship are exactly the four that make ME wince, when I hear a would-be resale shop owner declare them as why s/he thinks a consignment or resale shop is just the right thing to start!
I’ve borrowed his reasons and translated them to our industry. So here are my
4 Reasons NOT to open a consignment or resale shop, because if these are your reasons, your business will fail.
1. You Want to Be Your Own Boss
In retail, the public is your boss. Yes, every single person who walks into your shop. And add to that, those who don’t. When you have a boss, you can refer/ defer/ blame/ hide behind her/him. When you’re our there on your own, you’re on your own. Believe me, there will be days when you’ll long to have a boss. If only so you can call in sick.
2. You Want More Flexible Time
Oh yeh. This is the biggie. Unless you have worked in the upper echelons of retail, you won’t understand that retail is the absolute worst career to have if you want to “come and go as you please.” Until you have in place, have trained, can afford and can trust a crew… you will be in your shop for every hour you’ve publicized as open, plus one or two on either end of the day. Without fail.
3. You Want to Make Money Overnight
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: The world got along without your business just fine yesterday. It’s not going to start slinging money at your feet from Day One.
A good shop will start paying its overhead after a few months or a few years; a great shop will enable you to take some profit out of it. A magnificent shop will, after a period of time, provide a very comfortable living for you. But it doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen without long hours, hard work, and lots and lots of self-education.
4. You Can’t Afford to Fail
The riskiest retail thing in the world you can do is sign a lease, if you do not have every single cent in the bank ready to be given to the landlord is necessary. Oh, no, wait: the riskiest thing to do is to open a shop without knowing everything you can about the business.
At least once a month, I hear a new shopkeeper say “I can’t afford the Manual.” I’ve learned not to reply to them that every week, probably every day, that they operate in the blind, they are losing the cost of the manual and more.Over and over.