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Dark Days without coffee (part I)

Retail blog:no-coffee-part-I

Yes! Sarkara had made it one year and sales were getting better and better by the month.

Along the road I had already learned so much about running a business. I had thought it was all so simple, but striving to establish a candy empire is not an easy task.

To help anyone looking at starting up a business I’ve put together this list of things you need to look at BEFORE launching your business:

  1. Think about the average amount each customer will spend each time they come into your store (optimism is not a great trait here).
  2. Realistically how many people will walk through your door each day? Find an established business (which is comparable), sit outside it on say a Saturday (busy day) and a Monday (slow day) and count how many customers come out with something in their hands. Then half this number of patrons for your unknown business.
  3. Finally, add up your costs. Rent, part time staff, window cleaning, Internet etc. and take this away from your expected earnings based on the first two points.
  4. Now you’ll have a much better idea on how tight things may be financially and how few days off you’ll have in order to save on staffing costs.

I’m acutely aware at how great the above advice is as I ignored almost all of it and have rued it ever since – so trust me on this one.

After a year in business it was time to look for ways of improving the store. There were lots of potential avenues to explore and although slightly exhausted, I was more than capable of handling retail expansion.

Funny, as it turned out, it would actually be my waist that would expand the most in 2015. By Easter I was pregnant with my first bubs. And underneath a lot of my stress and fear was a hell of a lot of excitement about being a Mum.

As with a lot of woman staring down the barrel of their mid-30s I had withdrawn my earlier 20 something bold belief that I didn’t want kids, and had decided that I actually kind of did. So for a few years prior I had been waking up in cold sweats during the night contemplating my potential barrenness for a few years. Which meant finding out I was pregnant was a pretty deliriously happy moment.

But my initial glee was evilly tainted as I Googled ‘how to be pregnant’ and discovered that caffeine should be severely limited during pregnancy. SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE F**K? Sarkara’s survival was now in serious trouble.

(See next week’s post to learn about keeping a business alive without coffee)