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mochyn

Shop.

I'm seriously beginning to think about the idea of a shop specialising in British fibres, yarns and equipment for spinners, knitters &c.

It's really just the germ of an idea at the moment, but I'm not sure where to start! I'll need to raise finance so I suppose I'll need a business plan.

Has anyone here done anything similar? I'll be making plenty of notes this week.

HELP! Laughing
Chez

Is it worth you talking to Business Link? They have templates for Business Plans and Cash Flows and all that sort of thing. And it's a free service.
DawnMK

I set up a craft shop 3years ago if its any help, just let me know.
caths

apparently the wool shop in Newtown is for sale - if that isn't too far out of your search zone you could combine the benefits of existing wool shop customers with your new ideas?

Can't tell you anything more, just thought it might be worth mentioning
mochyn

Hmm. Might be a bit soon, and I can't stand Newtown! Laughing
sally_in_wales

Could you run it partly online and partly from that defunct school up the road from you and do courses as well?
mochyn

That's the kind of thing to which I aspire.

Thinking cap firmly on...
sally_in_wales

I think it would be worth contacting the council about that place, just so you know what might be possible. In principle the idea ticks all sorts of boxes for them, revitalising local industry/job creation, heritage awareness, lifelong learning, tourism, you name it, you could make this project work to enhance whatever they are currently working on doing more of
jema

I would have thought online would be the way to do it.

Specialised shops in the back of beyond can't work easily.
lettucewoman

Hmm. Might be a bit soon, and I can't stand Newtown! Laughing



...my ancestral home....... Sad Sad Sad Sad Wink
Nick

I would have thought online would be the way to do it.

Specialised shops in the back of beyond can't work easily.


That was my first thought, but both are an option. Bricks, clicks and knits.
Jamanda

I would have thought online would be the way to do it.

Specialised shops in the back of beyond can't work easily.

That was my first thought, but both are an option. Bricks, clicks and knits.

You do need a place to physically keep stuff though, and if that is somewhere where the rent is cheap because it's in the back of beyond it might as well be a shop front too. It doesn't need to be open all the time as long as it's clear where you can get hold of someone.

There's a few places round here that operate like that, and seemingly sucessfully as they've been going for a while.
bagpuss

I would have thought online would be the way to do it.

Specialised shops in the back of beyond can't work easily.

That was my first thought, but both are an option. Bricks, clicks and knits.

You do need a place to physically keep stuff though, and if that is somewhere where the rent is cheap because it's in the back of beyond it might as well be a shop front too. It doesn't need to be open all the time as long as it's clear where you can get hold of someone.

There's a few places round here that operate like that, and seemingly successfully as they've been going for a while.

I think somewhere like that would need a good online presence to be profitable but a bricks and mortar place even if it is just for limited hours or by appointment means people can drop in if they want especially if it can be in the same location where people take classes as you might get people have a browser and buying something before or after
Nicky Colour it green

you need a physical place to do courses etc, and there is definitely something in encouraging people to come and do their crafts there - most real knitting shops have various knit and natter type groups etc.

if you did not want to run a shop per se, you could have an online shop, that you also bring along in real life to your course venue.
Chez

Given how small your house is, you would probably end up having find premises to store stock, too - so having a 'shop' that was open at clearly-stated but part-time hours and also doubled as a course-venue makes sense, to me, if the numbers add up. DawnMK

Add in your rent, rates, electric (higher than domestic rate) water rates (again higher than domestic) refuge collection public liability, insurance, alarm service a requirement by most retail insurance comapanies, fire extinguishers, fixtures and fittings, bank services all this is dead money, before you start, you will need some one to help you, if you are sick or running classes or go on holiday some-one has to hold the fort, Advertising, sundries like card machine services, till, bags cleaning I started online, I had a small storage unit where I held stock, and went out to groups or hired halls for classes, did the craft fayre circuit and shows after four years I took the plunge and went for bricks and mortar. On average my running costs are 600-700 a week just to open the door, I am on a high street so costs are higher, the hours are long approx 50-60 hours a week with one weeks holiday a year.
But I love every moment of it.
boisdevie1

Online = sod all overheads and a lot less risk.
For running courses can't you hire a function room when you have the numbers. It also means you can run courses in different locations.
Rob R

Online = sod all overheads and a lot less risk.
For running courses can't you hire a function room when you have the numbers. It also means you can run courses in different locations.

90% of customers want to feel yarns before they buy & you still need plenty of dry space to store, sort & pack parcels. Consider the margins carefully before proceeding. Course will be much better in terms of making enough money.
Cathryn

It's only a cover. You don't imagine she will be able to part with any of the lovely stuff do you? Wink Rob R

Laughing

Nat says that's her problem too & she feels a bit resentful every time we sell some Kerrydale.
DawnMK

If you do classes on a roving base you can take yarns and supplies extra with you and set up a stand,most students will want to buy more and if you let your class know in advance you will have supplies for sale they will bring money to spend, you can also set up merchant banking facilitys so you can take card payments while on the move. Rob R

Laughing

Nat says that's her problem too & she feels a bit resentful every time we sell some Kerrydale.
earthyvirgo

Add in your rent, rates, electric (higher than domestic rate) water rates (again higher than domestic) refuge collection public liability, insurance, alarm service a requirement by most retail insurance comapanies, fire extinguishers, fixtures and fittings, bank services all this is dead money, before you start, you will need some one to help you, if you are sick or running classes or go on holiday some-one has to hold the fort, Advertising, sundries like card machine services, till, bags cleaning I started online, I had a small storage unit where I held stock, and went out to groups or hired halls for classes, did the craft fayre circuit and shows after four years I took the plunge and went for bricks and mortar. On average my running costs are 600-700 a week just to open the door, I am on a high street so costs are higher, the hours are long approx 50-60 hours a week with one weeks holiday a year.
But I love every moment of it.

That's a really useful summary/breakdown DawnMK, thank you

EV
mochyn

One possible option is to renovate the feed store. It's quite a nice space, plenty for storage and perhaps for classes, although the village hall might be better for that because of parking &c.

I know that would have ramifications re. council tax &c but it would mean a 5 second commute! It would also mean only on-line sales, except for fairs/shows &c.

Thanks so much for all your helpful answers! I need to get writing now, so I have something to show to advisors or potential investors.
Handmade Lives

Don't go for a big plan, pick an element and develop that and see how it goes. Its very very easy to spend money in the belief you are investing. Nick

It's like having fortune cookies. numberwang

Add in your rent, rates, electric (higher than domestic rate) water rates (again higher than domestic) refuge collection public liability, insurance, alarm service a requirement by most retail insurance comapanies, fire extinguishers, fixtures and fittings, bank services all this is dead money, before you start, you will need some one to help you, if you are sick or running classes or go on holiday some-one has to hold the fort, Advertising, sundries like card machine services, till, bags cleaning I started online, I had a small storage unit where I held stock, and went out to groups or hired halls for classes, did the craft fayre circuit and shows after four years I took the plunge and went for bricks and mortar. On average my running costs are 600-700 a week just to open the door, I am on a high street so costs are higher, the hours are long approx 50-60 hours a week with one weeks holiday a year.
But I love every moment of it.

This exactly the challenge I'm having too... have some ideas to start up a bricks & mortar gallery but taking enough to cover the running costs (let alone paying myself) scares the pants off me!!!

not hugely practical to sell large scale framed work online either so wondering if I start online with a different offering & look at other ways to showcase/sell the larger work Confused

good luck anyhow whatever you decide!
Cathryn

Good grief Dawn, I just properly read the figures you give.

I am very out of touch with these types of costs. Any small shopkeeper is doing incredibly well staying open. I have to assume when I look around Aberystwyth that some owners/landlords can carry losses for some time.
alice

Bricks and mortar specialist shops are having a very hard time. Everything is stacked against them. Online is here to stay - for better or worse Confused
Personally speaking, I'm very happy to buy craftstuff without seeing it - the sheer breadth of choice outweighs the hands-on aspect - for me anyway.
I also think the classes are where you'll find your profit - the money is in the teaching nowadays, not the raw materials/finished articles themselves. Mostly.
marigold

This local shop has been closed "due to unforeseen circumstances" on the two or three occasions that I've tried to visit it http://www.thewoolbar.com/ , but it seems to be doing OK and has moved to new premises. Maybe I'll have another attempt at actually getting inside soon!

Might give you some ideas, anyway Smile
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