Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking that because they
know how to make something well (whether it’s jewelry, clothing,
houses, or computer programs), they can run a business well, too. I
can tell you from experience that it is very difficult to be fully
committed to the administration of a business and the creative
demands of making fine jewelry. Running a retail store requires you
to fully understand bookkeeping and accounting, cash flow management,
personnel management, advertising and display, and sales. If you
think that you can simply hire someone to take that responsibility
from your shoulders, you are in for a real surprise. What will you
do when your bookkeeper tells you that they are quitting? And your
books are really screwed up? And, by the way, they forgot to file
your taxes on time? They can walk away, but you will not be able to.
I have been self-employed for over 20 years, and I have made all the
mistakes that anyone could make. I have spent many sleepless nights
wondering how I’m going to survive the latest crisis. I have watched
my employees totally screw up an expensive piece, pick up their
paycheck, and leave after putting in their 40 hours to spend their
weekend at the beach, while I work late into the night and through
the weekend just to keep everything running for one more week.
There are good things about running your own store too. Everyone
knows about those. But be prepared for more work than you imagined,
and working “retail hours.” If you’ve been working at home, keeping
your own work schedule, you must be prepared to give that up. The
best retail times are the weekends, when the rest of the world is off
work. And holidays.
Before you take the plunge, check out a book called “The E-Myth.” I
forget the author, but the book was great.
If I could do it all over, I probably would find someone who wanted
to open a retail store, and I’d agree to be their designer/goldsmith.
That way, I’d be doing what I know best. For a business manager,
finding someone like you that can produce a great product, and has a
"vision," is a dream come true. Let them worry about the books…