My first business endeavor was Beauty Fetish Apothecary and Salon in Atlanta, Ga in 2005. It did not go as expected.
I had the best business partner a lady could ask for by the name of Adriane Baker! We wrote an incredible business plan and thought at the time we had the BEST location!
We were 50/50 in the business and financed it with our personal savings to the tune of $60,000!
The concept was amazing! We would sell quality hair care products, accessories, and have a few stylists that would be available for walk-in customers.
Ok, so here is where it went left!
We overestimated the amount of support we thought we would get from both our friends and family and did not allocate enough dollars in our marketing budget. I suppose we thought word of mouth would suffice!
The opening day was amazing! We crushed it and made a few dollars! So, of course, we were like, "YES!, we made it!" However, after that day the sales declined and the walk-in traffic we thought we would get because of the location and anchor stores didn’t happen!
We signed a five-year lease and basically had to tough it out until the end of the term. Our overhead was too high, and we ended up putting more into the business than we got back!
Now to some, this would be considered a failure! However, looking back it set me up for my future success in my current businesses! I learned much about what to do and more importantly what not to do!
Here are a few things I learned:
You cannot be upset when friends and family don’t support your vision!
No one owes you anything! While there are people who want to see you do well. Some don’t want to see you do better than them! I know it stings but it’s reality!
You must know your return on your investment. You can’t wait until the end of the year to see if something is working. You have to know when to cut your losses and move on!
Take advice from people who care about you, people with clear expertise, and people who use your services!
Learn to filter unsolicited advice because everyone will have an opinion!
All-in-all that business taught me that just because I didn’t succeed on my first try doesn’t mean I take myself permanently out of the race.
“ Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts!” Winston Churchill