There was an interview on Shelf Awareness from a bookstore owner in Florida talking about how long they've been in business that caught my attention:
"Part of the answer is a kind of stick-to-it-iveness that we've had, to deal with the ups and downs..."
Well, that's sort of it, isn't it?
For me, it was also the willingness to accept less money and the sneaking suspicion that I wouldn't be able to work for anyone else. Linda stuck with me through it all, working shit jobs to supplement our income until she finally had a store of her own.
But yeah. You just keep doing it, adjusting to the constant change, trying things until they work. Being steady and reliable is a big part of small business success--and certainly, not expecting overnight success.
It took a good 20 years before I think we were sustainable. I could make the case that if I hadn't made so many mistakes in the beginning that it could have been done in 10 years. How many people are willing to put up with the stress and hard hours and lack of money for ten years?
If I have one message for anyone planning to open a business it is--watch out for burn-out. Watch out for the advice that you should keep adding services, keep growing, keep working more hours, keep on doing everything that everyone says you should do
Simplify your workplace as much as possible, despite everyone telling you the opposite.
Then just put your head down and keep working. Do the basic job well, and let the other stuff go.
4 days ago