Deciding to open a shop can be a daunting process. Especially if you have no idea how the local area will respond to it. Not only do you have the upfront cost of getting the entire business up and running, but the projected returns are a real unknown and could be met with tears if you don’t know your area well enough.
Kelly Goltz of Kiki – The Hippie shop tried a different tactic. Moving to the Shoalhaven region a number of years ago, Kelly noticed a lack of available places to purchase gifts that matched her tastes. Instead of going from 0 to 100 with the opening of a shop, Kelly made the decision to begin selling items through the local community market. Over time with the help of consistency and trust building with the local area, Kelly was able to build enough interest and support to help her scale up to not only one but now two shops in both Vincentia and Huskisson.
I caught up with Kelly for a very brief chat only weeks after the opening of shop number two in Huskisson. It’s still early days, however the business is starting to really find its feet and has built local support to validate the desire to open up their second occasion as well further expand to selling stock online.
What did you get out of this episode? Here’s what I learnt;
1. Transition from a market stall to a physical store. – Kelly started laying the foundations by regularly attending local markets. This is a great way to get exposure in the local area, meet the locals and safely introduce your products and services with very minimal overheads. Kelly was able to build loyalty and trust by regularly attending as well as ensuring they were the last stall to pack up and offering to mind people’s children. Being reliable, available and helping others is a great way to get strong support for when you’re ready to take those next steps in your business.
2. Disregarding generalisations around on/off peak seasons. – Vincentia and Huskisson are major tourist destinations when the sun is out and the weather is warm. It’s a common fear amongst business owners that in the colder months, there are less people about and business tends to struggle. Kelly has found through her support and connection with the local community that she does not feel the negative impact of the traditional ‘off peak’ holiday seasons and is able to continue to trade with confidence year round. As mentioned in the episode itself, your type of business will be determined on your reliance on holiday traffic to your area.
3. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Take action. – Sometimes we sit on an idea indefinitely because we are waiting for elements of your vision to be perfectly in place and aligned. Unfortunately it means that many of us never follow through and get the idea off the ground. Kelly made a great point of simply taking action regardless of whether all of the finer touches are in place. Prioritise the critical elements of your business and then work the rest out as you’re up and running. Simply taking action might make everything fall into place quicker.
Vincentia – Shop 15, 5 Burton Street, Vincentia NSW 2540
Huskisson – Shop 1, 39 Owen Street, Huskisson, NSW 2540