Here’s a CCTV shot of my brick and mortar store. It’s a small digital printing shop located at Batangas City, Philippines. Let me tell you how it started in this short post.
It was year 2015 when my calling to entrepreneurship was heard. After my first failed attempt of making money online, I thought of having a tangible brick and mortar store instead. “Maybe I need to learn first in the real world…” That’s what I thought.
Brainstorming and Funding of a Digital Printing Shop
Having decided of a physical store, I then brainstormed on the type of business that might work for me. I consulted my sister and we’ve decided on a common choice which is digital printing. Why digital printing? It’s for the reason that we love visual arts, creating it, combining colors and expressing ourselves. Ease of operation and effort is there.
Upon deciding on my business idea, calculating the capital needed was my next concern. My budget was short and loan from the bank is not an option due to some issues with me on taking risks. Good thing father helped and agreed to invest on my endeavor.
Other Concerns and Official Launch
Having a business is taking huge risks, and I understand that before stepping my foot in. But I was surprised of meeting dilemmas early on. The machine I ordered on August was promised to be delivered on September. But my supplier met some problems with the customs and failed to deliver until November. That’s a two-month delay and caused us losses on the office rent and bills. First lesson learned: research deeply and avoid going for the cheapest always. Cheap is good but be sure not to compromise good service and quality.
On our digital printing shop official launch, few people were invited and just sufficient foods prepared. It’s so simple and silent that a keen observer would easily point the novice business owner behind it. Yeah, we failed to observe proper store openings such as inviting prospect guests, motorcades, and programs. We literally started with zero costumers as no advanced marketing and advertisement were done prior the opening. Good thing, signages and on-site advertising still works, some walk-in costumers found us.
Present and Future
Yes, it survived and we had our second anniversary this November. After almost 6 month of having negative cash flows, profits finally came in. Some adjustments I did was:
- Transfer of our store from second floor to ground floor. This gave a huge improvement on enticing walk-in costumers
- Facebook page optimization. Of course, I will apply my online knowledge on my offline store. I ran ads religiously and continued to study and make every cent count.
- Added staff and machines. To meet the demands and increase the profit margin, additional manpower and printing machines were supplied.
They say, brick and mortar has truly survived if it reaches the five-year mark. So, in order to obtain that, continuous improvement must be done. Some tasks that are currently worked on are:
- Improve website and social media pages. Before, I am only working on Facebook, but one thing that could have boosted my shop’s earnings is an optimized website that have funnels, email marketing and advanced targeting attributes.
- Polish some paperwork. Business plan, rules and regulations and standard operating procedures must be optimized and reviewed for efficiency.
- Additional branch. I am thinking of branching out my shop but still undecided for now as I am currently working on my online stores as well.
So there’s a glimpse of my brick and mortar. If you want to have one, my advice is to start now. Taking action is the hardest step on this kind of journey. That first step can lead you to a non-stop adventure of problem solving and collecting profits.