Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Note on SHOP Shopping.

I'm moving out.

Well, at least that's the plan.

Working from home is both a privilege and a curse. The convenience is second to none, and the second bedroom has gone easy on me and not charged me any rent. And there's no traffic to complain about.

But knowing that the sewing room is just metres away makes it oh so hard to get out of bed some mornings. The 'must get ready for work!' urgency is nonexistent. I have no set opening hours, so I start when I start and finish when I finish - and yes, some days, that's a recipe for disaster.

And then there's my house. My clients all gracefully assure me that they don't care about my messy dining room table, or the fact that the vacuum is on strike when it comes to plucking threads from the carpet. I know they mean well and most of them probably don't care because their own houses look similarly lived in. But there's pressure to keep our home well presented and professional - after all, I do call myself a professional. I want my clients to see that I really do care about the details and add to the reassurance that I am going to treat their project with due care and attention.


I also want to be able to come home at the end of the day and relax without work calling to me from the other side of the door. I'd love to be able to separate work from home. And in all honesty, sometimes that means leaving clean laundry in the basket for longer than Mum said I should.

And I don't want to be a home dressmaker forever.

I want to grow my business, to be taken seriously, and to teach other people how I do what I do, so this craft isn't lost forever.

So I've been looking around for a new studio. It's a tough decision, finding the right size, right shape, on the right street, in the right complex, in the right neighbourhood, with the right amenities and features, at the right price...

So I found one. Then crossed it off my list. Good location, but awkward size and shape. Then there was another one. Great size, wrong location. Option 3 was the biggest, in a popular shopping complex on a main road right next to a major intersection. As you can imagine, it was also the most expensive by a long way. Nope, not that one.

But truthfully, the shop shopping is the easy part.

I've created spreadsheet after spreadsheet tallying projected incomes and expenses. What if income isn't as high? When should I hire staff? What if the rent goes up? How does EFTPOS work? What about leases? Bonds, bank guarantees, rent in advance? And then there's the fitout. Flooring, building dressing rooms, storage, paint, lighting, couches for a waiting area, a cash register. The list goes on like you wouldn't believe.

And I've thought long and hard about whether it's worth all the effort, and the conclusion has been - again and again - a resounding yes.

And so, tomorrow I am going to inspect - with real estate agent in tow - what will hopefully be the very first k4j Designs studio.

It's on a main road, but not near a busy intersection. Next door to a very well known fish & chip takeaway. Easy access parking. It's own kitchenette and toilet. Air conditioned. Well lit, I think. Reasonably priced (not that the real estate agent is very good at using a calculator, but that's a different story). It's the smallest of the ones I've researched online and driven past. They say you don't want to pay for space you don't need, but wedding dress skirts can take up some serious area..

Like they say, it's free to ask the questions. So, ask I shall. Tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. How exciting for you!! Isn't that the dream to have your own shop.....And you are about to live it!! Congratulations on having such a successful home business that you are now taking it to the next level! :)