As I mentioned in part 2 of this series I started a hobby retail store, you can see the opening day article below. It was this journey I learned many important values about taking risks, learning things to get things done, and the different challenges of starting a business.
Being a marketing student we nailed the pre-opening marketing by taking a community approach. We branded ourselves not as a retail store but as the first-ever lounge for Gamer culture (since I’ve seen many similar ventures open up with this lounge approach.) I had started a message board in the months before opening where I invited the gaming, anime and other clubs and join to give feedback as we prepared the location. Many of those on that message board volunteered to help in painting and setting up shop and were out greatest evangelist that we had a line around the corner on opening day.
The coming months would be great as business was consistent and growing so we kept reinvesting the proceeds to two locations. Our fatal business flaw was not keeping a reserve for a rainy day so when that slow down came to the pile-on of new expenses and commitments along with many new competitors took our newborn enterprise out, still felt quite proud having just turned 21 a few months after the stores opening to have taken on a project of that size and seen it through. In the process, I became infinitely more confident in my capacity, my ability to learn and what is possible with determination.