Photo: Marc Royce
Q: I own an online store that's been live for about four months. The response to our products has been great. My husband and I are relocating soon, and I'm interested in opening a brick-and-mortar version of the shop in the city where we're going to live. I'm in the process of looking at financing options for this venture, as I've got very little of my own money put away. How do I save up enough funds in this short time frame to achieve my goal?
A: Whoa, slow down. I'm thrilled you're having such tremendous early success, but we're talking about just four months here. You say your goal is to open a store ASAP. Let's fine-tune your plan: to build a thriving business that can support a brick-and-mortar store. That's an important distinction.
Since the online business is going so well, use it to help finance the shop. Funnel your profits into a savings account, and when you have enough to cover at least six months' rent for the commercial space, you'll know you can afford to expand. The more you have saved, the better the financing deals you'll be offered: A new business with no appreciable track record and an owner with no assets isn't going to qualify for the best loans. Besides, if you're moving to a new area, how do you know where to set up shop? Are you sure there's going to be enough demand? The beauty of online merchandising is that you aren't held captive by local tastes.
If you can't completely shake your impatience, you can speed up your savings by using the relocation to your advantage. Move into a less expensive area or home, and you'll have more disposable income left over each month to put into your business.
From the September 2007 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine