The reality, I know, would be different. I'd struggle to get the place opened and fully stocked. I'd work all the hours God sends as I couldn't afford an assistant. I'd be paying bills left right and centre - for a signwriter, to get the interior fitted out, for business rates, electricity, insurance, I'd have to deal with VAT, sales reps, keeping accounts. There'd be craft classes to organise and generate extra revenue, and almost every business needs an online presence. Maybe it'd all work out. Maybe after months and months of hard graft I'd see miniscule profits turn into more significant ones. I'd begin to sleep at night because I was content instead of exhausted. Maybe I'd come up with a winning retail formula.
Small businesses, especially shops, are the backbone of this country, yet the odds are stacked against them. They need to be as smart as the 'big boys', the chain stores and franchises, the places that invest in customer service and have accountants and marketing experts at their fingertips.
I'm blogging about it because of last night's TV. I love Alex Polizzi's 'The Fixer'. She goes into an ailing business and gives it a stern but loving kick up the backside. Often there're family businesses where emotions run high and there're tears and tantrums. Last night's was a doozie. 'The Singing Kettle' tearoom looked dated and dreary. It's never easy to change, and seeing one of the owners dig his stubborn heels in, showing belligerance and bad manners in equal measure, was sad. He was getting good advice that'd drive profits up. But his vision of his tearoom didn't match that of potential customers, and rather than adapt to their (money spending) ways he stuck with what he liked. If the tearoom had continued in the same vein you'd imagine it closing for good pretty sharpish.
I felt for the owners though, a married couple who'd learnt the hard way, teaching themselves how to do the books and manage a kitchen. If I opened a shop I'd be in the same position, teaching myself, trying to balance my 'vision' of a business with what it turns out customers want, trying to keep hopes intact and not get ground down by the reality of the hard slog.
The differences between daydreams and reality can be slight or can be as deep as the Grand Canyon.