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    How to open a store


    By Jes Egan

    Opening up a retail store is really exciting. Selling your product and other supplier's product is a real opportunity and can be lots of fun. There are a number of business related elements to consider when looking to open up your own retail store - here a few just to start.

    Location, location, location

    Location is key. Consider being in an area where you feel that your key customer segments are but don’t neglect to think about foot traffic as well. You want to be in a position where you may catch people walking past to come in and experience your store and all you have to offer.

    Store size

    When reviewing a new space for your store, think about the layout, where and how you’re going to set it up. Think about what stock you are planning to have and where you may put it. You need to ensure you have enough space for all of your stock but not too much at the same time. Also, keep in mind that your rent on the space tends to be measured by the square metre so if you don’t over stretch yourself getting space that you don’t need or that you can’t use.


    How much stock do you need? Do you have a storage space that you can use for excess stock that doesn’t fit on the floor? If you have run your business from an online space in the past you may have an idea of the popular items that you need to have more of. If you are selling other business' stock, consider taking items on consignment or only ordering the bare minimum to begin with to see how they go.


    Don’t neglect your online store - many people see items in store and go home and order them online, plus it opens up your potential audience base outside of the area where your store is located. It is vital that you keep your store up-to-date with as much stock and information as possible, it can help build your brand awareness as well as reach.

    If you don’t already have an online store, you can have a site custom built for you (which can be fairly pricey) or you can use on of the many eCommerce platforms that are already available to use, with templates, shopping cart functionality and check out facilities already built in. There are many out there, I found Shopify really easy to use.

    Negotiate your lease

    Leasing a commercial shop space will probably be one of your biggest outgoings, so take the time to think it through because if you find yourself unable to pay the rent it can put your business at risk. Review the average rents in the desired area and work out what is an achievable and reasonable amount to pay. Consider the length of your lease - if you are a startup, a shorter lease could be an option to consider. If the unfortunate thing happens and your business doesn’t go well then you’re not left with a long lease to pay or negotiate your way out of. It also will give you some flexibility if your business needs change and you need to consider a different space. A shorter term lease can cost more (monthly) than a longer one but something that should be considered.


    There are many different types of insurance that is needed such as employees liability insurance, public liability, WorkCover etc. Not all insurance companies offer it, a good place to start looking is GIO, AAMI, Allianz or Shop Insurance, Smart Business Insurance just to name a few! Speak to one of their consultants about what you are planning to do and what you will need. They can advise on the correct packages or if a tailored option is more suited to your needs.


    Opening a shop is a costly thing to do! It isn’t cheap - you’ll need a certain amount of capital upfront to get it started. Consider things like rent, signage, point of sale systems, fit out, stock, staff, insurance, branding etc. Unless you have access to funds, you’ll need either an investor or a small business loan from a bank and you will most likely need some of your own capital to get started. Generally to get a bank’s financial support, you will need a solid business plan to secure the funding. Some banks' small business departments will help you with this plan. Make sure you don’t forget to account for paying back this loan as part of your plan. Also don’t borrow more than you need as you don’t want to be down the track with a big loan that you can’t pay back. Go and see a financial adviser or small business banker to give you the right advice for your business.


    Promote your store! Advertise and market it in the best way that you see fit. Remember social channels are a great way to get your message out there, just remember you don’t need to be on all of them, chose a select few that your customers will relate to and do those ones well. Posters, door drops and offers for the local community are a great way to get your store out there alongside traditional and paid advertising.

    There are many fun and exciting aspects to opening a store, the above are just some of the more boring but necessary things to consider on your path to opening something brilliant.

    Jes is a ‘practical creative’ and a very busy lady, doing the business in a digital agency, being an artist and an university lecturer.  Follow Jes on Instagram.  

    Posted by: Emma Clark
    Categories: Advice and Tips, Growing a Business, Starting a Business | Comments Off on How to open a store
    Posted on

    How to succeed as a multi-passionate creative


    By Bec Mackey

    Do you find yourself pulled in different directions by your work and your creative projects? Are you easily distracted by a new idea or flash of inspiration, only to abandon it again shortly afterwards? Or maybe you’re trying to juggle working and paying the bills with a creative side project, and finding it hard to manage both at the same time. You may beat yourself up for being fickle, unable to commit, or to make a clear decision. But despite what we’re told by society, not everyone is built to have just one linear career path, and being easily distracted isn’t necessarily a bad sign. If any of the above resonates with you, it may just be that you are multi-passionate.

    Being multi-passionate is a gift, so embrace it! There are many people out there who would kill to have your energy, curiosity and ability to see inspiration everywhere. Multi-passionate people can draw connections where others see nothing, and this is a highly valuable skill, particularly if you work in a creative industry – or would like to.

    However, having so many interests and ideas can feel like a burden at times, and indecision about which path to take and what to focus on can contribute to a lack of confidence. It may seem like all external messages are telling you to commit and let go of all of your competing ideas – to settle down and choose your niche. If you don’t have just one job, title or simple elevator pitch to sum up what you do, its easy to feel isolated.

    Multi-passionate people are almost always highly sensitive and very creative. This sensitivity, although an incredibly valuable trait for artists, communicators and business owners, means you probably pick up on a lot things, both negative and positive, that others don’t. If others have judged you for being changeable, or all your friends and family have solid careers and can’t understand your various interests, you may have taken this to heart and let it stop you from embracing your multi-passionate nature. This can lead to confusion, lack of motivation, and sometimes paralysis about which path to take next.

    Here are some tips to help you move forward and thrive as a multi-passionate creative:

    • Let go of the need to define yourself by one job title or career path. It may seem that this is a cultural expectation, and that many people you know define themselves by their job title. But if you’re multi-passionate, it won’t help to try and fit yourself into just one defined category. Be true to yourself – own your diverse skill set and know that there is a place for you too.
    • Find a tribe of like-minded multi-passionates. Look out for other people who value curiosity and exploration in their career, and are interested in many different areas. It can stimulate your energy levels to be surrounded by others who get excited about new ideas and have a range of projects on the go. And when things get challenging, you’ll have friends and colleagues around that understand where you’re coming from and can support you without judging your hybrid career. You might even discover someone wonderful to partner up with – multi-passionates are great collaborators!
    • Read about the profound things multi-passionate people (sometimes referred to as polymaths) have done through the ages. Having a defined, specific ‘thing’ to do for work is a relatively modern phenomenon. Even in more recent times, the revolutionary multi-passionates are there if you look for them. Maya Angelou is a fantastic example of a polymath who defied categorisation in her work. She may be most famous for her poetry, but she was also an accomplished dancer, journalist, editor, teacher and activist (who worked for Martin Luther King, no less!).
    • Define your overall ‘why’ and then you will have a long term vision that will help with direction and focus. Watch Simon Sinek’s famous TED Talk ‘Start With Why’ and complete a simple ‘why’ exercise for yourself. Focus on what motivates you in life generally, rather than worrying about defining your why for multiple projects or business ideas. Discovering what motivates you and what is important to you will provide you with a compass of sorts, and help you understand yourself better.
    • Resist the urge to do everything at once. Get good at time management or find help from a coach or course to enhance your skills in that area. You’ll feel better once you are taking small steps, even if its simultaneously in a couple of directions.
    • Don’t give in to the paralysis that can come with having too many ideas. Choose one of your most dominant ideas– one that hasn’t gone away for a long time, or one of the most viable, and run with it. The upside to this is once you start to see progress, your confidence will increase and you can get out there and impact the world as only a vibrant, multi-passionate person can!

    Bec Mackey is a writer, teacher and producer of screen-related things. She uses a decade of experience in the business sides of media and arts to help creative people fund and promote their work in ways that work for them. Bec writes about funding, promotion, creative careers and life on her website, Brightside Creatives.

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    Posted by: Emma Clark
    Categories: Advice and Tips, Finding Balance, Growing a Business, Starting a Business | Comments Off on How to succeed as a multi-passionate creative