How I Survived My First Year of Retail

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Addie's Corner- How I  Survived My First Year of Retail


I have owned a brick-and-mortar store for a year now. It has been a scary and trying year. There were days I wanted to walk away from it all just to have more time with my family. Especially, when my seven-year-old says, "Mommy, you never spend time with me anymore." That was a nice slap in the face. There were days filled with tears and wonder, “How am I going to keep my store open if I can’t meet my daily goals?”

So, you are probably asking by now, “Brandy, how did you do it? How did you survive your first year when most new businesses close within one to three years?”


I did a whole LOT of praying because I did not want to neglect my business nor my family. My business consumed me and started to become an idol.

I quickly made a decision to started outsourcing stuff that I A) wasn’t interested in doing, or B) Didn’t know how to do. I hired someone (MPowered Business) to do my QuickBooks. That was the best decision I ever made. I am weak in accounting and I know it. It took the weight off my shoulders. Then, I hired a Business Manager. That was an even better decision. She helps me achieve my goals and keeps me from spending excess money. I do not make a single purchase without consulting her first.

When you start divvying tasks, you are able to focus your attention on more important things like promoting your business on social media. That is a full-time job just in itself.

You are probably now asking, “Brandy- why are you answering to somebody and having them tell you how to run your own business?” The short answer is this: I am a spender. I have these lofty goals and expensive ideas, but I do not have the money to accomplish them. I need someone to tell me, “NO, you don’t have the money for that." or, "NO, you can’t buy it.” She is like a mom in the grocery store and I want all of the candy in the checkout line. Only a parent can truly understand this. She is only going to get the essential things like milk and bread, not the shiny things that I want. I have a hard time being realistic so she keeps me grounded. Sometimes, it's not fun.

My Business Manager has talked me off a ledge many times. I will call her in full panic mode freaking out over bills. She calmly tells me, “That is not your problem that is mine. You are worrying about something that’s months away. You just need to worry about paying your bills this week.” Thankfully, because of her, I was able to start 2019 off profitable. It may not have been a big profit, but I made a profit.

My point is if you want a successful business; surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. If you are the smartest person in the room, it is time for you to find a new room. Also, do not stop learning. Learn as much as you can. I now spend my quiet time reading business books instead of sweet romance novels. (I miss my mindless reading.) I watch YouTube videos from experts in my field. I am constantly trying to figure out what is going on in the retail world. I recommend following retail expert Emily Benson.

"Well, that's great Brandy; but I don't have the money to do all of that." Uhm, yeah you do! While you are interviewing business consultants, look at your budget with them. Have them tell you how they would help you pay for their services. Figure out how to hire the people that you need. Find the people who are smarter than you and make sure that you trust them to help meet your goals. Trust me; it is well worth the investment.


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