Due to the low number of orders I have had to cash out the 401k I had from a job I recently left for a job that has better hours-not an ideal choice, but you do what you need to do to pay the bills. If you have subscribed to the newsletter, you’ve been getting financial updates in the newsletters, with a break-even analysis and financial balance sheet. As a point of reference, for a book store to be considered successful, new stock should be rotated every two to three months, which has not happened for the Red Hen yet.
This is something that, as a small business owner, you have to be prepared for-a lack of orders/sales. It can be frustrating and stressful, especially starting out when the costs of start up are still far outweighing your sales and income. Lacking a physical storefront compounds the difficulty of remaining present in your customer’s minds-on the Internet, unless one is constantly active and/or has a large digital advertising budget, there is a sort of “out of sight, out of mind” phenomenon that can lead to a loss of traffic or sales. Sometimes you will wonder if this was a good choice (it is, but it is hard). You may get frustrated that you are doing all you can think to do and not getting results-some results take time; patience is an important thing to have when starting a small business, as is a very resilient attitude.
I am working on plans for a chance to meet local customers face to face, but am still looking for a suitable venue for the event-lacking the constant physical presence makes getting to know those who are my primary market difficult; that event is to be decided for location and date, it will be held in the afternoon/early evening.
At this point, with finances where they are, I am not sure when I will be able to re-visit a physical storefront. It would be ideal to have that physical storefront, but at this point, the capital and cash flow are not there, and from the way things look, won't be there for a while.
A little housekeeping:
- Don't forget to check out the referral program-you can earn discounts when you refer friends to the website and they place an order.
- Discount codes are available for military, law enforcement, teachers, librarians, and college students-send me a message to get one.
- Book requests are free, and can be made through the Contact form. You can sign up for the monthly Newsletter on the Contact page as well.
- E-books AND audiobooks are available at redhenbookshop.papertrell.com.