I recently received an email from a reader who wants to follow her dream and open her own boutique business or shop.
She asked me about taking out a loan and going for it. I am so there, right now, walking in her same shoes. I’ve even got a perfect plan and location!
However, I’m tempering my decision by considering the circumstances of my local economy (Houston’s oil business capitol; low oil prices; many layoffs expected, soon; etc.) Six years ago I didn’t give any attention to potential problems I might face. I just went out and did what I wanted to do, regardless of the consequences.
I’m still in a bit of a limbo on what I should do next. My plans for the future, along with the constant swings of the economy, never seem to be in sync. And...well...I’m not getting any younger!!
Have a read below to see how I responded to this aspiring design entrepreneur.
Maybe you’ll have some good advice you’d like to share with her, too!
"Thanks so much for your email about your dream of owning a boutique business. I’m flattered that you thought to reach out to me for some advice! ;-)
Honestly, I’m not presumptuous enough to give you personal advice on taking out a loan. I took one out myself around 6 years ago – in the middle of a recession – when I moved my business out of my home; it was for $25,000, and it took 5 years to pay off. The interest wasn’t that bad and, really, not a serious amount of money in terms of business debt. But, naturally, the fact that it was hanging over my head really put a damper on how I felt about my business. Today, I have some credit card debt I need to pay down, but I always have to juggle having plenty in the bank to cover my expenses – like payroll, etc. Considering the design of my business’ particular operations, I need a lot of fluid cash.
There’s no doubt that you’re facing a difficult decision, one that will have a huge impact on your life’s goals and dreams. If I were you, I’d read the three articles (linked to the side) that were written by three very wise women, each of which run their own boutique businesses. What impresses me the most about their stories is how they all started small, built up from there, and are all still going strong today.
Recently, I reconnected with Joanie Ballard on Facebook, and I'm sure she would be happy to field some questions from you. So do yourself a favor and reach out to her. I can't express to you enough how much I respect what these women have built.
Good luck and keep in touch!"
Taking on debt is a serious issue that must be given a lot of consideration, both from your heart and mind.
It’s not something someone other than yourself can say “Yes, do it!” or “No, don’t do it!” You have to take all you’ve learned from all of the research and advice you’ve been given and decide for yourself.
What advice would you offer this brave future business owner?
Do you have any personal experience with taking out loans to invest in a boutique or shop of some kind? If so, let us know in the comments below. ;-)