How Indie Retailers Get Over the One Year Hurdle


Hana Dickman

Independent retailers, also known as “indie retailers,” face a variety of issues not seen by other companies. Fortunately, they also experience several benefits over their larger counterparts. None of these benefits can be realized, though, if the company isn’t successful. Hopefully the tips below can help you overcome and surpass your first chaotic year in business.

Don’t Invest Heavily During the Honeymoon

If there’s one thing that can sink your retail business before the one-year mark, it’s not recognizing that there’s a honeymoon phase for every business — the first few months when a company is fresh and exciting for locals and thus brings in a decent amount of business.

Thinking this success will last forever, some impulsively invest the remainder of their small business loans or self-provided capital in excess inventory or unnecessary . Sadly, this leaves them broke after a few months when the novelty of their new neighborhood business wears off. Enjoy the honeymoon phase, listen intently to what your customers like and don’t like, but resist the temptation to take  dictate your spending.

Take a Look at Your Personal Debt

You may not realize it, but your personal debt can have a negative effect on your budding entrepreneurship. If you’ve got substantial debt stacked against you, it’s likely you’ll have issues getting certain small business funding such as bank loans.

It’s smart to take care of as much debt as possible before starting your business, but don’t let it hinder you from getting started either. Just make sure that you’re proactively trying to handle this burden while simultaneously getting your company off the ground.

Reimburse Yourself

When you’re first getting your indie retail business off the ground, it’s very tempting to invest all of your small business capital and revenue back into the company. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs fail to provide themselves with a salary. Doing this may seem pointless since you’re essentially getting all of the money coming in, but giving yourself a salary is the only way to ensure you’re keeping your personal finances separate from those of the business.

Evaluate Insurance Needs

One of the best things you can do with a portion of your small business funding is get the right insurance, but it’s important not to get it unnecessarily. If you don’t have paid employees yet, it’s actually very unlikely that you need any substantial amount of insurance.

In fact, it’s possible that your homeowners insurance could cover a customer tripping and falling while visiting if you’re working out of your home. Double check with your homeowners policy to make sure. It’s smart to talk to your insurer about other possibilities, but don’t let them trick you into insurance you’ll likely never need in a retail environment.