Business advice - finance - your thoughts

47 posts in this topic

Dear TTers,  I'd truly appreciate your input on something rather important to me.  Some of this is merely thinking aloud, some points I could use advise or your thoughts. 

 

Deciding which bread to purchase is easy, deciding on large undertakings, I find best to discuss with others and get unique perspectives.

 

But first, as always, a wee background.

 

While I did study business in university, I worked for the government as a criminal investigator, so my practical business experience is limited.  I retired early in 2009 after 24 years, skipped around from various menial jobs and a few years ago took up leather working.  While I am humble, I do get praise and yes, I am rather proud of what I can make.

 

I work in my living room, which is large, is split so I have a livingroom on one side and an actual working place on the other.   As one can easily imagine, I have no exposure to potential customers.  To be honest, I'm not a fan of having unknown people in my flat.  Just odd. I'm often cutting leather on the floor, which is far from ideal.  When one has a full or half hide, a large table is needed (2m x 2m), for which I do not have the space.

 

When I have time, I toss professionally made business cards in postboxes, which has helped.  But not much.  I also have a professional website, which also assists.  But this is not bringing me business.

 

This past Sunday was Verkaufsoffener Sonntag.  It was not well planned, insofar as stands, so I had little customer attention.  But I was not alone as other business did not do as well  as compared to last year on Verkaufsoffener Feiertag. 

 

I spoke with a close mate on the Monday and he suggested I really look into this empty shop here.  It's been empty for roughly seven years.  Dream location. Perfect size.  A total of ca 100 meters between the shop and my flat.  I know most of the shop owners nearby.  The shop does have Nachspeicher, but the landlord explained that a proper wood heating stove might be possible, but I would need to speak with a chimney sweep.  Pellets are less expensive than those old electric heaters.  The shop is near all day in the shade, which is good for leather, not nice for staying warm.  And this is the Allgäu!

 

So, I am considering this shop rather seriously.  Today, I did a cost write up for me.  Looking at current bills and adding in this shop costs.  Basically, and I do not enjoy revealing this, but on my pension, I can survive in my flat.  Aye, with a mini job, quite well.  To make this shop a reality, I would need a loan.  A loan to pay off my debts and to cover the rent and electricity on the shop for two years.  I also need a few more tools, a few sturdy tables and some cheap Ikea type shelves (Ebay Kleinanzeige).    I'm considering a (gulp) 30€K loan.

 

Capital from my actual tools, today, is about 1/3 of that with depreciation.  What I know I could sell them for.   I could blink and hit 54 (about 4 weeks off).  This would be a 12-13 years loan.  Do I wish to be held to a bank loan until I'm 66?

 

My first business uni professor, on day one, I believe his first actually sentence was, 'business is risk'.  I get it.  It is.  There is a side of me that really wants to do this and a side of me that is nervous as fook! 

 

My belts start at 100€.  Plain, no frills, bridle or harness leather with a buckle, of course.  Two or three per month would pay for the loan.  If I sold one belt and one messenger bag per month, I would make a wee profit beyond the loan payment.  Here in my flat, I get four belts and two knife sheaths per month.  About 4 bags per year.  It's just not enough, I feel, due to a lack of exposure.  And I do need more room. 

 

If I stayed the current course, this would need be more a hobby.  Something for weekends and evenings.  A mini-job is not enough for me on a daily basis.  A full or part-time job is more appealing, but doing what?  With my education I could work at McD.  With my career experience, I could work at McD!  I need to be engaged in something daily.  I have passion and skill for this leather stuff.  I want to do it until I no longer can.  Working at home is really not for me.  I need somewhere to go daily.  Even when the weather is shite!  And the chance to see and chat with people.  I don't enjoy working at home.  It's depressing.

 

So, if all went well, I would get more business, have the exposure I need, and perhaps pay the loan off early.

 

If all didn't go well, I'd have to sell off all my lovely tools, my example items of which I have many, move to a slightly smaller flat with an even slightly less rent (not a problem), get a mini or part-time job and pay off the loan.

 

There is a third possible.  After two years, I'm getting a number of customers and me profit is at or just below the expenses for the shop.  I move back into the flat and continue here and see how things progress for a while before deciding on how to do next.

 

Where I've written the word 'profit', in this instance I am meaning above the loan payments.  I'm not including normal costs such as dyes, threads, leather, etc.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

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20 minutes ago, BayrischDude said:

When I have time, I toss professionally made business cards in postboxes, which has helped.  But not much.  I also have a professional website, which also assists.  But this is not bringing me business.

 

I checked out your website and it seemed okay. What it needs today is updates, i.e. a blog. Your latest output from your tiny workshop. 

 

Someone on TT knows lots more than me on Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Seems the analytics weren't too hot.

 

I find the book by Tim Ferriss "Four Hour Work Week" highly inspiring. good luck.

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At face value its a fantastic idea, Id love to say go for it.  But we should look realistically at the numbers.

 

Its going to cost 30k for 2 years.  That means, if we look at it as a 2 year investment you need to be making 15k per year, thats just over 1k per month or about 2-3 belts per week. Sure you would have some items at the end which would have some value, but then you have other costs, your 100 bucks per belt isnt pure profit.

 

How big is the potential market? Id love a nice belt, but I wouldnt buy many at 100 a pop.  Is there a significant well heeled tourist industry in kempten with loads of people likely to put that kind of money into clothing?  Or is there really a significant untapped market of locals?  I dont know.

 

Assuming you can sell 2 belts per week, does that justify 5 days per week in a shop?  You stand around for an average of 2 days for each sale?  Can you sell other stuff, shoe polish, wax, candles, shoelaces.  Do something else with your space, offer leatherworking classes?

 

Is there some other market that might be a better focus?  Have you tried going to Leipzig for the Gothik Wave Treff for example (no idea if it would work, but there is *a lot* of leather at places like that).

 

Have you tried selling to TT?  Maybe there are a few of us that would like some really nice leather gear?  Looking at your website I cannot work out how to buy something, there are no prices. That is kind of intimidating for someone just browsing.  Maybe you need to put a few examples up with some details and a price so I can order something "off the shelf"?

 

What about crowdfunding?  Could you do a gofundme/kickstarter where people giving 10 bucks get a leather offcut, 100 get a belt and so on?  Set the target for say 10k.  That way if people like the idea you get upfront sales and confidence that you can make it work.  If it doesnt work you dont take the money and you walk away.

 

One final reality check as you are already approaching retirement age, is it realistic to think a bank will give you a 30k loan to be paid back over 10 years?

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Sorry BD my thoughts are more cautious. Renting a shop and taking out a loan to do so are dangerous and you don't know if you have the custom to support it. It may seem like catch 22, but I'd look for ways to increase custom and get your name out there before committing to a shop.

Just my 2p but I wish you all the luck and success.

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I guess my biggest worry would be continued supply of goods to sell - how many items can you realistically make in a week, without lowering the standard?

What if you injure your hands somehow? Can somebody else take over production?

Have you already sold items on weekend markets in your region? If not, that might also help to get your name out there.

 

Whilst I can appreciate you wanting to get out of your flat each day, and have some kind of social interaction, the cautious part of me says that the whole thing, with a shop and everything it entails might just be a bit too much.

 

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Can I ask:

 

How much foot traffic do you expect to have from the shop?

If the main purpose is to use it as a place to work, while continuing to talk most of your business in other means then any footfall is a bonus.  If you need this footfall to survive then you need to determine how many people will come into the shop and how many of them will purchase something.

With expensive unique products it can be difficult and take time to get people in the door and even then the conversion rate will be low.

 

Also, with a shop it will tie you down much more unless you also have employees.  

You can't just "nip to the post office" to send a parcel, as a customer who arrives at that time to find the shop closed might not come back.  This also means that you can't just go on holiday as the shop also needs to stay open, as it does if you are also ill.

You would need to be open at least 5 days a week (assuming you could have a Ruhetag).

 

 

Could you not try to boost your orders while remaining working at home, until at least the number of orders is enough to ensure that you will make a profit even with the loan?

What about attending a craft fair or some other events to try and boast sales?

 

You say that the website does not bring much custom, but then can you change this?  SEO has been suggested above, but if you also offer a "discount" voucher (or free delivery) for orders placed via the website then you can track the channel used for the orders easier.

Have you tried advertising online?  This might involve knowing and understanding your customers better so that you can better target them.  You could offer a voucher for a discounted second order if they complete a survey for example.

 

 

Just some things which came to mind.  But either way, I wish you luck.

 

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Have you considered being a "featured" craftsman at an established shop(s) a few days a week? Perhaps the days when the foot traffic is the largest?   (Demo the craft on site ) etc.  

Trying this might tell you if being in a shop all day is your thing.

 

It would be a shame to turn a beloved profitable "hobby" into a daily grind.

 

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Dude, could you go 'on the road' with your van and gear to Treffen as suggested by zwiebelfisch and dj above to boost your customer base? It might be fun for a summer/autumn. That is assuming the prices for a stand are not prohibitive. It would solve some of your 'working from home' issues above at least some of the time, and might bring you into contact with other ideas from people in similar positions. Like craft co-operatives for example.

 

 

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Have you thought about selling your products online via a platform (like Dawanda)?

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And it might be good if you could let someone correct the german on your website.

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Motorcycle riders used to be young poor people who couldn't afford a car...

 

That's over, look around, nowadays it's a rich lawyer or dentist on a customized Harley. Yes, customized, leather seat, leather bags, leather tank cover, leather tool roll, maybe wallet and belt in the same design...

 

There they are, richy rich fans of custom made leather products...

 

Remember, successfully angling means that the worm doesn't need to be tasty to the angler but to the fish... 

 

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Hi there, 

 

First off I looked at the web site and want to say the quality of your products looks amazing. Likewise I am probably a perfect example of who your customer base would be as I buy:

 

a.) Lots of leather goods from small artisans(mainly from Tuscany)

b.) Mainly online

c.) I have a small disposable income to spend on good quality products 

 

About the website

 

The web site looks good, and the photos really show the product. That said there are no prices that I could find anywhere on the site, likewise I can not buy directly from the site. I understand that you want customers to contact you, but you are putting off customers who want to make an impulse purchase. The site says you carry stock, so why not sell it online!

 

Someone mentioned there a couple of German errors, but there are also a couple of English ones too.

 

Have you thought about listing your products on artisan websites such as etsy?

 

Likewise I think going on the road is a great idea. Think Medieval festivals, craft shows, all of this, lets you get rid of existing inventory while meeting new customers.

 

My verdict

 

Great product, but I think investing in a brick and mortar shop is a risky proposition when you can do so much more with an online business!

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A lot of good advice here. I'm with Franklan on getting into the biker scene. Many not very rich bikers also pimp out their rides with a lot of leather, chrome, etc.

 

I also like hugsrock's mention of Medieval festivals and especially etsy. I have a friend who makes a living selling vintage things there.

 

Best of luck to you.

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Good morning!  Some very good thoughts here and most are on the side of caution.  As am I...  If I was not being cautious, I would not have started this thread.

 

Oddly, in little Immenstadt (15km south of Kempten) where I live, there is a men's clothing store that is very high-end.  It's called Felbinger.  Shirts start at 250€!  Most of his customer are from Switzerland.  He does get a few tourists and he has sent me a few customers over the past few years. 

 

We do get quite a load of tourists.  While Immenstadt is not a tourist destination, Oberstdorf and Oberstaufen are.  But Immenstadt does have charm and it is less expensive than the other two. 

 

To answer points some have made:

 

WGT, Mittelaltermärkte, Märkte, etc.  I and other leather workers have found this really doesn't work.  We charge between 40 and 80€ per hour.  Before you flip out over that, I recommend you read this.

 

Most who attend WGT, as an example (and I know quite a few), don't want to spend 80€ on an armband.  A less expensive armband suits.  That of course means a lesser quality leather and most like machine made in China.  I've done quite a few markets and the custom just isn't there.  Yes, motorcycle clubs is a better target.  I have a colleague in the schwäbischen Alb who does biker items.  As I do more classic, Allgäu and Celtic, we pass customers to each other.

 

As far as foot traffic, it would be good.  The shop is in the old part of Immenstadt, next to the Schloß.  Goes without mentioning, that winter sees less people 'Bummeln'.  People would come in out of curiosity, but a ratio of those who simply enter versus those who order I could not say.  But safe to say more out of curiosity.

 

I would need to provide a myriad of examples.  When one stops by my stand during a market and sees only black and brown belts, I can full well imagine what they are thinking.  'He has no belts in blue or red'.  So I have those now as examples.  Examples are necessary and this is a lot of what I do.

 

Aye, classes are a great idea and something that has been suggested.  This can bring in quite a bit of money.  Not only for my time, but materials are not cheap. 

 

Because I do not mass produce, an online shop is impractical.  The Finanzamt has me registered an an Artist.  If I mass produce belts, bags, wallets, etc., I would need to change my status and go back to the HWK.  It would mean more orders, and to keep up with that I would need middle grade leather and machines to be faster.  I prefer that everything is made with Full grain leather and tailored.  Genuine leather is absolute shite!

 

I understand having a shop ties me down.  I have no worries.  It's what I do in the flat.  I'm tied here 5 days per week making items for customers or examples.  Currently examples outweigh orders.  The shop would be made in a way that people could watch me work, which I've noticed they do enjoy.  Especially tooling leather.  Although I am a man, I am able to multi-task, so chatting and working I can do.  If someone sees a belt or bag they like, but want a different style, I can easily stop, discuss it, prepare the order form and go back to working.  No worries.

 

In a 40 hour week, I could realistically make three bags, ten belts and two knife sheaths.  This is multi-tasking!  Dyeing, drying, tooling, sewing, edge work, wet forming if necessary.  That would be.  Including sharpening all the knives and awls daily, cleaning, etc.  Ok, perhaps 45 hours per week.  Open on Saturday for a few hours to cleaning and chat up customers.

 

Having an employee is not necessary. Nothing is for sale.  What sits on shelves would be examples only.  Ideas.  If I sold a bag on a shelf, I would need to make another.  Another customer could walk in ten minutes later looking for the same bag.

 

Quickly on the subject of prices.  When people learn that a basic belt is 100€, aye, they do seem shocked.  So, allow me to explain.  I need a minimum of two hours to make a belt.  This involves, cutting the leather from the hide, dying it perhaps, punching the holes for the buckle, sewing it and doing the edge work.  This is not 'geninue leather' as most belts have stamped when one buys from C&A or Galleria or some other shop.  Genuine leather is Corium and grain, which is machine pressed and the reason the belt becomes soft after a few years and after 8 years one can toss it in the rubbish.  The fibers in the leather are lose.  The machine presses the fibers making them compact, but quickly loosen.  Also the thread used is too thin and generally twine.  A belt made of full-grain bridle or harness leather with bonded, braided polyester thread will last a lifetime.  Not kidding. Look at an old saddle, harness or bridle.  Does the leather look like that from a 29€ belt?  No.  So, pay 29€ every few years or 100€ for a belt that will last, most like, longer than you, if taken care of.  Oiling it once a year or using saddle soap to keep it clean. 

 

Again, I appreciate your thoughts and I too am feeling more cautious than anything else.  It's the thought of being bound to a loan for 13 years. 

 

What else? 

 

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8 minutes ago, BayrischDude said:

...  The shop would be made in a way that people could watch me work, which I've noticed they do enjoy.  Especially tooling leather.  Although I am a man, I am able to multi-task, so chatting and working I can do.  ...

 

. Nothing is for sale.  What sits on shelves would be examples only.  Ideas.  If I sold a bag on a shelf, I would need to make another.  Another customer could walk in ten minutes later looking for the same bag.

 

...

 

 

You have thought things through well, and i think that you are taking about the comments from people (it is amazing how many people ask for advice online, but when they don't hear what they like get very defensive).  Just a couple of things which grabbed my attention from what you said;

 

You might be able to multitask perfectly, but as a customer I want to be sure that if I am talking to you that I have your full attention.  So you need to balance this right (different customers have different expectations).

 

If you have nothing for sale in your shop then I would say what is the point of displaying products?  You will miss out of those impulse sales, especially from the few tourists you mentioned.  Many will not come back tomorrow to pick up an order, they want it now!  Of course you can always offer to make a product just for them and many will take the option, but those that can't wait (train leaves in 2 hours!) will miss out.  I understand that you want to do a customised product of high quality, but I don't think you can afford to turn away sales! 

Maybe  have two of everything (at least styles/products if not colours), one on display and one in the back to replace what you sell.  

 

 

I also agree with others about having prices on the website.  I see some many times products which are not priced, either on-line or in a shop, and I have never purchased such a product!  I always make the joke to my wife "oh look, it's free!", but never enquire about the price.  For me, that is a lack of detail.

 

 

 

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Hi man, 

 

I completely understand the time and effort and cost it takes to make a quality product, as I tend to buy things that are well made.

 

I think the problem here is one of proportion. If you doubled your output on the website, you would still not be a mass market producer, but would have more cash. If what you have in stock/shelves is sold,you make more and sell it again, and bank more profit. Product that is sitting on the shelf not being sold is just taking up space, and is costing you money.

 

Likewise most people who want to buy something nice want to buy it now. People who are prepared to wait will wait, but why alienate a certain section of your target group?

 

The problem in general with shops is that the high street is dying out, and most people do not buy in person anymore. 

 

Have a look here:

 

https://www.etsy.com/search?q=mens%20leather%20belts

 

Is there any reason why you couldn't sell here. A lot of the belts seem to be going for the same kind of prices. Why restrict yourself?

 

I can understand the idea of having your own shop is very alluring, but personally I think you can do so much more with what you already have.

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5 hours ago, BayrischDude said:

What else? 

 

What makes you think a bank will loan you 30k?

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8 hours ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 

You have thought things through well, and i think that you are taking about the comments from people (it is amazing how many people ask for advice online, but when they don't hear what they like get very defensive).  Just a couple of things which grabbed my attention from what you said;

 

You might be able to multitask perfectly, but as a customer I want to be sure that if I am talking to you that I have your full attention.  So you need to balance this right (different customers have different expectations).

 

If you have nothing for sale in your shop then I would say what is the point of displaying products?  You will miss out of those impulse sales, especially from the few tourists you mentioned.  Many will not come back tomorrow to pick up an order, they want it now!  Of course you can always offer to make a product just for them and many will take the option, but those that can't wait (train leaves in 2 hours!) will miss out.  I understand that you want to do a customised product of high quality, but I don't think you can afford to turn away sales! 

Maybe  have two of everything (at least styles/products if not colours), one on display and one in the back to replace what you sell.  

 

 

I also agree with others about having prices on the website.  I see some many times products which are not priced, either on-line or in a shop, and I have never purchased such a product!  I always make the joke to my wife "oh look, it's free!", but never enquire about the price.  For me, that is a lack of detail.

 

 

 

 

then I would be close minded and that is not me style. 

 

There is no difference to stopping here in the flat, actually here it is more of an inconvenience.  If I am in the middle of dyeing leather and the bell rings, that is not good.  In a shop, I can simply look up, say just a moment and find / make time.  Tooling I can easily stop, but dyeing is something different.  Regardless, when they are here I give them my full attention.  Must do.

 

What is the point of displays?  On the website, there is a black belt with stitching in blue.  I get quite a few requests for these in different colours.  More often than not, people see what I've made and want something similar, but with a few wee differences.  There is also a black bag with gold metal.  Someone recently rang and asked if I could make the same bag, but in a dark red.  As I do quite a bit of tooling (engraving with a swivel knife and stamping, and there are loads of styles, I feel they need to see what I'm capable of.  An Internet photo is nice and does help, but to see and hold an actual sample, does wonders.

 

Impulse sales.  I understand what you're on about, but this is not me.  If someone needs an impulse item, they need a different shop.  On this past Sunday, a woman walked by with her three dogs.  One was huge - really big... a bleedin horse that barks.  She wants a collar for him.  The hounds name is Heimdall and she wants the name tooled into the leather.  Impulse doggie collar purchase?  Good luck with that one :lol:   I make everything to the specific desires of the customer.  

 

I do spying often in various shops.  I was in a bag shop recently and they had a soft sided attache type case for 600€.  It was extremely dark brown with a very light blue edgeing...  and velcro.  Ugly and cheap looking.  I refuse to use velcro.  I simply won't.  My last soft-sided case I sold for more than that one.  It was to the customer's specs.  A beautiful case.   

 

Your comment about the prices has been discussed with mates here.  The website needs some attention (more photos and some other details) and I have a resolution for the price issue.

 

Thank you for the remarks.

 

8 hours ago, hugsrock said:

Hi man, 

 

I completely understand the time and effort and cost it takes to make a quality product, as I tend to buy things that are well made.

 

I think the problem here is one of proportion. If you doubled your output on the website, you would still not be a mass market producer, but would have more cash. If what you have in stock/shelves is sold,you make more and sell it again, and bank more profit. Product that is sitting on the shelf not being sold is just taking up space, and is costing you money.

 

Likewise most people who want to buy something nice want to buy it now. People who are prepared to wait will wait, but why alienate a certain section of your target group?

 

The problem in general with shops is that the high street is dying out, and most people do not buy in person anymore. 

 

Have a look here:

 

https://www.etsy.com/search?q=mens%20leather%20belts

 

Is there any reason why you couldn't sell here. A lot of the belts seem to be going for the same kind of prices. Why restrict yourself?

 

I can understand the idea of having your own shop is very alluring, but personally I think you can do so much more with what you already have.

 

My items are no different than a tailor made suit.  Aye, it does cost more, but it is made specifically to the customer's desires - not mine.  There is such a long list of mix and match and designs, I cannot make everything.  If I made, say 40 belts - 20 black and 20 brown.  All raised and lined.  The black with black thread and the brown with brown thread.  These were my only business belts.  A customer walks in, sees only two choices and leaves.  All I am doing is spending time making what I think is necessary.  I would have little time to make customised items. 

Two years ago, I was in England with a board-certified master.  I spent a week with him.  He is my age and been at this for 30+ years.  He was a home he works in, but has a room set aside completely for his work.  Rather large room.  He has a website and no shop.  He gets steady orders.  He started only doing saddles, bridles and harnesses, traveling around England.  Now he makes outdoor type leather goods, but he is established.  How so?  He was recently in California teaching a course and while there, was contacted by George Lucas for a belt.  He's that good and that well known.

 

Most of my colleagues are exactly the same.  There is a small market for personalised leather goods and most are making decent money. 

 

People are willing to walk into a shop and order a unique item.  If not, I would not have had the custom I've had and would not be considering this venture.  One cannot order a tailor made suit and hope it fits.  No difference with a tailored wallet, belt, bag, armband or doggie collar.

 

---------------------------

 

Everyone has been very helpful, thus far.  All feel more inclined to avoid this, and I do understand the reasons.  It's a risk.  I'm not signing anything this week or even next week.  I'm in the early stages.  So these opinions and ideas are appreciated.

 

I still have some more research to do and a chimney sweep to visit with.  If a proper stove cannot be done, the idea is in with the rubbish!

 

More ideas and opinions I hope continue.  Now It's time for a pint or three! :lol:

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50 minutes ago, BayrischDude said:

I do spying often in various shops.  I was in a bag shop recently and they had a soft sided attache type case for 600€.  It was extremely dark brown with a very light blue edgeing...  and velcro.  Ugly and cheap looking.

 

That was a Piquadro case, a brand (= people pay for the name) that always has the blue/turquoise edging, it is is how people recognise the brand, just like the red sole of the Louboutin shoes.

 

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I think there are two different points being discussed here:

1) should you rent that one particular shop for use as a workshop (I note that you are not intending to use it as retail space); and

2) how you should grow your business.

In reality you have already decided on the first point. Sometimes when you ask for opinions, and then find yourself quickly discounting one side of an argument, then in truth you have made up your mind already. The important thing is that you seem to have at least considered the points being raised. After all, you are the person most familiar with your market and your way of working. So, I wish you good luck. I would simply suggest that you ask for a relatively short lease and/or try to negotiate a break clause, so that you are not lumbered with paying rent for 5 years if the property is no longer suitable (too big, too small, relatively expensive etc).

As for the second point:  you are creating a high quality/premium product, and reasonably enough want a premium price. Nothing wrong with that. However, that means it is not really a “high street” (i.e. mass market) product, but a niche one, which is likely to be spread all over Germany (or wider). If you want to reach that sort of market, then as many others have already said, the internet really is your friend. Don’t be afraid to put prices on your website, or feel the need to defend them (just include an explanation of the process and the time it takes to make each product). The sort of clowns who expect handmade quality products for Primark prices aren’t your market.

I saw someone recommended Kickstarter, and if (and only if) you are good on social media that could be an interesting alternative to a bank loan. The safest option is to pitch for the equivalent amount of €30k with the goal being to open a workshop. If people donate €100 you will send them a belt as a thank you, with increasing amounts they can get your better products. That way (provided you reach your target) you get the cash for your workshop and the custom (and you aren’t obliged to send them the belts until you get the 30k by the way, and you can even set a later deadline). My sister-in-law did this when she wanted to publish her first book (in a very niche subject/content). Before commencing the book she pitched for the amount of cash needed as the equivalent number of book sales to break even on book production. That said, she is very social media savvy.

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