Heads Up small business case studies: Linda’s story

I started the business about two years ago. I had always had a bit of a dream to go into
retail and I wanted to open a business that connected people through gift-giving. The joy of gift-giving could be very meaningful
to people and very special to people, and I wanted that to reflect that every present
should tell a story, hence the name of the business is Present Story. I currently trade six days a week, so Mondays
is my day off although you run around visiting suppliers, researching products et cetera. Certainly in any small business in the early
years, you need to be putting a lot of effort into make sure your business is sustainable. Sorry, local customers. The shop’s probably open 50 hours a week,
but luckily I live very close to the business, which could be a good thing and a bad thing,
because you find yourself here quite often until all hours of the night. There were probably some things that I didn’t
realise how involved it would be doing everything yourself. There’s never ever a time when you’ve got
nothing to do. Hello. How are you? Hi, good thank you. Looking for the perfect present to jump out
at you today? I am. One thing that I think’s really important
for people, particularly when you’re struggling a little bit or when things are slow is seek
out help. There’s help available in lots of different
areas. I’ve done a lot of short workshops over this
past 12 months and they’re very inexpensive and particularly, if you’ve got other small
businesses in your area, those people are facing the same challenges that you are. I think it’s important to connect with them
about what you’re going through in your business, otherwise it can be very isolating, and it
can be very alone when you’re a sole trader and it’s just you running the business. Thank you. Thanks. For me, I try to ensure I do have some time
out on a weekly basis. Going away occasionally if you can, and if
you do feel yourself fraying a little bit, focus on those things that are important,
eating well, exercising, being mindful. I try to have a structure where I get up,
I go for a walk between say, 7:30 and 8:30, I can still have time to come home, have a
coffee, get my head cleared for the day ahead, and then be in at the shop in plenty of time
to open. I learned to meditate a couple of years ago
and it’s something that’s helped me greatly as well. That might be a minute in the middle of the
day, just taking a few deep breaths and thinking back to what it is that you’re connected with
at the time. It’s really important to ask for help when
you need it. For me, it’s probably my girlfriends, who
a lot of them are in business themselves. It can be difficult when you’re in those slower
periods and you’re wondering where the next sales are? How you’re going to pay your rent? Or whatever you’re going through those difficult
times. I think it’s just important to remain focused
on the why of the business, and why you’re doing it. If you’re doing what inspires you, it’s very
easy to get excited about coming into the shop. In this world of online and anonymous, and
Facebook relationships, and everything else, I think there’s always a place for a small
local gift shop, because people are craving that personal connection and this is a place
where they can come and find that. You’re not just trying to sell a product,
you’re selling an experience. It is worth it, absolutely it’s worth it. It can be a grind and there are days you don’t
necessarily feel like that, but no, it’s absolutely worth it.

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