Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mental gears spinning

So, there I was, armed with some interesting knowledge from my first business adventure. My mind is spinning with all sorts of new ideas and things I wanted to try. Just one problem. I am 20 and broke. The phrase, "shoe-string-budget" came up a lot. I brainstormed with a friend of mine and my mother and my first personally driven business was born. We created Marooned Shirts. Yep, you guessed it, a T-shirt business. We had a great setup too. There were 3 partners in this business. My friend who was the main artist, my mother who was and still is very good at book-keeping, and myself who handled a lot of the "running the businesss" type stuff. I managed the licenses, made contacts, hooked up deals, found the vendors... all that stuff. It was working out well. I learned a number of things while in our short lived shirt bizz. Among those things were, how to deal with vendors, how to analyze your business strategy, the basics of dealing with other people who are in business. Our business failed, which you will find is not actually such a bad thing. There was a bad step in our process. Because we were operating on a very small and limited budget, we couldn't mass produce our shirts which means we could not take advantage of the cost breaks for purchasing larger volume. There are many businesses out there that do really large volume in sales and make pennies on the dollar, but they make a whole lot of pennies which is why it is worth it. A small operation like we had depended on cutting costs where ever we could. Because of the type of art we put on our shirts, we had to pay for an extra step in order to get the pictures from the drawing board to the screen printer so the image quality was kept in tact. this plus other minor obstacles basically caused us to break even at best. Each of us had jobs, so we could not spend a lot of time showing our wares to vendors who would sell T-shirts. In all, it was a great learning experience. You should always try to pull out the things you have learned from your past experiences. The key is not only to try your hand in business, but to pay attention and grow from the experience regardless of win or lose. Because I tried my hand at the little shirt business and subsequently closed shop, I was much better than the average fellow who just plugs along day in day out at his job. Now with more tricks in my bag and a bigger business brain I was ready to move into the next adventure. More to come.

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