Would you walk away from a business that was successful and turning over £200k a year? Crazy huh? A few months ago I did just that. I took the leap.
Let me explain why. In 1999 we (my family and I) took over a putrid fish kiosk in Ashton under Lyne (Greater Manchester). The hexagonal unit, approx. 16 feet x 16 feet was transformed, by us in to a successful watch, jewellery and engraving business, which became the go- to destination for the locals for repairs and gifts. Delighted with this turnover, I knew that this small space could do even more.
Knowing that the size of the unit was hindrance on any expansion, any ideas had to be physically small! Aware of the rising price of gold, we began buying just as the gold boom of 2007 erupted. We built up a reputation as the most honest and trustworthy gold buyers in the area. At its peek it turned over £3710 per Sq Foot.
In theory everything was wonderful. And to a degree it was. The shop was supporting my family. However, I worked long hours, including weekends and spent little time with my family. However, I wanted more. Not through greed, I knew this small kiosk was just the beginning of a larger business. The prospects were there to expand, I just needed the push. Admittedly I remain nervous. Not usually such an anxious person, I just knew that rushing into such a crucial decision would be foolish, so I bided my time, waiting for the right opportunity. And it finally arrived, although, as often in life, not in quite the way I had anticipated.
Ashton council had proposals to re develop the town. Initially encouraged by these plans, (was this the opportunity to expand the business within the town that had supported me for so long?) I gradually became more disheartened and after months of consultation I realised that the new strategy for the town, where my unit would be placed and the structure of the unit itself would not be suitable. So, after so many fruitful years, the time had come for me to leave Ashton.
Nerves quickly subsided into excitement. This was, after all the push I had been waiting for. My family remained involved and together we investigated various retail units, non of which were right. We then decided to change our development plan, concentrating less on the face-to-face retail side of the business, focusing instead on our website. Knowing that our passion for watches and jewellery remained paramount, we finally formed the right team of people (after many false starts and thousands of pounds), found the right office space and we haven’t looked back since.
Has the gamble paid off….?
It’s still too early to tell.
What I am sure of is my work life balance is now much better, I am happier and I can now see that the business is on the right path.
I know ‘they’ say that life is a journey, well, so is business. With so many paths I could take, it was difficult to know which way to turn, but so far, I am pleased with where I am currently standing.
So, thank you to the Council for giving me the push that I needed.
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This post was written by Attain