Categorized | Shoestring Startup

A choice between an endless job search and opening my own small business

A choice between an endless job search and opening my own small businessZaria & Bella’s was founded on the belief that a company can be successful while helping the community. After a combined twenty years of experience in customer service and sales, we decided to start working for ourselves and created Zaria & Bella’s. Our mission is to provide small town whimsical charm with unique gifts, collectibles and home décor with brands like Glitterville, Jim Shore, Possible Dreams, Snow Babies, and December Diamonds. I knew we could bring really fun, whimsical gift collections into a city environment, with a touch of classical country charm and still be successful.

The name of the company was designed after my two dogs, Isabella and Azaria, who were both rescue dogs. At the time I was working as a Vet Assistant in a small clinic in Penn Yan, NY, and the opportunity presented itself to save them. The website was launched as an online store in May 2011 and we just started renovations for our first physical storefront in downtown Schenectady, NY. We hope to have the store front operational by the first of December, and are looking forward to all the twist and turns in the adventure. We financed our budget early on by our own cash, after selling our home, and now with the help of the Schenectady Community Loan fund, were now able open our first physical store front.

A choice between an endless job search and opening my own small businessOur clients are very important to us and while we realize that a successful business needs to make a profit, Zaria & Bella’s driving force is to have a voice in our community. We hope to have a lasting positive impression, and will strive to promote core principles of non-discrimination, acceptance of differences, ending hunger, violence and homelessness inside our communities. Which is why, one of the very first small steps we plan to develop is the ability to collect donated Non-perishable foods from our customers, so we can feed the homeless in our community. My own mother was homeless for some years, and I know the struggles she had to endure, and this is my way of giving back.

Anyone can join us and show support by sending your comments to our Facebook page, or twitter page!/ZariaAndBellas or you can send us an email at [email protected].

In addition to free social sites we also use to pay for click advertisement which we restrict because of budgets. We don’t use the typical sites such as Google Ad words; we limit our pay for click advertisement to only two manageable sites, and have done well so far. We found anything above three major sites for advertisement was a headache, a complete hassle, and at times confusing. Additionally, we no longer pay attention to what Google Stats say because they really lack valuable details. The company is run only by one person for the time being; however we hope to be able to hire a full time assistant within a year. We plan on maintaining our online presence for our distant customers, along with shipping, and will also continue the ability to pick up a prepaid item at the store, something our busy customers will appreciate.

A choice between an endless job search and opening my own small businessAs for advice: The best advice I never got? Don’t bog yourself down with every single thing, to the point you can’t function. Worry is good, it will make you plan things out better; however, paranoia is not! Instead it will only drain your remaining energy and cause you to doubt yourself, which will lead to bad decisions. Have fun; try to enjoy some of it, it will fly by either way and life is short. Things are not going to go as planned, they never do, and in our case the one thing that almost killed the dream of business ownership was the lack of reasonable spot for a store front. Either the spots were overpriced disasters, or simply overpriced, or the cheap sites were unusable office space only. In fact the first four places we wanted were snatched up before we could even say anything. The one thing that we did right in my opinion was to refuse to listen to any and all Nay Sayers. We still have people who think we lost our minds, and we should only strive to work for someone else and just be content with it, but they don’t understand our dream. Is it hard? Yes, Do I know if it’s the correct thing? Nope. But I know myself, I understand my fears and ambitions, and I believe I have something of value to offer my customers.

The biggest transition I have had to make was to learn how to function as both the employee and the boss, which meant not neglecting my personal life, to set boundaries and balance time to run the business, and when to spend time with my family, pets and home.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Shoestring Book Reviews

Shoestring Venture Reviews
Richard Hooker on Jim Blasingame

Shoestring Fans and Followers



Business Book: How to Start a Business

Shoestring Book

Shoestring Venture in iTunes Store

Shoestring Venture - Steve Monas & Richard Hooker

Shoestring Kindle Version # 1 for e-Commerce, # 1 for Small Business, # 1 for Startup 99 cents

Business BookShoestring Venture: The Startup Bible

Shoestring Book Reviews

Shoestring Venture Reviews

Invesp landing page optimization
Powered By Invesp
Wikio - Top Blogs - Business