Okay, so here it is. The dreaded budget post. We’ve had a busy week around here. Big bub had a 9 month check-up, we had a snow day (which is NOT relaxing when Daddy has to play keep-away in order to get any work done) and we seem to be battling a cold! Alas, we can’t complain. It’s a beautiful life around these here parts…this is starting to sound like the intro to a Western film.
On to the duh, duh, duuuuuuuuuh BUDGET. I did tons of research via the American Mobile Retail Association and local pricing/rates. Lars is very practical so he adds every single thing to the spreadsheet. I like to round down...Lars does not. He broke the spreadsheet into min, max, and average pricing. I like to think we will be in the minimum range considering the appealing part of this project to me is being HANDS ON. I want to DIY everything we can. Obviously we will have to outsource the mechanical and electrical aspects (for the most part). Well here, let me just show you:
GoGo get some money…
|Interior build-out DIY||$1,000.00||$2,000.00||$1500||Average||15400|
|Insurance for the Year (auto and liability)||$2,000.00||$3,000.00||$2500|
|Documents (License, permits, etc)||$300.00||$500.00||$400|
You’ll notice I bolded and italicized the MINIMUM amount, because it makes me feel better. Like the impact of the typeface will make it a definite. Maybe I should make it rainbow colors, like the logo.
Breaking it down:
There is a TRUCK, just like what we would want, on Mifflin Road in Dover for sale for exactly $4,000. Which was our average estimate. It looks in great shape and we’ll be checking it out this weekend.
Electrical/mechanical would pertain to any in-shop work we needed done to get the truck up and moving, and passing any inspections. Also, as in any boutique, lighting is key to the appeal of your merchandise. So the interior of the truck needs to be outfitted with some spotlights, overhead lights and whatever else. Obviously this requires more wiring than your average box truck would come with. You don’t want people shopping in the dark! Also, this estimate includes (hopefully) a Honda generator.
The paint job. This is could either be OUTRAGEOUS and more expensive than the truck, or relatively reasonable. There is something called a “wrap-job” that is really beautiful but really pricey. It also comes with a warranty however which protects you from fading, chipping, etc. I don’t really know if we need that, as I am thinking about having the truck painted white with the logo being the only color. We will see, definitely one of those things that is hard to predict at this point.
Interior build-out is one aspect of the truck that can be very DIY. Remember my dream shop via Ikea? I think we could use a lot of those products to create the perfect boutique experience. Tiny clothing racks, secure shelving and cabinets. The truck however will need sort of faux-walls, which I will leave up to Lars and we’ll probably bribe my dad to help. 😉
Merchandising the shop will of course be MY JOB! Yaaaaaaaay. Who doesn’t love searching for and buying in bulk your favorite products?! I have been researching a lot of wholesale pricing for our favorite companies. Most require your retail tax info before they release any pricing, so I am sort of waiting on that. But it’s pretty easy to estimate. We are quite simply looking to sell our favorite things right now. Parenting tools, toys, clothes that we love and we know you will too. A wide range of practical essentials and gift giving delights. Ya like that?
Insurance is actually less complicated than I imagined. We need auto for the truck and liability for the shop. Sources estimate each at $1200 per year, so it is included in the budget but it’s not exactly an entirely upfront cost.
The average business/retail license for a mobile shop seems to be $350. We will need permits only as we go. Meaning, costs here and there for different festivals, markets etc. More to come on where we plan on opening shop later. (If anyone has other information on this topic, feel free to share! This seems to be the most confusing topic as each state has there own laws and mobile boutiques are often not covered in the fine print.)
We are planning a KickStarter campaign to help us cover some of the costs. Never heard of it? Well, that could be a whole other post. But basically it is a way to raise small business funds by seeking monetary pledges for your start-up idea. We would set a goal amount and a timeline. If we don’t reach that goal within the timeline, the campaign is null. A pledge would award each contributor some sort of “thank you” gift. We are having onesies, kid’s t-shirts and adult shirts made with the logo. Maybe some reusable grocery bags as well. We will also be offering advertising on the truck for certain pledges amounts. ie: pledge $50 and we will place your companies logo on a bumper sticker on the back of our truck. I actually think it would be really fun to have an entire section of the exterior of the truck dedicated to supporting companies’ logos via stickers. I could go on and on with ideas for pledge incentives. If you’re curious, go check out the different campaigns running right now. There are a surprising number of local companies with campaigns if you search your town! It’s a fun way to support the local economy and start-ups that you believe in.
Right now we are finishing our little video for our campaign. We will be sharing SOON! Thanks for listening, and please share any words of wisdom!