I am exhausted! We had plans of a soft open early as last week... it just didn't happen. There was always just too much to do and not quite enough time to get it done. Today was the first full day open for business and I'm ready for bed... before 8 PM. But with the Grand Opening tomorrow, there are plenty of things left to do like make samples and fix more register issues.
But I'm sitting here on the front porch and it's a beautiful night. The sun is just starting to fall above the trees and there is a soft light all around. The dog has left me for some bird hunt so it's just me.
Two things come to mind. First, if you are starting a small business, a soft open is vital. Simply put, it's opening before you officially open. It gives you a chance to test your register and make sure everything works, get a little feedback on signage or store set up, hear some ideas you might not have thought of, and learn how to do everything before the crowds come. It's funny how the little things really mess with you. During our first official sale, I had to figure out how to actually ring a sale, make sure I got a bag out to put the products in, tell people their total, and all the other elements you take for granted when shopping. None of it is rocket science but there is a process that needs created and you don't have one yet! It really freaked me out the first time.
Secondly, I am completely overwhelmed with the support from friends and family today. My husband was able to take off work and spend the day with me. Priceless. Not only was he helpful, but it was so great to share the experience with him. My heart skipped a beat every time a friend walked in the door. Then I had a few super crazy friend who brought me things! Lynda walked in with a some flowers in a pot which match the ones we put outside to welcome customers. Mandy and her adorable children came in with a handmade PA sign. I almost started to cry. So many days in life make you want to pull your hair out and just go back to bed. Not this one... well, I'm ready for bed but my heart is so happy.
So here's to day #1 done and many more to go. Thanks for making the journey with me and I can't wait to see what comes next.