Setting Up Our Shop and Store on a Shoestring Budget

I leased a small commercial garage area that has an office, break room, a couple of restrooms and a customer waiting area. We turned part of the big garage area into a retail sales space for an outdoor power equipment line. Setting up a store, office and repair center is a lot of work. This is especially true since I used to work out of my garage. When we moved in I had to hire landscaping, get some plumbing work done, build a retail sales space and look through details of the Texas energy companies that were out there.

We were doing this on a shoestring budget. My wife was still working her job while I spent my days setting up our new space to work while actually still fixing small engines and selling some new equipment. I quit my day job taking this weekend venture into a whole new territory. I was going to just keep on working my job with the benefits doing this stuff on the weekends out of the garage. But instead of downsizing, we upsized to a major degree!

Being over budget the first month into this, I knew that saving money where we could would be important. Commercial utilities are expensive. Just keeping the lights on in the building and the parking lot cost more in a couple of days than the whole month of our electric bill at our house. However, I had an opportunity for a lot more profits. My customers were already adjusting to the increase in labor rates due to the move. They wanted to stick with me because of the quality work. Even though the future looked bright as far as earnings potential goes, we still wanted to save as much money per month that we could. The discounted rate on our electrical service was just the start.