Book 'Em

Bootscrapping Success

Scrapbooking is a hot industry right now--but success, warn those involved, isn't guaranteed. "You must be willing to work hard," says Nash, "and you have to love doing it. The hours are long. In fact, this is pretty much all I do--even at home. I can't tell you how much time I spend researching new products and information. Your customers rely on you to know about--and to have--the latest."

With such hard work involved, it's no wonder the biggest requirement for success is a passion for scrapbooking. These entrepreneurs also recommend starting small. "[Expect to spend] three to five years getting your business off the ground," says Slate. "You won't be able to take home a paycheck for a while, because you have to put money back into inventory. The first three years we were in business, every penny after fixed expenses went back into inventory."

But make sure you put your money into salable merchandise. "Start with a basic inventory, then bring in small quantities of new products to test," advises Sortman. "I've seen stores order anything and everything their customers ask for and end up in financial ruin. Take a cue from your actual sales to determine the kinds of items that are selling in your area; then stock those."

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This article was originally published in the August 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Book 'Em.

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