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Small Business: Scrapbooking

My wife and I have decided to purchase an established small business that specializes in scrapbooking supplies.  We have applied for a home equity loan rather than a small business loan because a small business loan has a higher interest rate and you need to pay it back much sooner.  You can get up to a fifteen year home equity loan, but I think a small business loan requires you to pay it back no longer than five years. 

The store does make a profit and has had an increasing profit every year after it had been purchased by the current owner. But I wonder.  Although the YTD gross earnings  are higher than last year, I am worried that with the drop in the market, sales might suffer.  But I have also heard that the government is encouraging small business.

The only thing I know about scrapbooking is what little I've learned from my wife who has been scrapbooking for more than six years.  She's currently employed at the scrapbooking store and the owner thinks that my wife would do very well with the store.  Unlike the three other employees, the owner relies on my wife a lot, which is encouraging.  In fact, many of the customers really like her and know her, which should make the transition easier.

I am encouraged by two business idea article I read on entrepreneur.com about craft supply stores and art supply stores.  The thought here is that the demand for art and craft supplies seems to be steady if not increasing.  My idea for the store is to add an art supply section. While my wife knows scrapbooking, being an artist, I know art supplies.  I don't thnk that the two would clash, rather I think that they could be complimentary. 

But we would have to be careful that certain art products don't trump similar scrapbooking products.  For example, scrapbookers use acrylic paints to embellish their pages, and companies that specialize in creating scrapbook products produce acrylic paints in varying colors and with alluring names like "Acorn" rather than, say, "cadmium yellow".  Artist paints, ounce for ounce, tend to be much less expensive.  But if we have two kinds of customers, perhaps scrapbookers will stick with craft paint and artists will buy the art paints. 

So I have many ideas and many concerns and we don't even know if we'll be approved for the loan.  But either way I'm sure I'll write about it.


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