It's been a hectic two weeks from the opening, and I already started getting loads of people coming to the shop or emailing me asking for tips and advice on how to setup a zero waste shop. It is amazing to see the interest in zero waste and I am truly willing to see more shops like mine opening all over the country! But first things first:
1) I am not a consultant. I am only a gal with a dog trying to change this plastic world we live in. Running a tiny shop like mine is hard work and you truly need to be up for giving up your hols, quality time with family, friends and yourself to focus entirely on running your business.
2) There are a lot of information out there for you to start your research, if you really want to open a shop. Check Companies House website, check your local council's website about starting a business. Of course I can't forget to mention the brilliant PDF Nicola and Richard from the zero waste shop in Totnes put together for free for people to download.
3) Get proper professional advice. When I was still putting together my business plan, I've got Catherine Conway to help me. She started Unpackaged 10 years ago, has lots of experience, and now runs a concession within Planet Organic. Unpackaged doesn't exist anymore as a shop, but Cath is still around helping people to setup their own shops.
I honestly think it is amazing that so many people want to open their zero waste shops, but I will always be honest with everyone who approaches me (sometimes too honest) and tell things as it is. You do need to consider that you will be setting up a business as any other, and you need as much preparation as you can get to make it succeed. Most of businesses fail in the first year because there's lack of planning, research, knowledge and proper finance management.
Think that you are preparing to cross the Gobi desert. Alone.