In this 10 part series, we are going to pull back the curtain and take you behind the scenes as we started our wine and liquor store.  We recommend starting at the beginning.  Some of this information will be specific to our store and New York State, but we will try to keep most of the information general to apply to a variety of brick and mortar stores.  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and we will do our best to answer.

>> Introduction – 10 Part Series: How to Start Your Own Business
>> Part 1 – Find Your Desire: Why Do You Want to Open a Store? 
>> Part 2 – Research the Market: Will it Support Your Product or Service? 
>> Part 3 – Finding the Ideal Location 
>> Part 4 – Get Required Licenses 
>> Part 5 – Prepare the Location 
>>Part 6 – Waiting for Licenses 
>> Part 7 – Getting Approved
>> Part 8 – Final Preparations 
>>>> Part 9 – Grand Opening (You Are Here)
>> Part 10 – 1 Year Review: A Look Back

It was about a year and a half in the making, but the time was finally here.  The store was setup, we had been advertising for the past several weeks and the day of our grand opening had finally arrived.  So I grabbed my coffee (and a Chai for Ariana) and we headed to our first day of being store owners.

Grand Opening

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We had told all of our friends and family, placed an ad in the local newspaper and advertised on our Facebook page.  Because we were members of the local chamber of commerce (remember I recommended you to join), they hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for us.  We scheduled the ribbon cutting at 11 and we both planned to work the rest of the day.

It was exciting!  There was no ribbon cutting, newspaper articles or big excitement when we had started our last business (a real estate investing company).  So even though we already owned a business, it was pretty awesome to be opening another one, especially when it was gathering so much attention locally.

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We had a great opening.  Sales were strong and people were excited.  Almost every customer complimented us on how nice the store was and they really seemed to be happy that we were opening it.  Several customers hung around for a while and chatted, exchanging likes and experiences related to different wines and liquors.

To truly appreciate all of the work that went in, we created these before and after images of the store.  More than just the awe factor of the renovations, seeing them really made me proud to be an entrepreneur.  We had taken a building that was 3/4 vacant which was dying and had become an eye sore to the local community and turned it around.  It now looked much nicer and housed a new business.  Not only would this new business serve the local community, but it would also create jobs and support the local area through additional taxes.

wws-before

wws-after

 So that’s it.  Nine posts walking through the entire processes of opening our wine and liquor store.

Now we could end it there, but what fun would that be?  That is only the beginning.  Hearing about what happened during our first year in business is the real story.  Just like on a house flipping show when they show the finished house (but it hasn’t sold yet) or on Shark Tank when the entrepreneur gets funded (but had not shown the ability to turn the plan and funding into a success), just having a grand opening doesn’t say much.  So just for you guys, we are going to dig deeper.  Come back tomorrow and we will review our first year in detail.  Just like we promised in our first post, we will pull back the curtain and share our successes, failures and pivots that occurred during out first year in business.

Coming Up Next: Part 10 – 1 Year Review: A Look Back