We thought it is time we gave an update on our progress so far! Lauri, our graduate intern, has started and we have been busy researching and gathering information to support our business plan. We have spoken to the Town Centre Managers within the Local Authorities to obtain footfall numbers, and compared rents within the various towns. Using this data we have narrowed down our search to Caerphilly or Pontypridd with the latter been our preferred choice. We have spent time with Charity Shop Managers for the Cats Protection League and Dogs Trust who have been amazingly helpful and supportive. We have also visited almost every charity shop in South Wales (and some in London) to determine how we want our shop to look and feel. We have also joined the Charity Retail Association which has provided a wealth of information. We are currently researching EPOS tills, rag merchants and other suppliers for services/products we will need. All of this information will then feed in to the business plan to ensure we have captured all our anticipated outgoings and income so we can operate a sustainable business.
One of the main issues we have encountered is finding the right property as we need an above average amount of ancillary space to enable us to establish a Hope Rescue "Information Station" and volunteer centre. This is vital as the shop will provide our first customer facing base to actively engage with our supporters. Finding the right property is also key to making the most of grant opportunities. We are not going to rush into this project even though we are giddy with excitement! It is vital we plan properly and find the right property to suit our very bespoke needs.
We shall update further when we have hopefully identified a property and have signed on the dotted line!