As I said earlier, in my case it took us three whole years before we really saw our Dutch bike shop take off. Although we enjoyed a relatively high level of sales during this time, our start-up costs (including rent, rates, and so on) ate into any potential profit.
Rather than rely on taking any money out of our business during this initial period, we had to continue with our other businesses, which at the time included, amongst other enterprises, a landscape gardening business and running a boating lake. Thus we (‘we’ being my business partner and I) lived on the earnings from both these businesses, which in reality meant working day and night, seven days a week, for three years.
What kept us going through those initial difficult and very tiring years was that we hadn’t expected anything less. In fact, looking back I think we probably enjoyed an easier ride than we thought we would. So the first, and I believe most important thing to get right in your mind about taking your venture to the high street is to remember that very few businesses enjoy overnight success, and those that do rarely if ever survive.