How To Start and Operate Your Own

By Dusty and Bonnie Henson, Owners "World Famous" El Paso Saddleblanket Co., El Paso, TX

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Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Chapter III


Some of you who consider yourselves "horsetraders" more than "shopkeepers" may not be ready to put down roots and sign a lease. Take heart. You do have options.

Look around the shopping plazas, malls and busy strip centers for vacancies. Developers and leasing companies hate empty spaces because it makes them look bad. They might allow you to operate your business month to month without a lease until they snare the long term, high-dollar tenant they are seeking. And, if that dream tenant takes too long to find, they might just offer you a standard lease at a greatly reduced price.

You could become a gypsy trader.

You can have the time of your life traveling wherever you want to go, earning your way by selling merchandise. A truck, a travel trailer and a good supply of very marketable merchandise is virtually all you need to support yourself from day one. As you travel, you can set up at fairs, craft shows, rodeos flea markets or even by yourself along the side of the road. Just make sure you have the proper sales tax license for each state you work. Your daily sales can provide you with ample money to live and travel on. The only downside to this approach is that it's hard to grow the business and make long-term gains.

El Paso Saddleblanket Company sells merchandise to many types of gypsy traders. You would never guess the profile of some of the most successful. A typical example is a retired couple from Michigan who leaves their home every November and travels around the warm climates until April. They load up with Southwest merchandise and finance their entire six-month vacation from event sales. Many parts of Arizona, Nevada and California still allow "roadsiders". If you have the proper state and local licenses, and turn in the sales tax you collect, you can set up a display of merchandise on vacant lots or highway frontage of major traffic ways. Tourists are the most likely prospects to stop and check out your wares. A few folding tables and a clothesline on which to hang rugs is about all you need.

Roadsiding is an interesting means of marketing-- full of travel and adventure. However, after a few seasons, many will choose to settle their business into a permanent location. Even if you don't choose a regular location, print business cards anyway. Let people know that you can be reached by phone or mail. This will instill more confidence and, possibly, lead to repeat customer sales.


Updated 2001
© 2001. El Paso Saddleblanket. All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced without the written permission of
El Paso Saddleblanket Co.

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