So we finally managed to get the shop open on 11 February and have been trading out of there for the last couple of weeks. Many thanks to my pal Ross Bottomley for helping out with the muscle! There are still some bits and pieces that we still need to sort out but I expect by the end of March we will be near as damn it done and dusted. Last week saw the internal sign go up and this week we have an update on the planning application for the external sign, furniture ordered and a chat with a company that is going to supply some blinds for us. The final touch may be some type of electronic display in the window to keep everyone upto date on mortgage trends. One thing we need to sort out is the heating. It is baltic in the morning. Our jackets don't come off until midday despite numerous heaters blasting away. I would be keen to get a wood burner in there but not sure how we would vent it.
Numbers are back where they should be after a blip in January. Normally the dip in income when I did the legals came in February but it seems that January is the tough month on the mortgage side. We got through 13 DIPS this month which I expect will all convert. Our 2 year fixed are now coming through as the back book starts to help out on a monthly basis. I was quite pleased with those numbers given the disruption during the month. March will see us making more of an effort on the protection side of things and start to improve on the monthly figures in that department. We finished the month with a shade over £11K in revenue. We need to ramp that up over the closing 4 months if we are goint to hit annual target.
I have said to everyone that we do not need walk up traffic to be successful given the fact that we did alright in a basement in Royal Crescent where no-one knew where we where. Now, we have an expensive billboard however and we need to maximise how we use this. I have been very encouraged by the feedback that we have received from passers by. My take is that so many of the drivers that pass the shop will have mortgages. They may not need assistance at the particular time that they pass but if they remember us on their commute then we have a chance of helping them when the time arises.
Talking of walk ups, we have had a couple of random incidents since we started. One lady breezed into the shop last week and just asked where the loo was! We were so taken a back that we pointed her in the correct direction and before we could say anything she been and gone. The other was a lady of a certain age who shuffled passed my window earlier in the week, stopped, looked at me standing at my desk then stuck her tongue out and shuffled on. I was praying that she did not come into the shop and thankfully she continued on her merry way down Crow Road. Dodged a bullet there!
So there you have it - February ticked off and we are into March. This month we aim to get our brochures printed and finalise talks with a couple of introducers. Looking forward to seeing if we can get closer to £15K in revenue. I'll report back at the end of the month to let you know how we have done.