If you’ve been following us on social media or at this blog, you know that we opened up an archery range and shop in Lincoln City, Oregon. You probably also know by now that we have since closed the shop. But why did we close?
We had numerous people tell us Lincoln City needed something for the kids to do and for tourists to do when the weather didn’t cooperate with beach plans. Many people told us the idea was cool and unique (even though I took it from Malta Archery and Armin Hirmer). Anyone who used our range was happy with the instruction and learning how to shoot traditionally. People walked in the door, looked around, and wished us well in our pursuit. They hoped we would make it. I’m pretty sure their thoughts and prayers were with us if they had any to give. And we still had to close.
Nothing ever happens for one reason. There are a lot of moving parts to any decision, and so it went with Lincoln City Archery. Sure, the economy tanked as gas prices rose. We lost a store that was good at bringing people to our side of the mall, and I may have made a few mistakes in forecasting and calculating.
One major reason we closed was time. We live on the Oregon Coast, but for all the time I spent in the shop, I would never know it. Working from 10 to 7 everyday, and being excited because Sunday was 10 to 6, is too much for anyone. And after hearing my grandma talk about why she worked overtime and what that did for us as grandchildren, I realized that I wasn’t getting any benefit from working 70 hours a week or more.
Work shouldn’t be the focus of anyone’s life. Automation and time-saving devices were supposed to give us time to become fully human. Instead, we’ve become smaller cogs in a machine that will grind us up and wear us out if we let it. Any great small business owner will realize that they own the small business and it shouldn’t be the other way around.
If you’re interested in the full breakdown of how things broke down, join our Patreon and check out my post there. If you have a small business, it may help you avoid some of the pitfalls we found.