Amy Robinette, Gold Buying Girl
Gold Buying Girl of Houston, launched in 2009, is a home party business that is a safe and fun way to turn your gold into green and get paid to party.
‘Ah ha’ moment that led to launching this business: I had this moment when I was buying gold and having so much fun that it became contagious. Guests at my parties started to ask if they could do what I was doing for extra money. I knew that was when I could start training other women to grow my company because they enjoyed the experience so much. I came up with the name Gold Buying Girl to appeal to women and started my first website.
Ideal customer/target market: Women 35 plus. These ladies have been collecting gold and silver since at least their teens or even since birth. This is a woman driven business and everyone loves to tell each other how much they got for their small amount of gold.
Very first customer or client: I just asked a friend to host a party and the guests got so excited that they wanted to host a party themselves — and earn the 10% hostess fee. All the momentum started from one party. I was so busy the first year: I bought over $1 million in gold.
Measuring success: I measure it by the look I see on someone’s face when I give them a check that will pay their mortgage. Or when it brings tears to someone’s eyes because they can now buy eyeglasses that they had needed so badly need. Success was very clear when I realized how Gold Buying Girl has been a life-changing experience for so many of the women who work for me. The real success is empowering these people.
Biggest struggle: Processing the gold after a party. After each party, we must review each piece that was turned in to check for bad buys. That decreased the profit and was very time consuming. It can be monotonous, repetitive and tedious – but it has to be done. You have to learn to do what you are good at, then farm out the rest. I finally trained some people and started a whole department that processes gold. It helped me keep my sanity.
Surprise!: How basic it is: we don’t offer a product, so there aren’t lot of steps or inventory. We buy unwanted gold at a very high price and turn it over for profit.
Promoting business: As the spokesperson for Gold Buying Girl, I think people know that I am sincere and that I love my company. I explain what we do and how much fun it is. There is never any pressure and I make sure that people completely understand how our process works. I give them a sense of trust.
Two things you wish you would’ve known: With cash flow comes great accountability. I always knew that about running a business, but until you actually start a company you won’t really know how important your accounting checks and balances become. You need to: know your weekly profit and loss; hire people to help you; and don’t be afraid to reach out for advice. Focus on your strengths: you can’t do everything.
What keeps you up at night (business-wise!)? Everything from making sure our endless paperwork gets filed correctly to keeping in line with state laws on purchasing gold.
Ever tempted to throw in the towel and just get a job? No. I love Gold Buying Girl and all the ladies who work for me. We are like a family and I care about all of them.
Biggest business goal over the next year: I want to double my business each year. In order to do it this year, we are focusing on expanding to other states, building our current teams and coaching everyone on their path to success.
Funding/advice on pursuing it: My investment was $500. I started by myself and only had to purchase my gold testing equipment. I kept reinvesting what I made to buy more gold and the business took off.
A few tips that are specific to your industry: Branding was very important to me. I wanted everyone to remember my company and the name. I wanted to make sure that Gold Buying Girl was the company everyone wanted to call and had a good name and reputation in this industry. Selling your gold and other items of sentimental value requires referrals. In order to grow, you must focus on a making a good first impression and a memorable experience.
The absolute best part of owning my business is: empowering women who work for me and helping them reach their financial goals.
If I had to start over again, I would have: worked more on building teams and motivating.
I never imagined: processing gold would be so difficult.
If standing on a rooftop facing crowds of aspiring or struggling small business owners, I would shout: “Hard work will get you to your financial freedom.”