|Dana Norman and Michele Rothberg bought a Long Island, N.Y., Card$mart store in June. Month by month, they're learning how to make a business survive and grow.|
Before owning Card$mart, Norman and Rothberg had no idea how profitable Lotto would be (in terms of actual dollars as well as in getting customers into the store). But running a Lotto business is a bit more complicated. Every six weeks, Card$mart gets a certain number of booklets on credit allotted by the New York State Lottery. The store is required to make a payment on those booklets every six weeks, but Norman finds she is selling out her games before the six-week period is up and having to pay the organization early to get more. She hopes to be able to increase soon what the organization will allow her to sell. Stores make 6% commission on lotto sales, she says. And so while "it's not enough to pay the rent," it is enough to fill the gaps on slow days and make sure the store has regular customers. Sick leave
While Valentine's sales dominated the month, another issue that popped up was store coverage when Michele became seriously ill with pneumonia. The partners learned a valuable lesson in having trustworthy employees and family members who were able to fill in. "We both have daughters who are high school seniors and need to look at colleges. She took off a Tuesday and Wednesday to look at schools," she recalls. "
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