Saturday, July 11, 2009

May we take your order? We don't have one...

We do, however, have lame one liners in abundance. Seriously though, I'm not sure that there is such a thing as a right order of events when starting a business. What to do first, next, or later? They never really tell you this in the books. It's not as easy as idea -> business plan -> fund raising -> execution -> nirvana. Throughout this journey, we have found ourselves in catch 22s where order was not even possible. For example, we could not raise money until we had a location and we could not have a location until we had money! Currently, while we do have a location in mind for the shop (nothing signed off on just yet), we don't know whether to start with architectural plans to give to the contractor, or to have the contractor tell us what to incorporate in the design so as to lower costs. And how do we plan for equipment when we're not sure about an exact layout?

How have we dealt with this so far? Well for one thing, we have stopped being so hung up on having all our investment money before we took action. Once we obtained a portion of the total required start-up capital, we hired a lawyer and actively pursued a location. Now that we are approaching actual renovation, we'll need a second round of investment money before we hire a general contractor. On that note, there is no order, just a natural evolution of events. The way we have dealt with it is thrown the notion of "perfect planning and timing" out the window and have accepted just being able to handle chaos well, often followed by a lull period of intolerable inactivity, and once again followed by pure chaos.

We hate lull periods, and you'll know when we're in them when we don't post on the blog. But being the true food entrepreneurs we are, we utilize this down-time well. Two words: field research.

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