Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friday's the Day

Tomorrow at 11 a.m. we open the doors for real. Someone will walk in at 11:01, probably Pete Purves because he ordered 2 dozen thanksgiving tamales to be picked up at 11am. We'll celebrate and give him kisses for being our first customer. Euphoria will be intense but brief, then another customer will walk in, then another and another. Before you know it, we will be busy. We will be in business. No more theory. No more excitement over ideas. We will be a real business. Cash will be in the till. Credit cards will need to be processed. Yes, we will have income to (finally:) offset the spending.

There have been a few distinct phases to starting a business, the first phase is the idea. It's exciting and scary. It really could be something. Or it could be totally wrong. But something is there. Butterflies fly. You want to know more. The pursuit starts in earnest.

Phase two. Let me look into this. Is this real? Where's the beef? I still feel giddy but now there's work to do. I've got to investigate. Do some research. What am I not seeing? Why could this not work? Why should I be scared? Nothing comes to mind. The research says to continue. So you do.

Phase Three. You commit. This is it. You're in now. Business plan is in the works. Lawyers are being consulted. You search for a location. You tell all your friends. You get them excited about what's about to happen. And that commitment scares and excites you.

Phase Four. You spend a shitload of money. Because that's what it takes to get the business going. You go through Realtors, leasing agents, lawyers, inspectors, government folks, you name it, you have so many hoops to jump through to make this happen. It means so much to you now, you can be blinded to certain pitfalls. But they always show up. In due time. They show up. You deal with them. You are faced, at many points, with the decision to proceed or go back. Reset or press on. Spend more or cut your losses. And the bitch is only your gut really knows.
That's what makes a successful business. Someone with the gut to keep going. Someone with the foresight to know when to change direction. Have courage. You can make it. Perseverance. It's yours to be had.

Phase five. Starts tomorrow. See you then. Todd


Pete Purves said...

OK, so I was early, but I was only customer #2. Someone beat me to the door. As I walked up, I wondered if the door would be open even though I was early. Don't you hate it when you get to an establishment 3 minutes early, you can see the folks in there, and you have to wait outside until the exact moment of opening? Well Todd and his outstanding crew didn't disappoint me. I took the tamales back to the office for a pot luck. This was the big test. People freaked out. I had people who hate tamales try them and raved about the Thanksgiving tamale. I even had to teach someone how to eat a tamale. (no you don't eat the corn husk)

My hat is off to the team. I am definitely a 'Net Promoter' on the Burke loyalty scale. (geek stats stuff)

I can't wait for another 'excuse' to bring in more for the troops at the office.

Thank you very much.


Robin Brande said...

Okay, so I just finished eating the vegan tamales (spinach and mushroom), and they were AWESOME!!! Loved the side beans and the jalapenos, too. Great job, you guys! I will be back and back and back.

Especially if you make your vegetarian beans and corn tamales without the cheese for the vegans among us!

Robin Brande said...

And I just realized I started out my comment the same way Pete did. Apparently we all have to begin, "Okay, so--"