SCORE something something something retired executives. I dealt with them when I first started the ball rolling to open a small coffee shop. To be absolutely honest with you, I thought the man was taking things waaaay too far. I wasn't trying to develop a new starbucks, but to take over a very small place. I know they do great work, but for me at that time, they weren't what I was looking for.
I opened my catering/meals to go business just over a year ago without taking out a loan. I bought my equipment used or on an interest free credit for one year card and took a lot from my home. In fact, when I am home and want to cook something, I find that my whateveritisIneed is at the shop! That doesn't really matter though, as I'm usually at the shop! I will admit, my sister and her husband own a restaurant supply company so I was able to buy my used 2 door fridge at a great price ($500) and pay over a few months. I bought a lot of smallwares, foor prep sink, and shelving at an auction. Last fall, I bought a glass door display fridge for the front of the shop and finished paying that off this spring.
My shop is just over 600 square feet and is bursting at the seams. It would be better if it weren't really 3 long skinny rooms about 11 x 20 connected end to end like a mobile home. I use the front part of the first room for retail, the back part for my work fridge and freezer (that I bought for $100) and sink which is partially hidden by display racks; the middle room is my kitchen, and the last room is mostly storage and a small office space. That room upsets my sensibilities as it's such a disaster area. It does fine until I have a big catering job, and then it things don't get put away right for a week or so. Consequently, this month has been really hard as it's been so busy :smoking: I haven't had time to organize.
I have about $7000 worth of debt on one credit card at this point. It seems like a lot to me, but my accountant doesn't think it's bad. I just paid off the cc for my computer and home depot for all the renovation supplies. I'd like to get ththe big one paid off and one option is to do the damned business plan and get a small loan. Taht way I could also buy a much needed convection oven, a freezer for retail, and more cambros, open another store in a neighboring town....
edited to add that my husband is incredibly supportive which has allowed me to go without a paycheck most weeks. I guess that makes me essentially unemployed, doesn't it?! Actually, it's allowed me to roll the profit right back into the business. This summer, business has picked up enough to I was able to buy him (with contributions from my kids) the really nice mountain bike he's been lusting after for over a year. Good thing his lust is directed toward the bike because I'm exhausted! (insert winking smilie here)