1)What caused you to leave the hosp. biz, and look and find a "cake job"?
2)Your wife, did you meet her while BOTH of you were working in the hosp. biz?
3)What plans will you have in place if you are injured/ill for more than say, two months?
You are totally right. I am a complete idiot for wanting to pursue this course of action. Yet, somehow, I still want to do it. What gives?
I'll jump back in here.
What happens if…..?
You are going in with your eyes wide open. You know what you're getting into. You are asking for advice rather than go in unknowing. You are planning ahead as much as you can.
So what happens if….?
What happens is you deal with it.
In the business I was an owner in, we (my partners and I) didn't plan as much as we should have. My partners were considered "too old" when we started. We didn't make many decisions correctly. We didn't face up to issues we should have when it would have made a difference. We made a ton of mistakes.
What we did do was work extremely hard to make the business a success. When faced with a new challenge, we dealt with it. When faced with our mistakes, we acknowledged them, made the necessary corrections when possible and moved on. We got up every day ready to face whatever happened. We argued vehemently. We irritated the crap out of each other. But we never quit. We never said "I can't".
In the end, we had tremendous success and had a great time for many years. I wouldn't trade those years for anything. Hindsight tells me I would do some things differently but that is always the result of hindsight.
So I would advise you to get a good accountant. Listen to him/her. Get a sales tax account. Be ready for getting to know the IRS, the Health Department and the folks at City Hall. Make sure your wife has all your passwords and keys.
There are many things you can do before hand to make your success more certain. And remaining open to new ideas after you get started is vitally important too. Keep talking to others and learning new things, even after you open the doors.
I guarantee it will not be smooth sailing no matter how much you plan. Equipment will break. Your wife will not be happy with you on many occasions. Employees will quit. You may have a health problem or three. Your menu may need major adjustment because you made some bad choices.You may not be happy with your wife on many occasions. All of that and more can go wrong. At the end of the day, say goodnight and start fresh in the morning.
But maybe you will have some really, really good days. Maybe you will develop products you can produce and sell retail. Maybe you'll expand and double your business. Maybe some one will like your business so much they will buy you out. Maybe you'll do it for X years and then sell. Maybe you'll never sell.
Should you do it? I don't know. Only you do. Flip a coin. Heads yes, tails no. Which one are you hoping for? Which will you regret more?
If this is what you want to do, then do it and don't look back.
Quote: Herb Caen
When I opened my restaurant, in a lot of ways it flew totally in the face of logic. I feel sorry for people that never realize their muse; or if they do, fail to summon the courage to act upon it
I have always taken the path less traveled. My wife always says "Why can't we just once" do what everyone else is doing. When I asked my wife if I should start my own business at 47 years old. Her answer was "NO" as in No freaking way. When I say I take the path less traveled, I don't mean it's the path of least resistance. It's just a different view on life than everyone else is seeing. The reason I was successful in my business was because I saw things different. People liked what I did, I loved what I was doing, we all won. I believe that we should not live the life we are dealt but we should live the life we want. There are only two things that should keep us from realizing and accomplishing our dreams. One being illness, the other being in jail. Otherwise this is your life, when you say "I still want to do it" then do it! Now, that being said you have a few factors to take into account. You need to "FAIL SAFE" your family. walk into this adventure knowing that if it fails your not going to be homeless and living in a tent by the railroad tracks. Get a business plan and look at that business plan and see if the numbers work. Build this business as in, how can I make a good living and accomplish my goals. There is a lot of thinking you need to do to make sure you realize and understand if this is feasible. What is it you have to offer to this business that will make it successful. I don't think this business has to be a 7 days a week 16 hour a day business if it's planned properly. The "I still want to do it" comes from passion that you miss from a different time in your life. The feeling you got when you were really good at what you did. The "cake" job you have now isn't fulfilling your needs in life. Being successful isn't about the Chamber of Commerce Achievement Award that is on your office wall. It's about the feeling you have in your heart and mind when you achieve what you set out to do each and everyday. After reading all of these posts I would look into investors. Get that business plan going and see how much money can be raised. Build your business around that amount of money. In my life I would rather work a job that I was realizing and accomplishing my dreams at 50K a year than working at a "Cake" job at 100K that gave me nothing.
I just thought of one more thing. I am thinking of a town where my cousins live and how they told me a few years back that it was a pity I didn't live there as there were three people who were retiring and wanting to sell their restaurants with no takers. Maybe you can look around for an opportunity like that? If nothing else, you may be able to lease the place with an option to buy, and it it doesn't work out, you're not our all that much. Some owners will cut you a break just because they'd like to see what they built continue on.
When it comes to business, I try very hard to refrain from impulsiveness. I apologise if my post was somewhat negative. The loan remark was impulsive.
It's apparent to me, after reading your responses, you have the skills and knowhow to reenter the market. Personally, I would take heed to what is being posted form persons
with actual knowledge of ownership.
I guess I just went into a precautionary mode. The priorities of my ownership have become somewhat convoluted. For me, quality, consistency, logististics,etc. are still a priority but the financial aspect has surfaced and is now on top. I don't make decisions based on money. I feel it's just as important to have a financial concept as well as a business concept.
When I mentioned flexibility, I really wasn't speaking of menu, concept, etc. but also financial overview.
I knew I was going to be in business since the 8th grade when i caught a subway and a bus to a private golf course in the Burbs. on weekends. Spent the day in the woods next to the course finding golf balls and selling them back to members.
I had so many business questions back in the day. I received a business degree which I viewed as useless. It didn't address my questions. I entered the industry, did time in Europe,US and eventually went back to school for an MBA. I also found this education did not meet my needs.
Like yourself, I learned from my mentors in the trenches. When i was getting my first business off the ground, the concept was to be very anal in documenting everything and build the business for acquisition. When you sold, that was your payday for all your hard work. Sorry, long to get to the flexible thing. After 2008 I switched my financial concept to adapt. There was no one with enough cash to buy me and I wasn't going to play banker. Since then our concept is focus on longevity. My motto to all was, please try to work yourself out of your job. Keep bringing up people from within. We're now to the point where myself and a couple others to leave the business but still receive checks. We've been in the same location for 18 yrs. and I just signed a new lease for 10 with a 5 opt.
So far it's working well. Two of my last three ventures were start ups in a completely area. Trying to diversify. One was an investment into waste management and has shown incredible growth over the last 4 yrs.
Planethoff, you'll do it, you'll be successful, and like Billy says, you can find great happiness in owning a business that just pays the bills. It's all relative.
I carry this with me when I'm taking the next leap into the fire. I pull it out and read it whenever I find myself trying to validate my intentions.
“But the thought of being a lunatic did not greatly trouble him; the horror was that he might also be wrong. ”
― George Orwell,
@panini - Thanks Pan. No need to apologize. I appreciate your comments. I actually like the negativity as I know how many restaurants fail and I want to try to account for every possible curve ball that will come at me. I know I won't be able to predict them all, but I don't want to be taken down by something that I could have easily planned for. This is going to be a long process, I'm not taking it lightly, I'm not rushing anything, and I will dot all my T's and cross all my I's while triple checking everything