We all fail. We all fail at small things. We all fail at big things. The key to small business is to mitigate failure. Best practices are also pivotal for success. Lessons learned from catastrophe are typically born from great ideas that didn’t come home. The thing I don’t see is any business that shares the failure. We opened, hooray. Look at us, hooray. We closed, boo. So this entry is my self-realization that all that glitters is not gold. In no order of importance, let’s take a journey.
First and foremost, you’re closest friends will screw you the hardest. This goes without saying. The people you look up too and the people you hold the closest will inevitably take advantage of your good nature. It’s cloaked and it’s hidden but it happens more times than not.
So you want to go into business with a partner, huh? Good for you. They have something special, you have something special and together you form Voltron! Make sure that you and your partner are both managing partners on all legal and fiduciary paperwork. Especially if they are majority stakeholder, otherwise one day you will be off the bank account faster than Usain Bolt’s soccer career.
Study!! You want to open a business; study your market. Don’t guess where you will succeed, have an educated guess where you will succeed. Far too many times do I see people emulate something that someone has been doing successfully for 20 years and then fail trying to do the same thing. Psssst, here’s s tip, it’s easy to that company cause they have done it for 20 years. You don’t know the ins/outs/buying power/pro forma/P&L etc etc.
Bankroll. Capital. Chedd. Moolah. Another no brainer. Take what you think it will cost and double it. Especially in the food truck and restaurant industry. Your truck will need tires, need hoses, have a once in a lifetime-never before seen-life threatening-end of existence-event that will need $7500 to fix OR you go bankrupt. Chew on that for a minute and take my word on this….the $50k you paid for your truck was a fantastic purchase for the kitchen inside the truck. Unfortunately that truck is built on a 1988 chassis and has 378,889 miles on it.
If you are going to pay rent somewhere, know what’s included in your rent? CAM (Common Area Maintenance), advertising, parking, water, electric. Free rent for TI? That’s tenant improvements like a hood system, plumbing, electrical. Also note that most landlords are not enthusiastically inclined to give TI unless you are PF Chang’s or California Pizza Kitchen. In other words, corporate money.
FAMILY! Your family will be put through some stressful times. With failure comes financial repercussions. Sometimes inactivity is better than activity. I wanted to do an event 4-5 years ago very badly and the asking price for entry was astronomical but it was a risk I was willing to take. Scared money doesn’t win, right? Well my beautiful and smarter than me partner in crime said “what if you fail?” To whit, I replied “it will sink the business.” End of story for that event and I never even regretted not being there. Your family will go on the rollercoaster with you whether they want to or not, you better prepare them for a trip to the theme park. Sometimes they can watch from the gift shop and sometimes by have to get on the ride.
There are so many great businesses in NE FL and you rarely hear any of them talk of failure. Beware the business that always “sells out” and never has a bad day. Everyone runs bad. The best run bad. deGrom gets shelled, the Yankees don’t always clinch, Federer will lose. Hell, Tiger went through ten years of public failure before he won last week. The UCONN WBB team even lost one. Be wary of those that never fail.
There is no TL;DR but I want to thank you for getting here. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go prepare to not fail!