Who's Idea Was this Anyway?.........

I have always wanted to open up my own business, however..........

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I opened up a small café and country store.   What experience did I have to pull from? NONE.  Did I work in a café?  NO, NEVER!   Had I run my own business before?  NO!   Well, somewhat, if you count my home based business.  But still, NO!   Did I take college business courses? NO!  So what was I thinking? WHO KNOWS! What did I learn?  A LOT.

My only restaurant experience was working at McDonald's from 15-22 years old.  I started out as one of the counter girls and worked my way up to manager.   Amazingly, I have actually used some of the things I learned while working at McDonald's.  (besides how to flip a burger and cook French fries)  Things like customer service,  opening and closing, employee scheduling, quality control, (though my standards are much higher, LOL)  employee management,  time management, the list goes on......

Here are some of the things I have learned about opening up my own business...…
  • Have a business plan!  I did not have one until the bank requested one. 
  • Whatever money you plan on spending to open up your business, times it by four.
  • Whatever time frame you set to open up your business,  take that times two
  • Take the amount of hours you think you will be at your business per week times two or three
  • Realize not every person in your area or county will walk through your doors
  • Notice, some people will go out of their way by many, many miles to patronize you, some people will not drive a few.  
  • Advertising is a must!  
  • Good signage can mean life or death to your business.   
    • 4'x8' signs are not really visible on the wide open prairie to traffic going 70+ mph. LOL 
  •  Take classes on tax laws and how to file them.  I am still trying to figure this out 4 years later!
  •  I hate book keeping!  Did I mention I hate book keeping?  I have a creative mind, not a mind which likes numbers and sitting at the computer working with numbers.  Ugh!
  • Employees,  I have been blessed with great ones.  Thank God!   I know people who have horror stories about their employees.  Your business can rise or fall based on your employees!
  • This will give your spouse the opportunity to say I told you so.....Many time over! 
  • They are not kidding when they say it takes 5 years to build a business.  Thankfully, we are working on year 4.  
  • Social Media is a big deal.  Post often.
  • People can not access your website if you let your domain name expire.  Ugh!  
  • Equipment will break down at the least convenient times.  Like when you really need it or you don't have the money to replace it.   However, this is an opportunity to  get creative.  
  • Not every review will be glowing....  Take pride in the good reviews, learn from the bad. Thankfully..... we really don't have any bad reviews.
  • When business is good save money for when it is not.  We are still feeding the business account once in a while to make ends meet.  However, it has become less often every year.  Yay!  
Some of the things I love.......
  • Getting to connect with everyone who walks in the doors. Unless we are slamming busy, then I can't!
  •  Working with a great group of ladies, who loves working with  me!
  •  Having customers that  become family.
  •  Working with my husband when he is not at his real job!  Or telling me I told you so!
  •  Seeing customer's faces when they walk in the door.  
  • Watching the business grow and change
  • The people, the people, the people......
 Some of the things I hate.......
  •  Being the boss
  • Making all the decisions
  • Book work
  • Making all the decisions
  • The unpredictability of the restaurant business
  • Making all the decisions
  • The long hours away from family
  • Making all the decisions
  • Realizing some of the things my husband said were right
  • Well you get it........
  • Confrontation
Would I do it all again?...… ????????????? 
To Be continued......

Nebraska Prairie Girl


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