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Starting from scratch

PaulJPaulJ subscriber Posts: 1
edited September 2006 in Thought Leadership
My name is Paul Johns. I have worked in every aspect of the food industry, among many other things. My dream is to work for myself and food is one of my passions. If I told you about my assets, you`d probably laugh. I filed bankruptcy last year in an attemp to clear my credit of years of abuse (oh, to be young and stupid).
 These days, I`m very ambitious, and watch my credit carefully. My problem is that I have no resources and no backing. My idea is a diner/eatery that would serve many breakfast choices, and gormet coffee. At lunch I would have a hamburger buffet, a soup and salad bar, and a bar that would rotate from day to day between pizza, specials, etc for lunchtime customers on the go. For dinner, I would have classic favoites, with my own modifications and promote an environment where families can go to get quality food at a low cost. I like the idea of bringing busy families together to reconnect. I`m putting together a few things that you would typically have to go to separate places to get.
 I have a tremendous amount of experience with the coffee business, so I would focus on an influx of morning customers (potentially with curbside service). With a Nextel phone, I can take credit card payments at someones car. I would specialize in hamburger toppings you are farmiliar with, and some that you are not for ultimate customization, but at a standard price so as not to penalize customers for they`re tastes. Soup and salad bars would cater to a healthy fair, and we would promote this as a light fair on the go.
 I have extensive experience in the pizza industry, both common and gormet, so I would need an oven to accomodate this, but the rest is very simple to maintain. Desserts I have not decided on yet. It may be just as profitable to outsource as to make homeade.
The reason I chose this structure is because nothing like this exists in New England, and the potential to expand would be only a matter of capital.
 My waitstaff would be focused on inside customers, with one server focusing on take-out. They would carry both change and a device to take cc payments. One person would focus on coffee and dessert. One would maintain the buffet. Two to three would cater to guests. I myself would be a wildcard. I would have a chef with a line, and a prep cook. I would be in charge of inventory and financials. A manager would eventually be put in place to ease the burden of operations. I am prepared for the endless days and nights of running a business. I welcome the hard work that it takes to be a business owner.
 I have a background in sales and marketing, and extensive computer training. I`m great with organization and numbers. The main reason that I want to start a business is probably the most common reason, I`m tired of working extremely hard for someone elses gain. I feel like it is time for my contribution to the world.
This will be my first business. It will be a success because i am aware that businesses need to constantly change and adapt. Here`s an example. I run a cell phone store for a family member who has 50 stores. The store i run is known for being in a bad area whos customer base is not expanding, but is consistent. When i took over this store, I realized that our focaus shoud be businesses and corporate accounts. I started steadily going door to door and eventually massed a huge database of new business customers.
 Retail is changing for this industry, the competative edge comes from managers who think outside of the retail box. This is how i plan to approach my business. If things don`t work, you constantly try new things, better specials, target certain dynamics, etc.
I`m certain you folks already know all of this, but what I would like is your advice. Where to start. How to make the first move. I eagerly await your comments.Regards, PaulJ2006-9-23 9:30:2


  • ccocccoc subscriber Posts: 0
    I can really relate to you, friend.  My wife and I are hoping to buy an existing elder-care facility.  We both have years of experience and all the necessary skills in operating this kind of business.  In fact, we ran the place until a year ago. 
    Our only problem?  No money.  We`re looking for a lender who will weigh our experience & skills as heavily as the ability to put up a down payment.
    Hope it goes well for you and maybe someday we`ll meet at a SBA Convention!
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