As a young boy growing up in a working class family, I always used to fantasize about one day owning my own 5 star hotel in the center of one of the world's finest cities. I held onto this dream for years, but I eventually left school with little education, only armchair ambition, and employment as a general labourer. I later realized that the only restrictions I had in my life were imposed on me by myself. Some years later, I caught up my best buddy from high school (also uneducated), and he told me he had gone on to open a small chain of trendy coffee shops. Enthralled by his success, I asked him what occupational qualifications or gift of the gab talents he had acquired to achieve his success.
He went onto say that the first thing you need to get good at is money management. Money talks, he said, and you need a fair stash of it to start a coffee shop of your own. Therefore, you need to do whatever you can to show the banks you can save, invest and manage your money wisely. However, saving on its own is not good enough to boost your credit rating and credibility with the banks. They need to see you spending too, but not only spending but borrowing and paying back without default. Investing in property too, is a must have as this will act as fixed collateral when applying for a business loan.
He made it all sound so easy which made me question why so many folks get into such a financial quandary in the first place, like me! He explained that many people go into heavy dept by borrowing more than they can afford to realistically pay back, but worse still, too many people are putting their needs before their wants. It's this gluttonous approach to life which gets them into financial strife in the first place.
He told me that he had a simple vision shortly after leaving school and that was to start a coffee shop. He explained that he kept his ideals very grounded and simplistic and approached the whole thing in a logical and methodical way. "What other approaches are there for an uneducated dimwit like me?" he jested.
Well, I've often thought about owning my own business and I too would love to start my very own coffee shop as I've always thought they are the coolest most hip social places to meet and greet than even the pubs and restaurants. A coffee shop has such an informal laid back atmosphere not to mention the delightful aromas of freshly ground coffees. My ole school friend explained that there was aplenty of room in the city for more coffee shops, but despite my ambitious thoughts, I've never been able to realise my dreams. Maybe it's latent fear or something, but I've just never had the drive necessary to start a coffee shop, or any business, no matter how much I've wanted it.
After talking with my pal, I've since taken some baby steps forward though, and rather than independently build a store from scratch, not that I'm lacking ideas you understand, I have been taking a very serious look at using a franchise to start a coffee shop. The reason for this is because I'll get lots of business support with a franchise, and that can only help to lessen the burden of someone new to the game.
Initially, I backed out of the idea because I felt intimidated due to my lack of education and retail business experience. However, my buddy said that all I need to show the franchise company was that I could acquire the funds, show that I had a good head on my shoulders, and come across with enthusiasm, ambitions, and an open mind. If they like what they see, the franchise will give you all of the training you need to succeed. Well, that was music to my ears, I can tell you.
It's still early days and I need to do a fair bit of groundwork to prepare my case, but the idea to start a coffee shop in my home town is becoming more excitable with each passing day. I recently read an inspirational snippet about what separates the men from the boys when it comes to starting a new business. It reads like this:
Of 100 people who start with a plan today, 80 will drop out within 6 months.
Of the 20 left, 16 will drop out within the next 6 months.
Of the 4 left, only 1 will still be at it 6 months later.
Be that 1.
And that's exactly what I to be. That 1. I hope the next time I write a piece it will be about how I came to start a coffee shop in my home town. Maybe not a rags to riches story, but I hope an inspirational one nonetheless.
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Gary Tooth is a proficient freelance writer for Drinkingdrinks.com where he has articles on Chai-tea and The famous Jack Lalanne Juicer He also has other 'drink' related pieced on the site.
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