|A throwback photo of my mom and dad!|
Towards the end of 2011 I was preparing a business plan for a brew pub. I had a potential location for it, an idea of the beer brand I wanted to feature at the pub, was planning out a menu, but in the end that plan fell through. Thankfully, that plan fell through in time for my next business opportunity at Urban Decanter. It was around January of 2012 when I had heard about Urban Decanter being for sale. I had been a customer there, so I already knew what the business had to offer. Honestly, Urban Decanter was right up my alley.
|This photo is from the day that we agreed on a sale price. |
Who doesn't want a big, pink, fake check?
The purchase of Urban Decanter closed on Sunday, April 22nd. We did inventory and I wrote the final check to the old owners. Upon writing the check, I felt as though I was somewhere between a dream and hitting a cement wall of reality. It felt like such an accomplishment to be the new owner of the business, but at the same time I felt like the business was a young child that I had to immediately try to understand and care for. I was mentally trying to prepare myself for the challenges that lie ahead. I was also preparing myself to become part of a new community. Upon the close of the sale, there was a lot of changes heading my way and I was ready to tackle them.
|Pumpkin ice cream!|
As I got up to speed, I was learning the ins and outs of daily operations. Everything from Quickbooks software to maintenance on my refrigerators. I stepped into a whole new world of friends, customers, mentors, suppliers, wine, food, beer and a million other aspects. There were a truck load of new stresses that I had to learn to manage. My stress level in the first six months was too high and it did peak and I snapped at one point. When I snapped I knew I had to do something about it and I did. I made changes such as better time management and not worrying about the business so much. I also took time to write down my daily tasks so I knew what had to be done on specific days.
Buying the business created a whirlwind of new experiences, stresses, tasks, responsibilities, and roles that I had to take charge of, and FAST! I was worried that Urban Decanter would suffer if I could not pull myself together. Once I had time management and got comfortable with my new roles, things began to go very smoothly. I am no longer stressed out and am currently working on trying to spend more evenings away from the shop while my staff run it.
I frequently get asked how the last year ended for me. My answer is "Awesome!" I feel like my first year was a success and that the business is growing. I have managed to keep the existing customers while finding new ones. I am building trust in my guests and am able to successfully guide them to wine/beer that best suits their palates. The year ended with my sales goal being shattered and a feeling of success. The end of 2012 brought new goals for 2013 and plans to step up my game. In 2013 I am going to host new events, change the menu, and continually grow my business. I also hope to pay myself!
As I sit here and reflect on how things have gone, I feel like they are going well. I have really grown into my role as a business owner and I love my business. I can truly say that I love what I am doing. As time goes on I have the ultimate goal to make the business sustainable so that I can go and start another venture. I look forward to watching the business evolve as it grows.
If you are looking to venture into starting your own business, I have a few pieces of advice to pass onto you that I picked up along the way.
1) Just do it. You don't get anywhere by just thinking about it. Take the steps to make your thoughts and dreams a reality.
2) Follow your passions. You will be much happier. Do what you love and love what you do.
|Working in the vineyard at 3 years old!|
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