Getting Down to Business

There are a lot of moving parts to our effort to get the business up and running and the hardest part is that there’s nothing to show pictures of, unless you want a picture of a spreadsheet!

One element is our business plan. Now, I love to write, but for a while, the process of working on the plan was excruciating. After a month or so of her class with the Small Business Development Council, Angie managed to find a way to approach the task that enabled her to organize what we’ve worked on so far and map out the next steps. She talked some of her thinking through with me and we both laid out our objectives for different sections and I’m happy to report that it’s gradually coming together.

In fact, we met this week with an advisor from the SBDC, where Angie has been taking her class, and she told us we are totally on the right track. We were really happy to hear that. The sense I got from the advisor was that she was pretty impressed with what we’ve done so far. And when I say we, I mainly mean Angie!

I’ve been toiling away on the market analysis and marketing piece, and have quite a lot of content that I think is the sort of information we need in order to explain the perceived need to folks who might be in a position to help finance part of the project. Of course it will still require Angie’s deft hand as an editor to improve my prose. Meanwhile, the advisor told us that the main element we need to focus on other than what we’ve got so far (and the marketing), are the costs, which is no surprise. Angie’s made a lot of headway on that element also and we’re going to try to get a little further along pretty rapidly.

We’re also working to try to figure out what sort of property works for us, and I think we’ve identified the part of town we need to be in and most of the features of the property that are most important. We don’t want to talk about that too much yet but things are slowly moving forward. We have some leeway here because we have a lease on our wonderful rental that runs through next February, so if we find somewhere that needs work, we have some flexibility. But of course, we’d love to get the property and furnishings in place sooner rather than later so we can open for business and provide a new option for people who are riding through town or coming to bike at Lake Pueblo. One of the key traits we are looking for in order to make the place a success is a word I only learned from Angie a few months ago, gemütlichkeit. Wikipedia defines this as “a space or state of warmth, friendliness, and good cheer. Other qualities include coziness, peace of mind, belonging, wellbeing, and social acceptance.”

Even though there are many things to do and it’s a slow process, Angie and I are really motivated by the desire to create our own destiny at the same time as providing a place for others that will make their journey more satisfying. Maybe it’s a small thing for others, but if we can create an oasis for people here in Pueblo, I will feel pretty good.

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