Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Franchises and Transitioning

Another Bad Ass Coffee morning, this one in the comfy blue chair at Lori's beach house with a mocha in a go-cup. Bad Ass Coffee is just down at the end of the block, and it was a nice walk for Dave to go get it for me (and a chance for him to get on-line too). Our long weekend out of time is coming to an end, we drive home today. I am already making the mental shift back to the real world--as is Dave (as evidenced by the fact that we were both ensconced with our laptops at 7:30 this morning).

Speaking of Dave, we had an interesting conversation on the beach yesterday (yes, I will just have to keep writing the "B" word to keep it fresh and alive in my mind) about having a small business in America today and how many more hats you have to wear and balls you have to juggle--and how much faster you have to move--if you want to succeed. The easiest way to start a new business is to buy a franchise. With a franchise you are given a manual of exactly how to do every part of the business and you're handed a ready-made supply chain for most if not all of your products. All decisions from how to display and package your product to how much to charge for it are handed to you in a binder. That's not to say it's easy to start a new business if it's a franchise, it just means you have to make fewer decisions yourself and you are likely to have a greater chance of success because you are following a tried and true methodology instead of making it all up as you go along.

What I am creating now in my studio is a hybrid between a franchise and a from-scratch business. On the one hand I have received a lot of help from Bullseye in the form of information and assistance on how to set-up and price classes, what to include in a stocking products order, essential technological components for a successful Glass Resource Center, suggestions on pricing product, and more. On the other, I'm building my own facility with my own vision of what it should offer and how it should run (and it's own unique decor). I hope (as I'm sure Bullseye does too) that by following a bit of the franchise model I'll also capitalize on it's success rate. Fingers are crossed.

There are an amazing number of details to wade through in the next *eight* days before we open our doors to the world, and my head begins to whirl with them again. I say whirl again because it was unexpectedly easy to slip into vacation mode last Thursday and let all thoughts of lists and orders and have to's and shoulds and who is working on's fly completely away. I have been so immersed in getting this new adventure going that I have literally been eating, sleeping, drinking and dreaming it. There have been very few moments when I wasn't cataloguing and planning. And yet, on the drive down to Florida for an unexpected very long weekend, the thoughts started to go away. By Friday, the only time I thought of what was going on in the studio was when someone called me or wrote me an email asking me a particular question about it. As soon I answered or solved the issue, I forgot all about it again and went back to my trash vampire novels on the beach.

I almost (I said "almost") feel guilty at how much I didn't do over the past four (five) days. I didn't plan, I didn't didn't scheme, I didn't dream. I just read, and slept, and drank pina coladas in a beach chair under an umbrella watching the surf and my child play. How odd! I was sure I'd never relax, but I guess my brain and body had other ideas. Today, though I am still in my jammies cozily typing from the beach house, I am already transitioning back. My head is not full, but the ideas and lists and thoughts are seeping back in and jostling for prominence in anticipation of tomorrow's all-out effort, D-Day, marines on the beach.

Tomorrow is also Dave's and my 14th wedding anniversary, and this past weekend (honestly, it felt like we were in Jurassic Park we were so far removed from our real world) was the best present we could have given each other. Happy anniversary honey!


Dee said...

good that you have a chance to recharge the batteries 'cause it's gonna be an all out effort. i'll be leaving the house by 8 and will call for any starbucks requests...

Bill said...


You needed that.

And I bet that your subconscious has been working overtime, while the remainder of your corpus rested.

Brenda Griffith said...

We'll see. I think the subconcious took the time off too. I didn't feel its nagging little presence anywhere while we were gone. Of course it's back now!