I’m in the process of obtaining a loan for my restaurant. I am the owner of Red Pandora (www.redpandoracafe.com) You would think it would be easier the second time around, but it’s not. After writing a 41 page business plan talking to the SBA and other organizations. Re establishing myself with city hall, the alderman and the public. It all boils down to one thing. Money. This is the part of the restaurant business that is unglamorous. This is the part that they don’t write about in books. Or show you on television. The rejection. The loneliness due to going through mass paperwork and the buerocracy of city licenses. Most food network television shows do a pretty good job of glamorizing the food scene, but they don’t show the chef struggling to get funds, customers and coming up with new ideas. It’s a hell of a way to make a living and it can be a beast but once you go for the ride and get into it. You either run for the hills or you stay on for the love for it. The payoff is priceless because you get to see your vision executed. Saying that you need a tough skin while still having a positive outlook is an understatement. ;-)
And that is why starting your own business is tough. You have to think that if it was easy everyone would be doing it, right? There are no roadmaps or drawn paths. Especially in the restaurant business. You have to make your own paths. And you will fall down along the way, but you have to get back up and keep going. In my opinion The reward of buying and selling your own products, making things happen and dealing with the public is very gratifying.
For the past couple of months my lifestyle has changed a bit because I’m in the final stages of my venture. Now it’s either do or die. For months my weekends totally disappeared because I found myself working on my business plan night and day and getting paper work together. Even though I enjoy being around my friends, I’ve had to back off from people who drank too much or led negative lifestyles even if they don’t mean too, my life today doesn’t really have room for negativity because I have to keep focus. The type of negativity that can become involving. The type where you have to play therapist and you have your own issues. Keep in mind that this is only the business side of my life. I have a teenage girl and a Mom and Grandmother whom I love and have to tend to as well. But the positive thing is. They're on board with me doing this. And my daughter really hopes to see me do it because she worked in my café in the past and she knows I love it.
I’ve been balancing my credit more than I’ve ever have before. I’ve also been keeping close tabs on various organizations, bill collectors, food producers, and the chamber of commerce. My meeting with SBA and heads in city hall are closing and for the past two months I’ve finally got a bit of breathing room. Due to the economy I’ve been more aggressive with banks reminding them that businesses like mine help bring jobs to the community. I’ve been researching more about organic and running a green business. My head is starting to spin and hopefully I’ll get good news from the bank. I already have two organizations behind me and if all goes bad I’ll start seeking investors. I know I’ve been busy when I look at my house and it’s disaster (I just cleaned up) and my wardrobe hasn’t been updated for a while. Gotta sew that hole up in my jeans
It’s been a ride but at least I can say I tried. And so far its been crazy.