"How hard is it to open a new location?"
Hey Entrepreneurs! I’m going to talk about, “What’s it like to open a new location?”
This photo was taken 10 hours before opening the doors to our new bakery. Looking at it I see a worn down, malnourished, robot that I had slowly turned into over the course the build out.
As a first timer; handling all the permitting, logistics, design and oversight by myself, while doing my best to run a busy company was difficult to say the very least.
The most frustrating thing you will have to deal with, is permitting. I can’t stress enough how important it is to touch base with a city official BEFORE you sign anything. Ask a million questions, including the status of your location with the city.
Get to know your landlord. Make sure they have your best interest at heart. Also get your lease looked at by a qualified lawyer!
Believe it or not, I permitted, retrofitted, built out and opened a bakery in 5 months, which is pretty much unheard of. How the hell did I do that, right? I relentlessly called, emailed and annoyed everyone that was involved in my bakery. I was on location daily answering questions, painting, cleaning, removing, sanding, and making sure the people I had hired, were doing their job.
Though, I still had tons of really frustrating issues. Like, our address didn’t “exist” and the city lost our permit. Also, my G.C. was awful, so I fired him only to hire new contractors to fix his shabby work.
I felt like I was in fight mode the entire process. By the time we got the “okay” to move in, I had no idea how to slow down. My awesome staff packed us up on a Wednesday and on Saturday we opened our doors… which was absolutely INSANE. But that’s what I mean when I say I was a robot. For that time I had lost the ability to stop. All I knew how to do was go!
Ultimately, this has been one of the hardest, most rewarding, experiences that has cultivated an incredible team and community of people. To anyone interested in doing this, remember two things; know that you will get to the end… it’s just about how much you want it. Most importantly, be grateful. This is everyone’s dream, but not everyone will have the same opportunity.