Sunday, April 19, 2009

Eins Zwei Drei Vier Fünf Sechs Sieben Acht. One Two!

While my progress has slowed over the last few weeks, it's not like the Curds & Whey wheels have stopped.

Oh no.

I'm writing my business plan now. Oy. It takes a long time and with other things going on here 'n' there, it's taking me longer than I want.

Right now I'm working on my Three-Year Profit and Loss Projections.

Oh boy!

Yes, that means that I have a big ol' Excel Spreadsheet open, with tabs for every month, and I'm filling in the blanks for how much of every little thing I'll sell and how much it costs to sell it. Thirty-six tabs in all!

It's really hard to project how many ounces of loose-leaf tea I'll sell via mailorder in the first February I'm open, or how many plates of cheese, to be eaten in the cafe, I'll sell in the third September I'm open.

BUT, any investor knows these numbers are all projections. And I can estimate these numbers using a combination of guessing and actual empirical data. See, I have been in the business long enough to know I'll sell far more retail cheese (by the pound or piece, rather than on a plate) in November than I will in January, etc.

AND, potential investors are far more interested in my ability to calculate and understand my COST of selling each ounce of tea than they are making sure my projections/predictions come true.

They are also looking to see that I'm realistic about my projections. For instance, if I claim that in a brand new 500 square foot shop I will be able to sell 10,000 lbs of cheese in my first month, they might not take me too seriously. That would mean I expect to sell 333 lbs of cheese every day in that month; more if I plan to open fewer than seven days per week.

As much as this part of the project is time-consuming, I'm finding it strangely fun. I actually like numbers, and it's exciting to numerically - and financially - envision the success of my shop.

Ten cups of iced tea...
$300 of retail merchandise...
Twenty cheese plates...
Thirty-five pounds of mail-order cheese...

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