Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Here's Where I'm Stumped

So I'm still working on my profit-and-loss spreadsheet, and trying not to melt in this unseasonably warm weather, but I've come upon a quandary.

I am creating three years of projections, but I have NO IDEA what is a reasonable percentage of growth from one year to the next. I want to be optimistic but not ridiculous.

So in case you were just tuning in, here's the gist of the business:
It's a small - 500 square feet or so - shop in a busy somewhat urban downtown location, not far from mass transit in a location with a good amount of foot traffic, car traffic, and parking. It's a cheese and tea shop and cafe. There is no other place in town to buy nice cheese, and other than a few coffee shops selling a few varieties of decent bag tea, there's no real tea shop in town. There's certainly no place else to buy loose tea to brew at home.
The neighborhood is partly gentrified but not entirely, and there are a lot of young people here. It's sort of like the East Village 15 years ago but with fewer muggings and not as much heroin, as far as I can tell. Sometimes I see little glassine bags on the sidewalk but not a ton of them.

So what should I claim in my business plan? A ten-percent increase every year for the first three? Twenty-five percent? Two-hundred?

Honestly, I have no idea about this. I am stumped. If you have any experience or insight, please share it.


  1. You should start slow, and then go up, the rationale being that the first year is a transitional year, and then after you settle down, you build a stronger customer base, and the numbers go up. Maybe (5% at end of Year 2, 10-15% at end of Year 3)