Look at what owning a business does to my face

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I’ve managed to secure a pretty quiet first week of 2015, half through planning, half by chance.

I felt like the letting out of belts following the annual Christmas gorge, followed by their immediate retightening as people simultaneously check their diminished bank balances and increased guts may lead to at least one week where people felt street food might be an extravagance they could live without. Here’s to hoping 5 days of no carbs, gym promises and the inertia sitting at a desk will put sales back to normal from 8th January.

It’s also given me a break from turning our kitchen into a bomb site about 3 times a day to assess the first 6 months of Sticky Beaking and it only makes me break out in a stupid grin to think of the achievements since the summer. See, stupid grin.

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(Not to mention an incredible hair style)

I’m not going to try and convince anyone that it’s been anything like a smooth ride. We’ve made dozens of mistakes, but neither of us are chefs, business experts or lucky enough to have everything go perfectly to plan all the time. Becoming entrepreneurs feels more about multiple fuck ups and what they teach you than anything else, and you’re grateful for every single one.

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December itself was an incredible slog. From November 27th until Christmas Eve there wasn’t a day that didn’t involve trading, cooking or prepping and most of the time, all three. Regularly up at 5-6am and bed at midnight cursing whoever decided that slow roasted meats was a good idea for business model. But it really felt like there was a shift in fortunes. November had promised to be our most lucrative month, but bad business choices meant no profits and even fewer wages. December just felt like we got on a roll. We sold out multiple times, secured great pitches that will continue to ensure the business builds in 2015, got some really heartwarming and humbling feedback, found staff that we can rely on when bigger and better events come along and made the money back that was lost in November and then some. I may have forgotten what Laura looked like and her name every once in a while, but it did mean  her Christmas presents could be bought using money that she didn’t earn, so….. swings and roundabouts.

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Checking the Sticky Beaks business plan, which scarily was being conceived about a year ago when we were job, house and penny-less and living with parents, I think we are actually ahead of schedule. We are doing more weekly markets than expected and selling even more sandwiches than I calculated, the 3 and 5 year goals of getting Laura to join full time and opening the Sticky Beaks cafe may not feel so far away soon. It’d be a risk selling something other than  cereal with pink milk for £3 a bowl, but there should be room for everyone in the market.

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We’ve got some ambitiously high hopes for this year, I am looking to find a commercial space to increase our cooking capacity and it’s only slightly down to the fact everything coming out of our oven has a pulled porkyness to it. A lot more foresight is going into the calendar, with March filling up already, giving us the chance to really target the big bucks at festivals this summer and start to really build a business. It’s invigorating, daunting and a load of other adjectives I would use Google’s synonym tool for if I had time. We hope that you can join us and help to make the equivalent blog in 2016 feature an even stupider grin than the one above.

You’re actually going to get two for the price of one in blogs today. We took a trip to see my bro, his wife and our new nephew Jake in October, which was lovely and full of French food, the pictures which will probably outnumber the words.

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