4 Months In
Even if we’ve been talking about owning a shop for sometimes now we’ve actually only been actively working on it full time since mid-January. So we’re roughly four months in and it feels like it’s only been a few weeks. Everything moves so sloooowly on this side of the world, even if you’re pushing hard for things to get done, the French love their public holidays and they love their 1.5 hours lunch breaks, and “yeah we do close at 5pm but see it’s 4pm already so you’d better call back on Monday”. Deep breathing is the key.
So let’s take a look back and see what’s been done since January:
- Wrote the business plan.
- Worked out all the financials, estimated all the costs etc. for the first three years.
- Visited 30+ shops all over Paris whiteout murdering a real-estate agent. So tempting.
- Attended mandatory café owner worksop + kitchen higiene workshop. Enjoyed the complementary croissants.
- Found the perfect shop, signed the agreeement for sale.
- Started working on the layout and the interior design.
- Decided on a name. That was tough.
- Designed the logo + overall visual identity.
- Re-worked initial business plan entirely to seduce la bank.
- Had all the financials re-worked by a top-shot accountant for the same reason.
- Completed super detailed Sketchup 3D model of the shop.
- Lined up meetings with banks.
I’ll write separate, more in depth, posts about each of those steps but since I’ve got notoriously defective memory it was crucial to get that rough timeline out of the way today. I think the one thing we’ve realized since January is how different from the romanticized “café opening process” the reality actually is. Don’t get me wrong, it is freaking awesome to geek over every details of your future shop (what cups should we get? what font should we use for the menu? what material should we use for the bar? etc.) and fight to get the money you need, I love it, but it is so far away from the “man that shop looks nice, let’s buy it, put an espresso machine in the corner and be merry” vision I initially had in my mind.
As of today, Sunday May 12th, we’ve met with HSBC who’s asking for more guarantee before taking a decision. We’re meeting with the LCL next week. We’ve got 45 days to find 160K. Piece of gateau right?