You may, or may not, recall a column from February about two girls who had a dream of opening their own business and not getting any support or enthusiasm from those around them. Well, despite how everyone thought they were “nuts” in moving forward, they did just that.
As February, March and April rolled by, the girls kept a low profile, and purposely did not discuss their dreams and ideas with others (clearly the feedback dashed their excitedness a bit). Throughout those three months, they wrote their business plan, put together startup costs for inventory and equipment, visited with vendors either face to face or via telephone, and acquired necessary licensing.
And, during those three months, when documents needed signatures or financial information had to be disclosed almost always they were asked, “Well, what about your significant others?” By May that question was met with eye-rolls on occasion as they once again would explain this business was a partnership formed between two capable business-women whose goal was to have it remain that way and not involve the significant others.
The two girls have met with vendors, signed documents, written their business plan, painted, put in flooring, cleaned, drawn “to scale” layouts of their serving area, and learned how to brew coffee the traditional way coffee should be served. They have learned what the difference between a small establishment and a limited food menu establishment is. They have learned the differences in liquor licenses and what each means. And somehow, though complex, have navigated the Minnesota Department of Health’s system to be approved with their plans.
Ultimately, they have learned that opening a business takes elbow grease, patience, the ability to slow down and understand, and the drive to succeed carries them through the difficult times. Just the other night after a day of painting and cleaning, they sat together in their new space, and with pride simply said, “This is ours, we did this, we are going to make it.”
More and more there are women who are taking their dreams to the next level, no matter what their age. Every year the number of women launching their own business has doubled over the year before.
When women find their passion and open up their book of dreams, great things happen. Without passion for what you are doing, how can one have enthusiasm or believe in themselves? Just imagine as a customer how it would appear to walk in to a business where passion was absent?
In addition to passion, opening a business requires relationships and relationship building. Picking up the phone, shake a hand and have conversations. Form genuine connections with those around you. Everyone, including the plumbers, electricians, bankers, vendor representatives, will be more apt to help you when the need arises if there is a connection.
Ladies, stay bold and stay strong! You can do this if you really want it; just like anything in life, if you want it, you can do it. And those two girls? That would be Kristen (me) and Kim (Radke). They found what they were passionate about, put it down on a scrap of paper and built upon those ideas and dreams.
Together they are opening The Granary in the historic town of Lanesboro. So, if you are ever in the area, stop by for coffee, a healthy smoothie, ice cream or even a glass of wine or beer. We look forward to visiting with everyone who walks through our door!
Kristen Asleson is the owner of Midwest Virtual Assistants, and opening soon, the co-owner of The Granary, Coffee and Wine House in Lanesboro. Send comments and ideas to [email protected].