Saturday, August 11, 2007

A. L. O. H. A.

So on Monday I had my meeting with the TLC manager (does anyone have any idea what that stands for?) from the East Garrison town development. I'm going to be honest, it was as scary, scarier than I expected. I got lost so I was ten minutes late, so I started off on the wrong foot right from the beginning. I looked great, was confidant, not pushy, but also clearly ignorant to the way in which the big bad world of business worked.

Ryan Bloom immediately asked me if I had developed a business plan. I said I was working on one (I don't know what that is). He asked what kind of experience I had in operating a small business. I said this would be my first business, other than the small record company my fiance and I run (damn... can we talk about how much I know about tanning?). He asked me about how much I was planning to pay in rent, utilities, etc. I said I didn't have all those numbers figured just yet (can I leave and try this again???).

Bloom talked fast, moved fast, & demanded the same from me. I had far fewer answers than I expected to have. He looked at me, told me not to be nervous, and drew out a blank piece of paper. He drew where the development would be, showing the locations of Salinas, Monterey, and Marina and how when they are connected they make a triangle around East Garrison. Two more circles within the triangle became the two large housing developments going in and a square became CSUMB. This will be my market. This is the community I must prove to him that I am absolutely essential to. There will only be 32 vendors, and each one will be hand picked, the best of the best. He told me that If you go to a town in Italy, there will be a butcher shop there for 400 years... because it fits, it's essential. I have to prove to be that. And the question was put to me, am I?

I am, know I am. I know that what i have to offer is fresh, hott, nothing like you'll find in any other local salon. I had this part prepared, the pitch for the concept behind my business. What sets me apart from Sun Your Buns, Sahara Sun, Hollywood Tan, or Janika? It was good, and he was impressed with my fire.

He said that he had to be honest, most people pitching their ideas to him had more experience, and were older... but my ideas are good. He asked me to submit my plan to him in the next couple weeks. I've since learned what a business plan is, and I hope to floor him with mine. it's made up of four components:

Who am I
What are my ties to the community

My idea
What makes it different
What are the strengths and challenges
How will I appeal to locals, students, visitors, tourist
Designs and/or what makes my system better than others
Why should this be the only concept of its type in their whole village

My education
Work experience in the industry
What you know about trends, new concepts, health, safety...

How will you finance the project, bank loans, financial model or simple projections of costs and expenses

Yeah... it feels a lot like homework! But this will be the most important grade I ever get! Oh but that's not all, there will be an oral exam on September 17th! He's asked me to come to a cocktail party if I am in fact serious about this venture! OMG... sooo scary! Other business owners, adults who know this shit! Oh how I wish this was Eric's deal and I could be the cute bird on his arm... but it's not, this will be all me having to be a confidant budding business woman!

So... how have I started on my plan? I'm working on an acronym for Aloha... wanna help? It's supposed to be a good way to submit your business' motto... I'm thinking "A" is for "Anyone know what the fuck I'm doing, because I don't"

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