I love my job.
Owning a restaurant is really, really hard work… harder than I had previously thought when pounding out our business plan. It’s not all smiles and satisfied customers, and money overflowing in the till. But I love my job.
We didn’t open a restaurant just to love our jobs, though. We did it (hold your breath now) to make a profit.
No one goes into business, any business, with the thought that they will fail. We go into it with high expectations and projections of making a profit in three years.
You’ve heard that before, haven’t you? Don’t expect to make a profit for the first three years. Or the other version, You’ll be lucky to break even in your first three years. Great. Just what I wanted to hear.
Business owners still have to pay themselves, of course, in order to pay for their personal mortgage, dog food, utilities, etc., but they tend to take a small paycheck when starting-up.
(As a side note: I punched at the calculator recently to figure out how much Whitey and I paid ourselves, and it averaged $2.18 per hour. We literally took home less than most of our employees, but then again, we’ve kept our personal expenses pretty low.)
In the past 12-months, we’ve had to buy a new roof for the restaurant, a delivery van, and pay for the ridiculous insurance in order to implement our delivery. These were three major things that we didn’t foresee or budget for, and that needed cash up front in order to purchase. Yet,
we broke even.
In fact, we made a profit. Not much, really. But it’s a profit.
Looking at our P&L statements, I couldn’t believe how on-point we were to our business plan. Our sales, our expenses, our payroll, our food inventory costs – they were all in the ballpark of what we had forecasted. Of course, I had also forecasted that the money we spent on the roof / van / insurance would have been part of the profit as well. That would’ve been nice, but not realistic (as I was told by a local banker with whom we had tried to get a loan).
It doesn’t matter. I’m pretty pumped.
I’ve forecasted 2009 to be an even better year. Now it’s like a challenge, racing to see if we can beat last year.
I’d better get to work.