Mr Baumgartner, our school guidance counselor, was kind enough to come and speak to our class today. As a former business owner [spent 13 years with Sacred Grounds coffee], he had some wisdom and insight for students and future entrepreneurs.
When he started his company, these were things he tried to keep in mind…
- Pay attention to the money!
- Charge enough to cover all costs and generate a profit
- Don’t give too much away for free
- Keep costs down by buying in bulk
- If you need a loan, have a solid business plan, do the research and dress appropriately for your investor meeting
- When leasing space from someone else, you are sometimes limited in choices [only would sign one year lease, had to adhere to their hours]
- Know your competition, know and follow trends, be aware of seasonal changes
- Build relationships! Got to know each customer [75% of business came from loyal, repeat customers], their faces, their orders. A way to compete with some of the larger, more corporate coffee shops.
- Hard work => results; worked 60+ hours per week, but happy to see the outcome