What Would Frank Do?
We've been at this PJP endeavor for about seven months now. I know, right? I would venture that there are businesses in Columbia that have celebrated their opening day AND then shuttered their doors forever in the same timeframe. I'll be the first to admit that I rolled into this with a bit of hubris...I might have uttered something along the lines of "how hard can it be???" when contemplating what it takes to open a business. And now I know that it takes just about everything you are capable of giving to it - and then some. I was having a conversation with someone today about the dollar figure value of the seven month journey and I realized that whatever that amount is for all the tangible items, it can't even contemplate the intangible amount in blood, sweat, and tears that it takes to make an idea a reality.
So seven months in and I realize that while I can explain the A to Z of Kickstarter, argue to the death about HVAC tonnage, and give a soapbox soliloquy about special tax rates in transportation districts, some of the most basic details have escaped us.
Maybe because I'm really much better at the theoretical than the reality, I'm realizing this week that "WE WILL HAVE AN ACTUAL STOREFRONT IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS." We've been working on a sign for the spot (more on that tomorrow), but we need to figure out when we will be open each day. Because hours of operation is generally a pretty useful piece of information.
We also need to set all of our retail pricing. Sounds like a job for Behind-The-Scenes-Tech-Guru-Jason, as it might involve a spreadsheet and a complex set of formulas...both things I try to avoid at all costs.
We need to set some sort of pie schedule. We plan to have 36 to 40 different types of pie and obviously, those won't all be available every single day. We will also have the 5 inch, the 9 inch, and the 12 inch pie sizes. Do we offer a flavor in all three sizes on the same day? Or do we offer certain flavors in 5 inch, other certain flavors in 9 inch, and so forth and then change it all the next day? I feel like we need a big Bingo drum with a handle and maybe Jeanne could crank it each morning, pull out a ball and proclaim "Coconut in 5 inch" and then roll it again and pull it out and get something like "French Silk in 12 inch" and that would set the day's schedule. Sounds professional, no?
And once we figure out what we are baking and when we are baking it and when we are selling it, we have to figure out how we are going to display it.
And while I thought figuring out these sort of details would be the fun part, I find myself second guessing and overanalyzing it all - and neither of us are ones that do well with a lot of options because we start with having a conversation about one thing, introduce 50 new variables, and then we are completely off track and six days later remember that we never finished the first conversation we started with. (That said, one of my favorite things about Jeanne is that we can have 15 concurrent conversations and we both usually know exactly what the other one is talking about at any given time.)
All of these administrative decisions sort of make me want to crawl in my bed, pull the covers over my head, and binge watch House of Cards for inspiration while waving the white flag on being in charge. (Which, ironically, is something Frank Underwood would never do...I don't even think Frank sleeps...much less hides in his bed from Capitol Hill, but I digress).
By the end of the week, we will make some decisions (no guarantees on what Behind-The-Scenes-Tech-Guru-Jason will do with the spreadsheets). Do you have an opinion about what days and times we will be open? Would your world continue if we were closed on Sundays and Mondays (but still stocked Lucky's with pies)? What time would you stop by to see us - would a mid-morning open and an early evening close accommodate most of your needs? Post a comment or send an email and let us know...