Just wanted to let everyone know I definitely haven't forgotten about blogging. I'm forcing myself to NOT blog so I can get this biz plan 100% complete, and oh my oh my is it close. I keep saying it's close, but then I uncover more material to add or spreadsheet changes to make. But this time, it's really, really close. I purposely didn't look at the spreadsheets for about 2 months while I focused on the written material and worked on recipes. It really helped me to drastically improve various components of the structure and data once I had a change to recharge after working ceaselessly on them for weeks on end. Speaking of the spreadsheets, I'm going to do a screencast in the very near future and discuss my approach on how I created them. I won't be revealing my numbers of course, but I will show how I organized everything and discuss things that might help people get started or perhaps spark some ideas for one's own analysis.
I'll get the T-shirt info up this week. I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to deal with shirts that have to be shipped, but I'm thinking I'll just go with my non-business account Paypal account for now using checking account transfers only as I hate credit card fees.
I have come to a final decision on one of my flagship beers. I'll go into detail on that at a later date, but I'm really excited about this beer and I think it will have a very unique place in the market, especially in Chicago. I brewed the first batch today and I can't wait to try it.
Fret not fair readers, I honestly have a lot of material to blog about including more equipment related posts, my philosophies on marketing (yes, you're waiting with bated breath on that one, right?), the quest for financing (that'll be a big subject over the next few months I'm sure), and the search for space.
Speaking of space, the absolute number one question I get asked is, "Where's your brewery going to be?" or "Do you have a location yet?". Here's the deal. I can't sign a lease on a space until I have most of my financing arranged and my brewhouse, fermentation vessels, etc ordered. The big equipment is going to take 5-6 months to arrive, so I'll be ordering that while I search for space and I won't be ordering anything until I have a small business loan. Once I have a space, I'll quickly get going on construction and evaluating whether I can get a retail store up and running right away or not. The City of Chicago makes opening a retail store which sells any kind of alcohol a colossal pain in the ass, regardless of whether it's just beer or not. So that'll be a fun journey right there. I will definitely be researching areas that might be good for a brewery including ones that offer incentives from the city for improvements.That's all for now. Lots going on. This shit is getting very real.