I've been very bad about posting updates. I'm in kind of a transitional phase in this monstrous process. Finishing the business plan (which will require some additions and some modifications to the numbers) was a great feeling, but after I completed it I realized this: shit just got real. Working on my business plan seemed like the biggest hurdle in the world. Now that it's completed, it's really dawned on me that from here on out things are going to get very real and very busy. This is indeed the calm before the storm. I always knew this would be the case, but I was inside the business plan bubble and not really focusing on the next steps. That time has come. So the three biggest tasks ahead are also three of THE biggest ones of the entire process. Money, money, and finding a suitable location to lease.
First, money. I require two sources of capital to get this brewery running: debt and equity. Debt means a bank loan. In order to get the bank loan, which will be north of $400,000, I will need to present the business plan. Before I do that however, I need to register
Panic Alarmist as an LLC with a federal tax id and such (I'll get to that in a second). This will be a very interesting challenge and one I don't know a lot about yet. Once I meet with the different banks, I'll definitely post what I learn.
Second, money. Equity means selling equity shares to private investors in order to raise money for operating cash flow, construction, and other expenses that a bank won't loan me money for. See this post for info on that. In order to offer equity, I require legal documents. These documents spell out precisely the terms of the offering including things like what the investor gets for their investment (a picture of me mashing without pants), whether or not they'll be allowed to sell the shares (they won't), and what my role is in the business. Here's what I can tell you about the legal stuff thus far: it's really fucking expensive. If you are thinking about moving into a career as a brewer or brewery owner, stop right now and apply to law school. Work for 10 years, then open a 300 bbl brewery with all the pocket change you have in your Armani suits. Lordy. I've accepted the fact that it's expensive, but it took about 48 hours for it to sink in. But guess what, it's just another problem to be solved. I'll pay an attorney a princely sum, get the documents I need, get the investors on board, then the ship sails to brewery land!
Third, location. I have no idea where the brewery is going to be exactly. I'm pretty confident that it will be on the far north or northwest side of the the city. It needs to be a reasonable commute for me plus all the other features that I would like or require. I discussed that briefly in this post. Once this part really gets rolling, I'll post everything I find out. I've been doing lots of online research on TIF districts, which are special areas in Chicago that provide city funded rebates for improvements to property. These rebates are quite significant as in $100K+ but they require a multiple step process, which will be a thrilling ride, I'm sure.
As I mentioned above, before I can secure a bank loan, I will have to get
Panic Alarmist registered as an LLC and have a federal and state tax id. In order to get those tax ids, the business has to be a formal legal entity. This process will happen very, very soon. As in next couple of weeks soon. I may do it through an attorney or I might just do it myself. I'll find out more next week. I'll announce that little milestone when it's completed.
Finally, I will not be able to advertise on this site when I'm officially looking for investors. Them's the rules. That's all I can say.
So that's where we are. Make no mistake, this process is about to get very, very intense very very soon. I think I've written that several times before, quite prematurely. Well, we're here now. I cannot wait to get this brewery up and running!