I've spent some time this week touring some potential sites for the new business and analyzing the demographics of various locations. It is a tough call because there really is no "perfect" location. My business partner and I have been talking about all these issues:
– how close should we be to our competition? (they aren't direct competitors, but still matter)
– where are the up and coming areas?
– which areas have the highest number of people in the target demographic?
– will people hate to drive to this location?
– is it easy to find?
– how much is the rent?
– how much will we have to spend on leasehold improvements?
This is a big big big decision that could have significant effects on our revenue. I am having a blast thinking about all of this but if I stop and try to be rational I realize that I should probably be scared shitless. This one decision could be the difference between a small profitable business and a cash cow (I don't think we will lose money regardless of where we are).
It is strange for me to have this new perspective. I come on here day after day and I write about good and bad decisions that different companies make. I criticize guys like Michael Eisner, Scott McNeely and Christopher Galvin for making dumb moves, while applauding other CEOs like Jeff Immelt and Warren Buffett. I've been wrong plenty of times (like when I criticized Carly Fiornia repeatedly while the HP-Compaq merger seems to be bearing fruit). Now I am scratching my head wishing someone else would make this decision for me and wondering how anyone has the guts to make these billion dollar bets on the future of a company. It all sounds so glamorous sometimes and I admit it is fun when I don't stop and think about the potential consequences, but it can be a nerve-wracking experience. I try to take off the edge by remembering that I have existentialist leanings and I have a view of life as somewhat absurd. Ultimately I will die and in the grand scheme of things this decision won't really matter. But for now it seems to be all that matters. I try to remember that this is a learning experience and if I screw up I'll be that much smarter the next time around, but with a huge loan on the line, it may take me a decade to recover enough to have a next-time-around.
Anyway, I am glad I have this blog as an outlet because most people I know could really care less about business, be it mine or any one else's. As I said before, I will keep you all posted on how things are going and hope to reveal more details about it all in the future.