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We could work here for years: Occupations
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Jan 14th 2014

I just checked. I wonder how many folks got it.

Jan 14th 2014

I think it is awesome.

Jan 15th 2014

I couldn't believe my eyes, without a face posted there, it didn't make sense.

Jan 16th 2014

I don't get it.

Jan 16th 2014

I mean, I'm assuming Billy Idol has a song called "More, more, more"? But I don't know that, so I'm unsure if that's the joke.

Jan 16th 2014

There is a classic refrain from one of his songs where he sings "I want more, more, more!"

Geez Toosie, it's like you weren't even paying attention in the 80's.

Jan 16th 2014

Yeah, and I didn't have very good motor skills then, either.

Jan 16th 2014

I've heard that song! I didn't know it was Billy Idol.

Jan 16th 2014

And anyway, if you had told me the name, I don't think I'd have gotten it from that, either.

Feb 1st 2014

from Jinx

Hey Toos, what's up with this coffee shop thing? Are you and your brother co-owners?

Yeah, we're doing that together. It's perfect, because he doesn't know anything about business and I don't know anything about coffee. Maybe "perfect" isn't the right word... The other day in the car, his door wasn't closed all the way. I told him not to fall out of the truck, because he cannot die in the next 3 years. (Espresso machines are very expensive.) He was all, "You could do it. Coffee's easy. It's mainly personality." I said, "Yeah, ok, I'll just hire a guy."

Right now, we're still in our first month, so our second payments on stuff aren't due yet. So far, we've not gone completely broke. Maybe on the 10th of Feb we will. :-)

It's been fun, and my real, secret goal, besides making enough money to pay for the place, is to make our town a less crappy place to live. Yesterday a guy came in, who went to school with my brother, talking about how he doesn't know anyone and he doesn't hang out with people in town. It's OBVIOUS to me that others in the town are in the same crappy boat where you work and sleep and never hang out with humans in town. Yeah, it'd be good if he spent 5 bucks a week at our lame-o shop. But it's gonna be so much better if he and my brother each get a new friend.

And stuff. I wanna own some stuff.

Where can I buy stock?

Soon, you can buy stuff I have in stock in our online store. :-P

Feb 1st 2014

That's so exciting. Running a business is a lot of work but so, so fun. And you're right that the social aspects of your place could be the best part.

We just switched to a new online store. I've been spending every night over the last few weeks setting it up. Check it out: shop.thepurplepaintedlady.com.

Feb 1st 2014

Just checked out your website...it looks like the kind of place I wish we had on our village. If you need any advice on shopping carts...I've done two of them, so just ask!

Feb 2nd 2014

Thanks, J. Maybe we'll move to New York. Your villagers would come in just to hear us say "That'll be 5.29."

Feb 2nd 2014

We are trying to get other businesses to move into our tiny village. We've got a good start. There is a dance studio and a bakery we might get to move next door. It's funny that the mayor fought so hard to keep us from moving in, and we are doing more for village commerce than all her government programs (paid for with tens of thousands of state grant money) ever did.

Feb 3rd 2014

Here's the thing with that. Grant money helps her, directly. New businesses help the town directly. She definitely has an interest in "earning" more grant money. Your village becomes more well known in state government, the needier it is. Your local gov't benefits from having friends in whatever town the NY equivalent of Raleigh is. (I know it's not NYC. Albany?)

Anyway, I have lots and lots of opinions on grants and non-profit organizations, that I probably shouldn't post here. Long story short, I prefer business.

But I think that if you get more business owners in your place, it'll eventually be less crappy for business owners. I really hope the others go for it, take the risk, and open up.

Feb 3rd 2014

I really hope the others go for it, take the risk, and open up.

But how will the businesses succeed without the government telling them how to do it?

I always get steamed when I hear about government grants. Let's see...New York taxes it's businesses so high that most of them move out. Then they take that tax money to fund a grant to pay someone to make advertisements to try and attract businesses to NY. Most people hear about that and think "wow...the governor really cares about business in New York! I'm going to vote for him!" Which is, of course, the real purpose behind the whole thing.

Our village scored a 60000 grant to fund a study on how to take advantage of local tourism things to attract people and business to our village. This is our tiny village, mind you...maybe 400 people. Not even the town. I went to the meetings held by the people who were paid for with the grant. We all had good ideas, the consultants (who were nice guys) wrote them all down, and nothing was ever done. I'm sure that 60,000 paid for some nice glossy reports that went to the county, and perhaps were reported to the state about how hard we are working on this.

I don't even know if the mayor is Republican or Democrat. It really doesn't matter at the local level. They all do the same stuff. And they think they are helping, because the alternative is to do NOTHING, which, if they really felt that way, they wouldn't be in politics to begin with.

Feb 3rd 2014

And they think they are helping, because the alternative is to do NOTHING, which, if they really felt that way, they wouldn't be in politics to begin with.

Yeah, there aren't very many Ron Swansons in real life. :-)

This is our tiny village, mind you...maybe 400 people. Not even the town. I went to the meetings held by the people who were paid for with the grant. We all had good ideas, the consultants (who were nice guys) wrote them all down, and nothing was ever done.

Our place is a little bigger. Our county has about 10000 people. A couple of years ago, there was a huge grant, a million, five mil? maybe? coming to our county, by an organization who was giving money to every county, over so many years.

This wasn't a political situation. It was a public, community project. Citizens could get together and decide what the best projects were (increasing jobs), and how to affect the most change. So, it all played out, and eventually most of the cash went to the hospital to be used in operations. Like, running the hospital, I mean. Not surgery. (It didn't create any jobs.)

Anyway. I didn't realize you lived in my town, is my point.

Feb 14th 2014

Toosie, how is the coffee shop going, after the first few weeks?

Feb 14th 2014

So far, so good. We've been able to pay all the first month's bills, and some of the second, as they're coming due. So, my goal is met. :-)

Brother is liking it and he just wants more people there, all the time, I think. There will be groups at times and then dead times... I think that's how it generally always will be, though.

We've got a concert planned in 3 weeks, so that should bring a crowd. I have to say, I'm really surprised at the number of people who are coming out, like especially to the grand opening, and also just recurring customers. I was nervous the first day would be dead, and it wasn't. I was nervous no one would come to the grand opening, and it was packed. Heck, some friends of Brother's even brought their daughter's birthday party over to the shop after the grand opening party ended.

It's been really surprisingly good.

But other things have been surprisingly awful. Our electric payment was something like 4 times what we were estimating. It's a miracle that we were able to pay it. And then it was a miracle that we're able to pay the rent, and the payment on the espresso machine. I mean, yeah, we have a cute logo. But daggone, I'm awful surprised at it all.

There have been other bad things, like we heard from a guy that works at the newspaper that the folks at the paper were mad at us, because we've been doing marketing on facebook, and no ads in the paper. (Forget the fact that we can't afford to, only being in business for about 6 weeks, no it's really something to be hacked off about and take personally.) And weird disagreements with our co-tenant, where we were expected to exclusively sell her baked goods, while she's stocking another coffee shop in town...

But ultimately, the good is definitely out-weighing the bad.

So far. :-)

Feb 14th 2014

But other things have been surprisingly awful. Our electric payment was something like 4 times what we were estimating.

I never would have believed how big the gross SALES would be in my wife's business. And that our PROFITS are such a small slice of that. People don't realize all the costs in a business. There were people that saw our gross sales for the month and thought we were rolling in money.

And other stuff...yeah, there's a lot more than just selling your stuff. Lots of other people and companies and governments to juggle.

Feb 14th 2014

People don't realize all the costs in a business.

Exactly. I've been telling people, all we really have is a new long list of people we owe. Eventually, we'll pay a few biggies off... 3 or 4 years from now. Then maybe we'll maybe make some money.

Feb 14th 2014 edited

There have been other bad things, like we heard from a guy that works at the newspaper that the folks at the paper were mad at us, because we've been doing marketing on facebook, and no ads in the paper.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, you're terrible for not supporting your local community newspaper. On the other hand, Facebook.

People don't realize all the costs in a business.

#1%problems

Feb 15th 2014 edited

People don't realize all the costs in a business.

1%problems

People also don't realize the relatively low cost of entry into the coffee shop market. Our aunt loaned us money for start-up. But it's a four-digit figure. And we also have a lease on the espresso maker, but I think we pay that off after 30 months... which is less than 3 years. 29 months, now. And the aunt's loan will probably take a year or year and a half to pay off.

I mean, we're lucky. And obviously our aunt didn't have to loan us money. I don't want to sound unappreciative. But it isn't like buying a franchise for a half-million or anything. And building a building. We're a guy-in-a-room operation.

On the one hand, you're terrible for not supporting your local community newspaper.

Well, I will say that I was considering running an ad abt an upcoming concert. Now that I know they're griping, I don't really care to... I don't owe them. Maybe we'll advertise in your paper. :-)

Feb 15th 2014

That 1% thing is big. Sry.

Feb 15th 2014

We've found that getting a newspaper to write an article about you is a lot better than an ad, and it's free. Usually reporters at small newspapers are just looking for articles to write, so invite one of them to come to an event, and then have them write an article about "the new place in town". It practically writes itself, it's free for you, and will get a lot more eyes than an ad.

Also, find small groups like book clubs that need a place to meet, and offer your place. While they are there, they are probably going to buy something.

Feb 15th 2014

Yeah, we've already gotten two different groups to agree to regularly meet, a spiritual discussion group, and the local red cross group. I want them to list in the paper, in the recurring events section, that they meet at the shop.

The newspaper reporter comes in all the time, and the editor's a friend of my folks'... but they... I don't want to say they're anti-business... but they're very pro-charging and would call that kind of article an ad, and try to charge for it. :-)

Feb 15th 2014

but they're very pro-charging

Stupid capitalists!

Feb 15th 2014

It's the news business, not the news charity. Well maybe it's the news decline into oblivion.

Feb 16th 2014

Fair points, guys. :-)

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