I had always wanted to own my own business but for many years I just didn’t think that I had what it took. I didn’t go to business school and I haven’t been mentored by someone who was successful in the world of business, I did however have an idea for a cool Mexican cafe, but no money to make it happen. Just after my 25th birthday I was so sick of the job that I was in and so I went to the bank for a loan, and shortly afterwards I took the risk and Ayahuasca Orlando was born. Things were tough for the first couple of years but then we really lifted off an we are just approaching our 5th year. Based on this experience I wanted to share some tips with you on setting up your own business.
Get a Great Name
I called the cafe Ayahuasca because of an experience I had when I was a teenager in Mexico, I liked the ritual of this experience and I loved the colors and the open minded experience which it can offer. I wanted to create a cafe which was also colorful and open-minded. What I didn’t realize however is the name of my cafe would prove to be the best bit of marketing that I could hope for and so any have come into the cafe based on the name alone.
Don’t go Crazy With Money
I almost got into trouble at the beginning of the business because I wanted the best of everything, I wanted the fastest coffee machine with all the bells and whistles, I wanted a small kitchen equipped with the very best and I wanted to invest heavily in the design of the cafe. After I began to price up however it dawned on me that if I bought everything that I wanted, that I would soon be broke. Thankfully my wife was the voice of reason here and saved me from going too crazy. This is an important lesson however and it is vital that you start off small and build up from there.
I was so excited to have a business of my own that I was far too kind in the beginning, allowing staff to get away with things that they shouldn’t, allowing friends and family to eat for free, mistakes which were costing me money. It is nice to be like this but ultimately what you are running is a business and you have to remember that.
Invest in Marketing
We didn’t invest in any marketing until year 3 and the surge which we saw once we did made me regret not having done so earlier. As soon as your business can afford to market I would advise that you should, and don’t wait until year 3 or 4 as I did. Build the business and then tell the world about it.
You will make mistakes, you just have to learn from them and move on.