Year one was a very liberal spending year all around. We threw a lot of ideas at the wall to see what would stick and what would slide off into the negatives on our P n L spreadsheet.
Figuring out our staffing needs, constructing a simplified kitchen management structure in the restaurant, and understanding the market trends of both our city and state, we knew we had our work cut out for us.
We had the artistic energy and passion to create; we needed the science of accounting and engineering of systems management in order to sustain our growth and business model. We outgrew the mom and pop business model faster than anticipated.
To survive, we needed to improve our efficiencies, cut down on costs and waste in all areas of our organization, and develop mores standards of practice. When the honeymoon phase had passed its cycle, the marriage was heading into the future of a divorce.
We needed to act quickly if we were to salvage the relationship.
Year Two Growing Pains
As you could guess, year two was a very conservative business approach. We were met with much staff resistance as we started to trim the fat to get down the core of our muscle.
Changes were made across the board. Without many pennies left to pinch, we slashed through our expenses with fiscal cutlery.
I was nurturing the birth of 7 Hills while simultaneously figuring out how to raise 3 little boys with my wife. I learned that being a good father and entrepreneur required a constant K.I.S.S. method re-evaluation topped with a fearless ‘NO’ you can’t have that response.
Our psyches want others to like us, so naturally, saying yes and pleasing is easy and natural, and needed at different times and positions.
I willingly became the scapegoat for others anger and blame and developed a no-nonsense attitude along the way. What I lost in friendships I gained in respect.
As mother wisdom always says, ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
Year Three is the Grey Space
As we celebrated our 2nd birthday in August and move into year three, we balanced our budget and normalized our income and expenses. If year one was white, and year two was black, the forecast for year three and beyond is the grey space.
This is the bedrock of which 7 Hills will build its foundation. As we move into year three, our major focus is dialing in our kitchen, which I believe, is the last piece of the puzzle before we have full synchronicity across the board. Much like the human body, 7 Hills is a complex organism.
The life force that sustains the organism requires the systematic homeostasis of all the organs working in unison. Currently we are working on installing the structures and systems, so our next experienced kitchen manager is set up for success.
Food comprises 60% of our gross sales, throwing our business plan a curveball it was not ready to swing at. Survival of the fittest is about adaptability and not strength alone, thus, we became the chameleon we are today.
As I tell my staff again and again, the only thing that stays the same is change.
Bend with the wind or get knocked down, the choice is yours.
The Roadmap to a Successful Business
The projection for year 3 is as follows: increasing our brewhouse capacity to 50-75% efficiency, increasing our event center bookings by growing and developing our digital infrastructure, developing profitability in our restaurant with the improvement of kitchen management, expanding our distribution channels into Wisconsin and Illinois within our craft beer portfolio, expanding our merchandise and retail growth sustainably and launching our e-commerce platform consequently, and continuing to re-invest into our research and development to remain relevant and competitive in an ever-changing and demanding market.
We hope to accomplish all of this while remaining loyal to the truth within the 7 Hills Brewing Co business model, and most importantly, having fun while doing it.
We never want to forget who we are and what brought all of us here and its inception.
Year 5, A look into the Future
If I was to look into the crystal ball to provide a projection of where 7 Hills Brewing Co will be at year 5 it might look like this:
I would be traveling more for research and development, staffing will increase to meet the demands of both the brewpub and event center, which will have increased two-fold due to the rise of popularity and service orientation of our business model, our kombucha production will have broken off into its own small business component of our brewery business model, and discussions being initiated regarding the expansion our footprint into the lower level of the Dupcaco/Voices warehouse.