We hit a major milestone when we completed the business plan. Getting to this point took a ton of work, but we’ve now got a good sense of what we need to do to be successful. One of the biggest and most difficult tasks was trying to create a realistic picture of how the finances of the brewery were going to work. Cody did a great job of putting together capital and operation expenses, and we teamed up to estimate what the revenue side was going to look like. We went through several iterations of assumptions tweaking (spurred by conversations with DFW brewers, our advisors, and potential customers) to get to a point where the pro-formas really seemed solid. With the numbers finished we are officially headed into the next phase: fundraising.
When I was an undergrad, I was strongly encouraged to get an internship before graduation so I could have some professional work experience on my resume. I somehow ended up with an internship selling life insurance. At seven AM on one of the very first days of training, my cohorts and I were herded into a room and commanded to begin calling down the list we had made of ourfriends and family. We were supposed to be setting sales appointments and getting referrals to other victims, errr… I mean potential clients. Needless to say, it was a bit awkward. I knew nothing about life insurance, I didn’t feelpassionately about it (surprising, huh?), and the last thing I wanted to do was to have my first contact with some of these people in months or years to be an attempt to sell them something.
Long story short, I wasn’t a great life insurance salesman- the Boiler Room stuff didn’t seem to fit my personality. I slogged through the semester getting credit for my efforts, and actually ended up making a couple of sales. It was a good company and a good product, but it was still a beating getting to a closed sale. Who really likes buying or selling life insurance?
Next week, MHB is going to start the process of contacting potential investors- many of them friends and family- to try to get to our capitalization goal. Getting on the phone with the primary purpose of asking for a couple of thousand dollars is bound to have its awkward moments. However, unlike selling life insurance, we’ll be selling something that I wholeheartedly believe in and I think most people can be excited about. We’ve already had the good fortune to have several of our friends and family offer to buy shares, and most of the people in our social networks are aware that this day was coming.
Starting these conversations with everyone will also be a great opportunity to build some buzz around the brewery and catch up with people that I may not have spoken to in a while. Usually when making an effort to connect with people, only positive things come out of it. I am always glad I took the time to make a call, send a text, write an email, or even just IM somebody.
On that note, when you get a call from me next week and I keep steering the conversation towards the brewery, please try to be understanding. I promise, It’ll be much more pleasant than hearing about the benefits of a permanent vs. term life insurance, and you might just start entertaining the idea of dusting off that checkbook. And I promise I won’t call at seven in the morning.