Several have asked us to expand to their neighborhoods. A few customers have offered substantial amount of investment funds to help us grow.
At this point, it isn’t money that’s keeping us from expanding, it’s the lack of a business partner who can work with me to expand the business into new locations. So until I find one — and I nearly did earlier this summer — we’ll stay put.
Even with a business partner, I don’t think I’d ask for investment money to open a second location. Personal loan, maybe. Entrepreneurs tell me that the second store is the toughest. That’s when we test the reproducibility of our workflow processes, figure out what really works. If the second store thrives, we’d open a third store to test our leadership skills, our ability to motivate people to reproduce products and processes without our presence. Only if the third store does well would we think we’re ready for the responsibility of handling investor money.
I have no idea if I’ll ever find a business partner. I’m not aggressively seeking one — I lack ambition — but I try to not miss opportunities that are in front of me. As Branch Rickey put it, “luck is the residue of design.” Luck is just the ability to not miss opportunities.