This is why I have startup phases with success criteria. Phase 1 was simply forming a corporation and putting all the systems in place to open a web store; that was completed in November 2005. Phase 2 was learning the basics of online retailing, the gift shop industry, website maintenance and related operational skills; testing and refining the business concept and the merchandise; and building a customer base – all without being under pressure to earn a profit. This ended ended after Christmas, when I finally had a full year’s experience behind me.
Phase 3 doesn’t actually begin until another infusion of startup cash becomes available in May. It is the first phase with an actual success criterion: By
If 2008 dawns on a profitable business, I’ll move into Phase 4 – securing a loan and expanding, so that
Possible Future 4 is, quite simply, what happens if I fail.
My startup cash will be gone at the end of Phase 3. I will not take on debt to prolong a business that remains unprofitable after two years. So, should
There are degrees of failure. In 2006 Curio City lost roughly 10% of gross sales. If I cut that in half to 5% or less in 2007, I could get by with a part-time job in 2008, and continue to entertain scaled-down versions of Futures 1-3. Only if I fail to improve substantially on 2006 will I take a fulltime job. Even then, I would not fold
Fortunately, the magic 8 ball says that
- Possible Futures 5: Exile On
- Startup Phase 3 Revisited
- Credit Card Processing