A Temporary Loss of Faith

I HAD A MOMENT OF WEAKNESS THE OTHER DAY.  The realization that summer is a slow time of year for our business, combined with the knowledge that we’re not operating in the black yet, hit home somewhat hard.  Some might even call it a mini-meltdown.  I lashed out at The Boss in IM.  I got myself in a funk for the rest of the day.  But sometimes that’s just what you need to clear your head and crystalize what it is we need to move forwards.

Dream Dinners is doing well for us.  Since we opened almost eleven months ago, our sales have rapidly trended up.  April was a fantastic month, and we nearly made it to profitable month over month.  Then came May.  We knew that summer was a traditionally slow time for the meal assembly business, and we thought we were ready for it.  And the truth is, compared to other franchise locations across the company, we are still right in line with our trend.  But when you don’t have enough money in the bank to pay all the bills, and you need to start deciding whether you’re going to pay the employees or the suppliers first, it doesn’t really matter what the trend looks like.  One of my few buttons is money.  When it’s tight, I get stressed easily.  I have the tendency to just shut down for a while, and that’s exactly what I did.  Add to that the fact that my day job was giving me a bit of a headache at the same time.

Then I got my head back in the game.  There is no way I am going to give up and walk away merely because we’re having a hard time finding working capital.  While I’m willing to make the decision to stop throwing good money after bad if it ever comes down to that, I know from looking at the financials every day that that is not the problem right now.  As long as the trend holds, the fall is going to completely blow up for us.  We just need to get to the fall.  So we have a problem to solve, but it’s not a show-stopper.

I’ve got a plan ahead of me.  I may have gotten shot down in one phone call today with our current lender (who now has a minimum loan amount of about 8 times what we need), but I immediately followed that up with phone calls to the SBA, another bank, and the local development council.  Tomorrow I’m taking some time to go and talk to people in person, and there’s a meeting tomorrow night about the SBA’s new loan programs.

What they say about success is absolutely true.  It’s 90% perspiration.  Bring it.

Todd Palino


I'm a dad, a small business owner, a systems engineer, a developer, and any number of other things.

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