When I say work the plan, what I mean to say is start taking it to anyone you can for review and ask them to pass their feedback along. This includes investors, friends, family, experienced investors, bankers, lawyers, essentially anyone that can give you an opinion on one part or another. Also during this stage, you will start to expand your work. You will go from working on the business plan, to exploring spaces, meeting with potential bankers, accountants, architects, etc. I think its a good time to do this, so you can get these important items checked off while you have some time.
- While you are starting to look for money, start looking for a space: Again, you might get lucky early on, but you will need to have a few disappointments before you find your “Prince Charming”. You will also need to learn about retrofit costs. It is a necessary process so when you find the space that is right for you, a quick decision will be needed (most likely)
- Pick some of your Professionals: When you start looking for a space (in the near future), it is a good time to pick an architect, and start thinking about general contractor versus no general contractor. For us a general contractor and architects are must haves. It is best to meet with several architects who have experience working with breweries. There is a lot of detail to putting together a brewery, and an architect is the point person for everything with your space (apart from you of course).
- Back to the Plan: Go back to your business plan and start making sure you put update costs on your estimates and projections in cash flow. When you think about a 6,000 square foot space, delays in opening, and other occurrences in business, make sure you factor this into the plan. More importantly, you have likely gathered feedback along the way from people, and you should incorporate this not your plan.
- Satisfied with your Plan?: When you business plan is at the point that you think it takes everything into account, and it is essentially a finished product, PDF it and apply for the eBC tax credit program through the Province of BC.
- Pick your Banker: They normally like to see your business plan, to know what level of knowledge and sophistication you may or may not have. Simply put, cash is king in business, so if you don’t have a good banker who can help you with the process expect challenges down the road.
- Pick an area for your Brewery: It would seem like a good time to decide on a general location for your brewery. When you pick an area, pick a commercial realtor that works only in that area. Lots of commercial listings are not put onto MLS or any other website, so someone with the knowledge of what is and isn’t available is a good move
- Work with your lawyer closely here: To incorporate and create a share registry, shareholders agreement, share ownership agreement, and various other forms needed to government, investors and any partnership agreement you have. Expect legals to be about $10,000 before any sort of name Trademarking.